A family in China has sold the corpse of their deceased adult daughter as a ‘ghost bride’ after digging it from her tomb, reported local media.
The body of Kang Cuicui, who died 12 years ago, was sold for £9,200 and ‘married’ to a deceased man as an ancient betrothal ritual in northern China’s Hebei Province.
The custom of Yin Hun, or ‘ghost marriages’, has been practised in China for thousands of years by believers who claim it ensures the unmarried dead are not alone in the afterlife and brings good luck to the future generations.
The body of Kang Cuicui, who died 12 years ago, was sold for £9,200 and ‘married’ to a deceased man as an ancient betrothal ritual in northern China’s Hebei Province. The photo shows the empty tomb after Ms Kang’s family dug up the grave and sold her dead body
Speaking to the local media and Mr Li’s family, Ms Kang’s mother (pictured centre) said she was angered after Mr Li’s family had moved their family graves without her daughter’s
WHAT ARE ‘GHOST BRIDES’?
Ghost brides are female corpses being wed to deceased men in a ceremony known as ‘ghost marriages’.
Known as Yin Hun or Ming Hun, the ancient Chinese tradition is thought to bring peace to the dead in the afterlife and ward off evil spirits.
The wedding ceremony will typically involve the funeral plaque of the bride and the groom and a banquet.
The most important part is burying the bodies of the bride inside the groom’s grave.
The incident was brought to light in a Thursday report by state newspaper Orient Today to investigate the tradition that is still conducted by villagers in Huanghua, Cangzhou.
Ms Kang killed herself in 2008 after having an argument with her husband, Li Zhong.
Mr Li and his family spent 100,000 yuan (£11,572) on throwing a grand funeral for his deceased wife before burying her in a tomb with gold jewellery.
When visiting Ms Kang’s grave on November 14, they were shocked to find the tomb had been altered while the woman’s dead body and buried goods had been stolen.
Mr Li’s family immediately contacted local police. The officers later discovered that it was Ms Kang’s family who had dug up their daughter’s grave.
The woman’s parents then sold her dead body for 80,000 yuan (£9,265) as a ‘ghost bride’ to another family whose unmarried son had died in a car crash.
The two families held the ceremony on November 23 by burying the two dead bodies together.
The authorities later rejected Mr Li’s request to investigate the case with reasons unspecified by the report.
A local match-maker who specialises in ‘ghost marriages’ told reporters that women who died young without having any children, like Ms Kang, were ‘popular in the market’. The stock photo released by Orient Today shows a ghost wedding taking place at an unknown location in China
Speaking to the local media, Ms Kang’s mother said she was angered after Mr Li’s family had moved their family graves without her daughter’s.
‘You moved your family graves and left my daughter’s grave there,’ the parent said. ‘If I can’t move her grave, I have to get her out of there. I can’t let her be a lonely ghost in the wild.’
A local match-maker who specialises in ‘ghost marriages’ told reporters that women who died young without having any children, like Ms Kang, were ‘popular in the market’.
Li Zhenwang, who works as a ‘wedding officiator’ in a village, said that locals spent a great deal of efforts on arranging such ceremonies for their deceased loved ones.
‘It’s like marrying a wife. Once [the dead body] is here, we would put it in a red coffin with a red flower,’ Mr Li added.
According to the report, there was a street in Cangzhou packed with agencies which help villagers to throw the underworld weddings.
Ghost marriage is a ancient tradition in China with thousands of years of history (stock photo)
An anonymous agent told the paper that villagers believe a ‘solo grave’, which buries an unmarried, deceased man, would bring bad luck to the future generations.
The custom of ghost marriage is a superstitious tradition in China with thousands of years of history.
Generally, a marriage ceremony is performed between two recently deceased individuals but there have also been cases of weddings between a living and a dead person.
The family organising the marriage is generally considered wealthy or of high social standing.
In the case of two dead people, the bodies would be buried together after the ceremony.
Although the custom has largely disappeared in China today, there are still sporadic reports of ghost marriages taking place. The file photo shows a traditional funeral service in China
Although the custom has largely disappeared in modern-day China, there are still sporadic reports of ghost marriages taking place.
In 2015, three men were arrested in Shanxi Province for trying to sell a female corpse as a ghost bride after stealing it.
In 2014, three men were convicted of robbing a grave for the female corpse. They received jail terms of between six months and a year and were fined.
The phenomenon has also been recorded outside of China.
South Korean actress Jeong Da Bin was reportedly wed in 2011 in an underworld marriage four years after she committed suicide.