Did Ernest Kill Randy In ‘We Have A Ghost’? Does The Bulb Flicker Suggest A Potential Sequel For The Film?

“We Have a Ghost” offers a realistic take on how the present world would react to a ghost. A ghost doesn’t necessarily have to be scary and might just be a person who happens to be dead. The ghost, in this case, a man, is just like everyone else. Only he cannot speak. And he has the characteristics of a ghost, i.e., can fly, pass through surfaces, etc. Interestingly, many of us might just feel that this is how ghosts should be or are. Here’s more on our ghost, Ernest. Or is he really Ernest?


A family rushes out of the house, never to return, after they come across Ernest. This is what we see at the very beginning of “We Have a Ghost.” In this way, we are given the impression that a ghost is, at the end of the day, a ghost, i.e., scary. However, when Kevin and his family start living in that house and Kevin meets the ghost, we, too, through him, befriend the ghost. The ghost, later addressed by Kevin as Ernest, although that isn’t his real name (revealed even later), is alone and stuck, pretty much like Kevin, who is also alone and struggles to fit in wherever his family moves (he has lost count of the places). Perhaps Ernest tried to scare Kevin just like he scared the previous residents because he just wanted to be left alone. He wanted to live in that house because it was all he knew.

Also, as we later came to know, he was killed and buried in the house’s backyard. So maybe that is why he was bound to that place, or at least he thought he was. But that was until Kevin arrived. It is a simple but beautiful scene where Kevin introduces himself to Ernest (the name that’s on the ghost’s shirt). Ernest cannot speak, and he is unable to recall anything his past life. Kevin and Ernest become friends, but this secret doesn’t stay hidden for long. Kevin looks up ghosts and finds out that the reason Ernest does not remember anything is probably due to some kind of trauma he underwent when he was alive. And only Ernest himself will be able to bring his memory back for which he needs is some kind of visual stimulus. This is what he gets when he sees a little girl at the park, which brings back flashes of his little daughter June. Later, when Kevin finds out from his friend and neighbor Joy that Ernest Scheller is someone else who bought the house in 1965, they decide to find him. At Ernest’s house in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Kevin is told that Randy McGovern (the ghost’s real name) was married to Evelyn, the sister of Ernest’s wife, Ramona. Evelyn died in labor, and Randy apparently left his daughter June in the care of Ernest and Ramona and left, never to return.


After Ernest’s (aka Randy) video goes viral, he becomes a sensation and, bizarrely, a trend. From challenges to memes to fans to even ghost rights, “We Have a Ghost” shows how the world approaches any personality, any new thing, or any discovery today. If hashtags and trending on social media are what it takes for someone to be addressed as “famous,” Ernest certainly has become famous. And what’s more, Kevin’s father, Frank, tries and is even successful in making a lot of money from Ernest’s videos. This is one of the trending ways for artists and content creators to earn from YouTube. On the other hand, the CIA gets involved pretty soon, as they bring in Agent Leslie Monroe to capture Ernest. It’s just as we have seen in many other movies: humans experimenting on aliens and alien objects, basically things they do not understand. But this time, it’s a human. And what’s shocking is that when Leslie asks her boss, Schipley, what he is planning to do with Ernest, he tells her that they can do whatever they want because Ernest is dead. This is, we have to admit, what has become of us as a species. We claim the right over anything that is dead to us. Ultimately, it is Leslie herself who helps Ernest (Randy) flee from prison and return home.

It is in captivity that Randy remembers how he died. He was killed by Ernest the day he came to drop June off at Ernest’s home before going for his appointment (if what Ernest told Kevin is true) or some work. After that, Ernest buried Randy’s body in the backyard. So nobody knew where Randy went or how he disappeared. And it has been so for the last 50 years. As Kevin had found out about Ernest, the latter realized that his secret was in danger, so he decided to kill him. He holds Kevin at gunpoint as he reveals to Frank (Kevin’s father) and Fulton (Kevin’s elder brother) that it was Ramona’s idea to kill Randy. She could never conceive and saw Evelyn’s death as a sign from above. We can easily admit that there are films where we have seen this kind of obsession born out of the craving for a child or the need to be a mother.


We cannot ignore the fact that it was due to Randy that Kevin and his father came closer. It was Randy and his good-natured self that Kevin was trying to protect, and this made Frank realize that he always did what he thought was right for his family, including using Randy to make money. Frank was in the wrong, and by admitting this to his son [when Randy was in a CIA cell], he filled the vacuum of misunderstanding between them. Before Ernest could harm anyone, Randy arrived and took him down. But it is Frank who pushes him off the attic through the glass wall, and he falls to his death. Although we had no idea where Randy’s daughter June was throughout the film, we finally see her at the end of the film. She is past 50 (considering she was born sometime around 1965) and gives her father the final see-off. Then, Randy gets closer and moves on to the other plane. Or does he?

At the very end of the film, as Kevin’s family is about to shift to another place (5 miles from this house), Kevin asks Joy if Randy can still see them—a question that all of us ask ourselves when a loved one passes away. Can they see us? Can they hear us? Do they know we miss them? In this way, “We Have a Ghost” begins on a micro level [Kevin trying to help Randy find closure], then goes to a macro level [giving us a take on the present society and how it reacts or would react to a ghost], and then returns to the micro level [Kevin yearning to know if Randy can still see him]. What’s sweet is that as Randy was passing on, Kevin bid him goodbye while addressing him as “Ernest” and not “Randy.” This is because Kevin always knew him as Ernest, his friend.


“We Have a Ghost” ends on a cliffhanger as we see a bulb in the attic flickering after Kevin and his family leave the house. This tells us that Ernest might still be connected to our realm and the house. Maybe Kevin will see him again, or at least Randy will see Kevin. That would be enough, wouldn’t it?

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Shubhabrata Dutta
Shubhabrata Dutta
Shubhabrata’s greatest regret is the fact that he won’t be able to watch every movie and show ever made. And when he isn’t watching a movie or a show, he is busy thinking about them and how they are made; all while taking care of his hobbies. These include the usual suspects i.e. songs, long walks, books and PC games.

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