The Gaze of the Spectral Setting in the 1968 BBC Adaptation of M. R. James’s “Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad”

Avant: Journal of Philosophical-Interdisciplinary Vanguard. 2017;8(2):121-132 DOI 10.26913/80202017.0112.0009


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Avant: Journal of Philosophical-Interdisciplinary Vanguard

ISSN: 2082-7598 (Print); 2082-6710 (Online)

Publisher: Centre for Philosophical Research

LCC Subject Category: Medicine: Internal medicine: Neurosciences. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry | Philosophy. Psychology. Religion: Philosophy (General)

Country of publisher: Poland

Language of fulltext: English, Polish

Full-text formats available: PDF



Anne Keithline

Jacek Mydla


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 8 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

This article is a study devoted to the BBC adaptation of a ghost story by Montague Rhodes James, “Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad.” The ideas of the spectral gaze and sympathetic spectreship are used to submit that in the film the setting itself is the spectre, with which/whom the viewer is invited to identify. This rearrangement—in comparison with the situation in the original story—casts the spectral setting both in the role of the haunting presence and the victim of an otherworldly (human) intrusion. A detailed analysis of the use of the camera supports the argument.