In Dongcheng there lived a married couple by the names of Zuo and Zhang. They were blissfully happy and deeply in love, but one day disaster struck. The young wife, Zhang, suddenly became extremely sick and died. Zuo sorely grieved the loss of his wife and maintained a constant vigil both day and night alongside the coffin.
The Ghost Festival, July fifteenth, arrived, and while the rest of the family were in the main hall performing the usual ritual offerings to the ghosts of their ancestors, young Zuo stayed alongside his wife's coffin, reading. Suddenly he felt an eerie, chill wind blow past. Looking up, he saw a gruesome ghostly vision rushing towards him.
He could see in an instant that it was the ghost of a woman who had hanged herself, because a rope dangled to the ground from her throat. Her hair was matted and all her orifices oozed blood.
Confronted with such a sight, young Zuo panicked and banged on the coffin, screaming to his wife's corpse: "Help me, help me, my darling, please save me!"
The young wife then sat up in her coffin and said to the ghost in a rather impatient tone, "Miserable demon, how dare you attack my husband! Have you no manners at all?!"
She then raised her arm and beat the unsuspecting ghost several times. Only then did it stagger off in retreat.
Zuo's wife then turned her attention to him. "You really are crazy. I know we loved each other but this is taking it too far. I was simply not destined to live long, and your prospects don't look that good either. By taking this devotion nonsense to such an extreme you've invited harassment from that evil ghost.
"Why don't you join me here so that we can be reincarnated as a couple who are destined to live together right through old age?"
Young Zuo thought this sounded like a good idea and gave his assent. His wife then lay back in her coffin and closed the lid.