Genre(s) Horror short story
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"'Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad'" is the sixth story in the first collection of ghost stories published by M. R. James, Ghost Stories of an Antiquary.
Parkins, the protagonist, a sceptical Cambridge professor, is holidaying in the town of "Burnstow" (a fictionalized version of Felixstowe, Suffolk), on the southeast coast of England. While investigating a Templar ruin for a colleague, he finds a whistle with two Latin inscriptions. On one side it says "Quis est iste, qui venit?" which Parkins translates as "Who is it that comes", On the other side it says "Fur, flabis, flebis." This second inscription is never translated but means "thief, blow, weep". Unable to translate the second sentence, Parkins blows the whistle. Back at his hotel the following night, he dreams of a man fleeing towards him in a state of extreme fear and exhaustion before collapsing right in front of him. In the distance, the pursuer appears, moving in a strange fashion and with incredible speed. The next day he encounters a boy who was terrified by a white figure which had appeared at the window of Parkins' hotel room. Upon returning to his room, he notices that the room's second, unused bed is in disorder. Later, while alone in his hotel room, he sees someone get up from the adjacent and empty bed. The figure, made up of the bedclothes, attacks Parkins, but he is saved by one of the other guests.
The BBC has filmed the story twice as Whistle and I'll Come to You, firstly in 1968 in a version directed by Jonathan Miller and starring Michael Hordern, and again in 2010 starring John Hurt and Sophie Thompson.