“Girl with the Green Ribbon”
Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Camrey Charlesworth is a 21-year-old woman living in Kearns, UT with her parents. She attends Salt Lake Community College and intends to transfer to Utah State University to pursue art. She loves to paint, sketch in charcoal, and complete art commissions. She is also an avid consumer of horror films and books and enjoys exchanging stories about supernatural phenomenon.
When Camrey and I were younger, about seven or eight, we would play Barbies in her unfinished basement for hours. Our moms, who are close in age and had a similar work schedule would typically be upstairs talking in the kitchen while we played. In order to get us to stop playing so we could go home, my mom would tell a scary story about the unfinished basement to frighten us. Camrey eventually came to believe that her house was haunted, and would tell the story of “The Girl with the Green Ribbon,” a legend originally told to her by her own mom, Jenny. The story has been passed down from an older cousin to a younger cousin and is now a popular “scary story” in our family, whether or not Jenny made the story up or heard it elsewhere.
Well the story basically goes that there was this beautiful young girl who moved to this town. When she went to school, everyone made fun of her and the large, green ribbon around her neck. I’m trying to remember… Okay, wait. Yeah [laughs] so she’s playing on the swings at school one day and this little boy comes up to her and says, “Why do you have a ribbon around your neck?” And she goes, “Someday I’ll show you.” So eventually the girl and the boy are in high school and they’re dating. The prom is coming up and the girl is so excited and like, gets this really beautiful green dress to match the ribbon. The boy is just so entranced by her beauty, and while they’re dancing he says, “I love you so much, but you’ve never told me why you wear that green ribbon around your neck.” You know, he is just desperate to figure it out, and the girl says, “Someday I’ll show you.” So fast forward, they’re getting married. They’re walking down the aisle after they just said their vows… Wait, okay there’s another version where it just goes to where they are old… Never mind. So they’re walking down the aisle and the boy says, “I’m your husband now, why won’t you tell me why you wear that ribbon around your neck?” And you know, of course she says, “Someday I’ll show you.” So the years go by and they have this great life together, and the girl becomes sick and she’s about to die, so they’re in the hospital and the boy looks at her and says, “I’ve spent my whole life with you and I don’t know why you wear that green ribbon around your neck.” The girl just says, “I told you that I’d show you someday.” So she takes off the ribbon and HER HEAD FALLS OFF HER BODY AND ROLLS INTO THE BOY’S LAP.
Camrey and I used to recite this story over and over, both to each other and other family members. We laughed when we realized we’d forgotten so many details and Camrey’s storytelling ability had taken a hit. The interview was comfortable and casual, even though we hadn’t seen each other in over a year due to busy work schedules, school, etc… It was strange to go back to a time when we were just little girls, terrified by this story that we now find so ridiculous. The interview took place in Camrey’s home in Kearns in the living room that we’d relocate to when the basement was too scary to play in.
Semester and year
G7: Horror Stories
Rivera, Josephine, "“Girl with the Green Ribbon”" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 311.