About the story
“Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad” is a short ghost story by the British author M.R. James. The story was read at a Christmas gathering in 1903 then published the following year as part of the anthology Ghost Stories of an Antiquary. The title of the story is taken from a 1793 poem by Robert Burns written to an old Scottish air.
In the story, a young, scientifically-minded college professor finds an old bronze whistle while exploring the ruins of a Knights Templars’ preceptory. That night, he blows on the whistle and a vision comes to him of a dark expanse with a lonely figure in its midst. The sound also appears to call up a gust of wind, but the sensible professor dismisses it as a coincidence. More strange incidents follow, however, to shake his disbelief in the supernatural.
“Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad” has been adapted for radio and television.