Ghost Expelling Ghost

In Tongcheng(桐城), there was a scholar named Zuo(左秀才) whose relationship with his wife, Zhang,(張氏) was exceptionally close. When Zhang fell ill and passed away, Zuo couldn’t bear to be separated from her. He spent every night sleeping beside her coffin. On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, his family held a ceremony for the deceased, everyone praying and making offerings outside, leaving Zuo alone to read beside Zhang’s coffin.

Suddenly, a chilling wind arose, and a ghost, disheveled with blood dripping and dragging a rope, approached Zuo menacingly. Panicked, Zuo pounded the coffin and cried, ‘Sister, save me!’ Astonishingly, his wife immediately lifted the coffin lid, scolding, ‘How dare you, evil ghost, harm my husband!’ She waved her arms, striking the ghost, who fled in a hurry.

His wife said to him, ‘You are too foolish, too engrossed in love, to reach this extent! Because of your meager blessings, evil spirits dared to intrude. It’s better for us to depart together and be reborn as a couple, growing old together.’ Zuo readily agreed, and Zhang lay back inside the coffin. When Zuo called his family to witness, they found several nails on the coffin lid broken, and half of his wife’s skirt trapped in the coffin’s seam.

Less than a year later, Zuo also passed away.

Translated from《鬼逐鬼》in 《子不語》:


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