This film is part of Free

Whistle and I’ll Come to You

A decade before the BBC's version of M R James supernatural classic came this chilling version from the North Downs Cinematograph Society

Amateur film 1956 10 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


On a lonely beach a man finds a wooden whistle and pockets it. An eerie figure is seen in the distance. In his hotel the man shows the whistle to a friend who translates the strange Latin inscription it bears. The man blows the whistle before going to bed. In a dream he is chased across the beach by a ghostly figure. Waking he sees the same figure in the room coming towards him. His friend enters the room and sees the terror struck man. The next day they throw the whistle back into the sea.

This film is one of the earliest known adaptations of the classic ghost story by M R James - pre-dating the BBC version, directed by Jonathan Miller and starring Michael Hordern, by more than a decade. The original story was first published in 1904, appearing in the collection 'Ghosts Stories of an Antiquary'. This collection of short stories were originally written as Christmas entertainments for a selected group of M R James' students and friends while he was teaching at both Eton and King's College, Cambridge.