"The Minister's Black Veil" Mr. Hooper is the minister of the town of Milford. One Sunday, Mr. Hooper decides to come to church wearing a black veil. He delivers his sermon while wearing the black veil even though his parishioners shy away from him and the veil adds an ominous touch to the service.

After church he goes to mingle with the congregation outside, while continuing to wear the veil, and people act like they don't know him, don't walk beside him, and forget to invite him out to lunches that are a traditional part of Sundays there. That afternoon Mr. Hooper oversees a funeral. He still hasn't taken off the veil, though it is a bit more appropriate in this setting to be wearing it. Then that evening he conducts a wedding with the veil still on, making it the gloomiest wedding of that time. The village people think he is losing his mind and want to talk to him and find out why his wearing the veil, but can't seem to get the courage to do it.

His wife also leaves him because he refuses to take off the veil. Mr. Hooper doesn't take off the veil as long as his lives, and even on his death bed refuses to take it off his earthly form Mr. Hooper teaches a very good lesson with this veil. Everybody has a "black veil" that they hide something behind. It is not until that things are put in the open for everybody to see that they start shunning you.

If you keep your secrets hidden inside you, people still associate with you because they don't try to look past what is on the surface, in case they might find something that they don't like or is out of the ordinary. I don't like that people are superficial enough to let something as small as a veil get in the way of how they feel about the minister, because the veil doesn't change who the minister is as a person. But society doesn't see it this way because we shun what is not ordinary. This story can be taken basically two ways, but both are valuable lessons.

Either that everybody has a secret hidden somewhere, but nobody wants to face them, or that you should look beyond the surface of things.