Four Funerals and a Wedding: Chinese Police Crackdown On “Ghost Weddings”

Divorce-Cakes-7It appears that something borrowed and something blue is often the same item in some marriages in China. Chinese police are dealing with a rather novel crime: people digging up corpses to be buried with dead bachelors. They are called “ghost marriages” and four men have been arrested in this bizarre criminal enterprise.


This unique form of crime is based on ancient rituals reaching back to the 17th Century of matching dead girls with dead bachelors so that will not be “lonely” in the afterlife. A Yanchuan county court in Yan’an City sentenced the men — Pang, Bai, He and Zhang — for stealing 10 female corpses, cleaning them, and then counterfeiting their records before selling them for a total of £25,000. It turns out that that series of criminal acts will get you just 2 years in China. Of course, organizing peasants to protest land seizures or fighting polluting state enterprises will put you away for years.

Families actually conduct ritual ghost marriages with the corpses. The new found wealth in China has led to a resurgence of the practice. Some families have been known to sell their dead daughters for such marriages. In one case, a family dug up their dead daughter to sell her. A graverobber then dug her up again for a second ghost marriage — reportedly at a lower price for a used corpse.

The article below reports that less affluent families are using dough brides or worse items as substitutes.

Given the long opposition of the government (since Mao) to the practice, it is clear that there is a missing deterrent. China’s underdeveloped private tort system may be one such contributor.

Source: SCMP

Kudos: Professor Don Clarke

38 thoughts on “Four Funerals and a Wedding: Chinese Police Crackdown On “Ghost Weddings””

  1. Nick,

    If we continue to take partisan sides…. That’s exactly where we will end up…. Kinda like a 401(k)…. Just as valuable as the government allows it to be…. If the money is inflated it is worth more… It’s realistically the biggest Ponzi scheme going…. Legally that is….

  2. AY, That is my libertarian souls worst nightmare. Pols both left and right are increasingly declaring eminent domain on our bodies.

  3. OTOTOTOT Reply to GBK

    GBK, you seem to keep abreast of the copyright/trademark front. Good for you. It’s flying totally under the radar but is the new front in the corporatization of the justice/anti-terror industry. DHS and their subdivisions are now squarely in the thick of it having been given investigation and enforcement powers for all electronic fraud etc. The Secret Service, using their piece of that action had moved to take con troll of the Arron Schwartz case.

    Copyright and Trademarking is the new and, as it’s being practiced, perverse revenue stream for big-media and the troll industry. The corporate industries that have been working on 3D printing have begun copyrighting manufacturing concepts and what has been open-source programming/code writing schemes to freeze the independents out because now, $5,000 or less and a spare room allows a little guy to set up a manufacturing shop for niche markets. People have built their own printers for hundreds of dollars. What surprised me was how quickly the big guys jumped on the maker industry using copyright and trademark laws.

    There is a little movie titled “Branded” that is a twisted satire about the branding industry and it is a hoot. I recommend it highly along with “Antiviral”, the first movie by David Cronenberg’s son. (He’s going to do good things.) I saw them this last weekend. They are great ‘bookends’ for some of our most disturbing trends. Have a nice bottle of spiced rum (or whatever suits your fancy) on hand for “Branded”, it gets downright Yellow Submarine on your butt. Enjoy.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2099556/

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1368440/?ref_=sr_1

  4. M.S.Huiner, It was the subject of another TV show episode also, a Law and Order ep from a couple of years ago, wherein women were being murdered for the ritual. I get all of my ‘news’ and history from Law and Order episodes LOL.

  5. Let them dig up my fookin’ ashes. They’ll have enough residual Chinese food to marry a whole village.

  6. Nick,

    If you think you own your body…. It’s kind of like real estate…. You just have a better right to it til the government says else wise…..

    1. You are right. We are not our own. We are bought with a price. Jesus paid that price. God risked to be in the end in the devils jail had Jesus not done what God wanted him to do to the letter living in the body of Jesus.

  7. This practice was the basis for an episode of “Bones” called “The Boneless Bride in the River.”

    1. The people that fear do not have God in their soul making their soul alive. A dead soul will fear making more dead bodies. God in the soul removes fear knowing the soul will never die. The one that kills is the loser.

  8. gbk:

    Yep, a person never has peace, even after death, someone else always wants to take advantage.

    1. The souls that don’t have peace after death are the ones that refuse to give peace now. They are in the devils jail waiting for final judgment.

  9. Darren,

    As bizarre as Mormons baptizing the dead to build up their ranks, wouldn’t you say?

  10. People should not be arrested for doing this. They should be taught that the dead do not communicate with anyone and that the souls in Gods kingdom nether marry nether are they given in marriage. Joseph gave his two wives to Esau as part of a large gift to Esau. They will stop doing it when they know this.

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