The man looks ahead down the path and points out a woman who Goodman Brown identifies as one of his spiritual advisers, Goody Cloyse. Goodman Brown is confused as to why she is wandering in the woods so late at night, and he tells the man that he would like to take a shortcut so that she would not see the two of them together. As he begins to do so, he watches as the man walks right up to Goody Cloyse with his staff, touches her neck with it, and converses with her after she calls out to the devil. Goody Cloyse, who notices that the devil looks like Goodman Brown’s grandfather, tells him that her that the disappearance of her broomstick has driven her to walk to that night’s meeting. She asks the devil to escort her there now that they have run into each other, but he instead gives her his staff and she vanishes into the night.
Goodman Brown, appalled by what he had seen, continues to walk along with the devil. The devil finds a maple branch to serve as a new staff, and the leaves on it wither as soon as he touches it. Eventually, Goodman Brown refuses to walk any further and cites his devotion to Faith as his reason for rejecting his evil companion. The devil, certain that Goodman Brown will change his mind, leaves his staff with him before disappearing into the darkness. Goodman Brown feel satisfied and looks forward to returning home to Faith’s open arms, but his sense of triumph evaporates as he hears horses coming down the path. From his hiding spot, Goodman Brown hears the voices of the minister and Deacon Gookin discussing the importance of that night’s meeting. Once again, Goodman Brown is stunned that holy men from his community would participate in such an evil venture but insists that, with his devotion to Faith, he will resist the pull of the devil.
As Goodman Brown begins to pray, he hears a cacophony of voices as a dark cloud sweeps through the sky. He listens more intently and identifies the familiar sounds of people from Salem Village, along with one distinct female voice grieving and begging for help. Fearing that the woman’s voice is Faith, he hears a scream give way to a blend of fading voices and watches as a pink ribbon falls from the sky. Goodman Brown, convinced that even Faith herself has turned to the devil, becomes so overcome with despair that he grabs the devil’s staff and begins to fly through the forest. He laughs at the haunting voices and sounds emerging from the dark forest, although, in reality, he has become the true horror of the forest.