Ghost Stories and Tall Tales of the American South

The Promise – Story Background


“The Promise” is similar to an old folktale from the British Isles involving two friends who make mutual promises to attend each others’ weddings. In these stories, the troublesome friend commits a crime and is hanged as punishment. So when he later returns from the dead to his friend’s wedding, he has a rope around his neck! From there the story is similar – until the point where the bridegroom returns from Heaven to a changed, modern world and visits the pastor. The pastor gives him food, and after eating it the bridegroom turns into a heap of ashes at his feet.

These stories are examples of tales told throughout the world of visitors from the afterlife who return to Earth to tempt the living to follow them into the next world. The general advice in all these stories is not to go until it’s your time!



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