The newly deceased bodies of young women in rural China are in increasing demand for superstitious families to use as, “ghost brides” for sons who died before marrying, to prevent the unmarried dead from haunting the family.
The 2,000 year old practice of spirit brides is becoming more difficult to sustain in a modern twenty-first century China, with its one-child policy, which leads to a shortage of women both dead and alive.
The acute shortage of young female corpses for ghost brides was highlighted by the recent arrests of five men from the Sha’anxi province, who were caught digging up the grave of a teenage girl who committed suicide, after failing her university entrance exams.
A grieving father, who lost his son to an unexpected automobile accident, paid several men thousands of dollars for a ghost bride for his unmarried son. The father had planned to have a spirit marriage ceremony, joining together his dead son and the female corpse in marriage, so that his son would have a mate in the afterlife.
The female ghost bride would then be buried in the same grave with the deceased son, a bachelor in life but not in death.
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