Chinese Marry Off Dead Girls as Ghost Brides

Posted on June 21, 2009

Arranged marriages are nothing new, and in China, they even reach beyond the grave.

A grieving father and four accomplices have been arrested in China for digging up the corpse of a teenage girl to serve as a “ghost bride” for the man’s son, who died in a car crash.

Chinese Marry Off Dead Girls as Ghost Brides picture

The people arrested had dug up the body of a girl who poisoned herself after failing exams last year. The father had apparently paid upwards of $5,000 to the men who dug up the body for him.

Chinese Marry Off Dead Girls as Ghost Brides picture

Marriages after death are relatively common in rural China. In these occurrences, a ceremony is performed and the bodies buried together.

The long-outlawed practice survives today: last year, a gang in southern China was arrested for creating corpses for ghost marriages when female bodies ran short.

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Chinese Marry Off Dead Girls as Ghost Brides picture
Rachel is a writer and tutor living in Virginia. She loves learning about other cultures and thinks we’re all a little wacky.
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19 comments
Judie
Judie

Everything exists for a reason. The father found this stupid way to show his love to the dead son, to try his best to help him live in a better way and to compensate for the poor boy. The biggest mistake made by the father is to ignore the girl's feeling, to forget to protect nor respect the other poor girl.

Emma Marie
Emma Marie

O wow! How ignorant. Swine flu is in the North America which includes the UNITED STATES. If an American went to Asia they could be quarantined if they suspected that person has Swine Flu. So they are more scared of Americans bringing Swine Flu into Asia.

Kim M
Kim M

How sad that so many are so blind to the truth. Jesus saves people from sin to give us the ultimate after life in heaven w/ him. Once someone is dead they have no more connections to this earth. They are either in one of 2 places of their choosing.

Herzlos
Herzlos

A couple of the viewpoints expressed here show just how ignorant some people are to other cultures and their practises. Spirituality is a large part of Chinese culture...obviously to a Westerner, marrying off a dead son to a corpse bride might seem barbaric or strange, but to some Chinese, it is a VERY real necessity in order to make sure that their loved ones are happy in the next life. If you happen to live in a city with a large Asian population, try visiting one of the Asian markets. Many times, you will find a special aisle with items made just for the dead, such as paper suits, cardboard cell phones, imitation paper money and just about anything that a person might normally be using in daily life. These items are then purchased, and then placed on the loved one's grave and burned so that it may reach the spirit world. It is a representation of the things they will have in their next life and not to be taken literally. It reminds me very much of the western custom of bringing flowers to the graves of loved ones.

TooCrazii
TooCrazii

Reminds me of that army of stone soldiers made for that king in China. Ancient Chinese burial practices are a lot like that of ancient Egyptians--they believed in outfitting their dead with as many things as they had in the real life in order to live well in the afterlife. My only question is did anyone consult the parents of the dead bride. I know I would be pissed to read in the paper some strange men I never knew unearthed my daughter for a wedding I had no say in.

Lynn
Lynn

thats just sick nd sad. first of all, poising urself 4 a stupid exam is just plain dumb. Second, why the HELL does a dead guy need a bride, or a DEAD bride. He isn't gonna get married when he is DEAD. the two bodies r just going 2 rot 2gether, talk about rot in peace. No such thing. Chinease need 2 open up 2 the real world, not thier messed up, swisted one... whatever. Who is gonna get them married!!?? probably got the swine flu!! :D

justme
justme

suicide rates are higher in the west then in Asia though usually not for the same reasons. as for opening up to the real world? open your eyes they aren' tthe only ones believing in superstitious non-sense. all the Christians, Muslims, Jews and all the other crap they have in the west and middle east is just as stupid.

QueenBee
QueenBee

it's creepy, do they have the bodies dressed up in those costumes in the pictures? I guess it would be rly disgusting with the regular bodies.

pacat
pacat

P.S. Taking poison because you fail an exam is still terrible. No culture should be that intense

Jay
Jay

The father just want a happy after life for his daughter. So she can have everything she would have if she live a full life.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Actually, the father was digging up a dead bride for his dead SON. i don't think he really cared about the girl.

pacat
pacat

That is good,but, Why dig up the body? Make a list of single dead people then when when single person dies,bury THAT person next to the already buried body.

QueenBee
QueenBee

because they aren't "married" yet.

pacat
pacat

the saddest part of the story is that the girl died because she had failed her exams. NO child should have that much pressure on them.Too,Too sad.

Loudog
Loudog

Those things remind me of the Japanese movie, Kakashi.

pacat
pacat

GEEEEEZZZZZ !!! And they considered people from the west barbarians? Reminds me of when medical doctors had to pay to have corpses dug up.

elijah
elijah

you are an idiot.