HOW MUCH IS HUMAN LIFE WORTH IN CHINA?
On January 4, 2007, three men in China were arrested and detained for killing two women so they could sell their corpses as ghost brides for recently deceased single men.
According to the meltedpotsg.blogspot.com, this ancient supersition and custom is known as Minghun and dates back to before the Han Dynasty. For some reason, when young men die in the Loess Plaeau region of northern China, the locals believe that they should go to their graves accompanied by recently deceased females (ghost brides), no matter how the deceased females died. Whether the women were murdered or died naturally is of no consequence. According to this ancient superstition, the unmarried dead will often haunt the living in dreams and can ruin the prosperity of future generations unless their ghosts are wed with ghost brides.
According to Wilkepedia, Minghum is a custom and superstition of rural China, but is officially outlawed in modern day China but persists among traditional communities. The custom is particularly prevalent in the Loss Pleau Northern China, in an impoverished rural area southwest of Beijing. The women were victims of an old belief still alive in China, that young men who die unmarried should go to their graves accompanied by deceased women who will be their ghost brides in the afterlife. Often these women die natural deaths, but even more often they are murdered.
A man by the name of Yang Donghai, a 35-year-old farmer in China’s Shaanxi province, has confessed to killing a woman he bought from a poor family for 12,000 yuan (approximately $1545.00 United States Dollars). Yang said he was “tricked” into buying the girl, who was mentally handicapped and unable to care for herself.
At that time, realizing she was not marriage material for himself, Yang hatched a plan to recover his losses with Liu Shengha by using the woman as a ghost bride. “Who want a living person?” he told Yang. “A dead woman’s body still gets a great price in Shanxi as a ghost bride.”
The two men went to Shanxi to find a buyer for a ghost bride, making contact with Li Longsheng, an undertaker whom police said was known for buying and selling dead women for “ghost weddings”. They subsequently poisoned and then strangled the girl. Her corpse was then sold for 16,000 yuan (a profit of approximately three thousand U.S. Dollars). Since their first escape was successful and emboldened by their success, Yang and two accomplices lured a prostitute to an abandoned courtyard where they strangled her and sold her to Li for 8,000 yuan (about 1,5000 U.S. Dollars) to be used as a ghost bride.
According to Fortreamtimes.com, Yang has also stated that he planned to kill more woman as ghost brides to supplement his income. “I did it for the money; it was a quick buck,” Yang said. “If I hadn’t slipped up early, I planned to do a kill a few more to supplement my income.”
Zhang Zhangyan, the Yan Chuan county police officer, has stated that he believes these men would have murdered many more women because they found a get rich quick scheme in the ghost bride profession.
Even when the Communist Party of China took control in 1949, customs such as these were sought to be eliminated. But, to this date, many ancient superstitions persist. In China, there are many get rich schemes and a practice such as this is not rare.
Police in Yanan, the poor and dusty corner of Shaanxi where Chairman Mao Zedong nurtured his Communist revolution, said the dark trade went beyond these cases.
“The actual number is far from just these,” the paper said. “Who knows how many women have been killed for ghost brides and who knows how long this practice will continue?