Four men in China have been sent to prison this week for setting up ghost marriages. The men were accused of digging up corpses and selling them to families of deceased bachelors. The old tradition involves reburying an unmarried corpse next to another unmarried corpse so that the two won't be forever alone in the after world.
The Yanchuan County Court sentenced each of the men to prison terms. Pang, Bai, He, and Zhang all got more than two years for their crimes. The men were accused of robbing ten corpses from local cemeteries, changing medical records, and selling them on the black market for nearly $40,000.
Mao Zedong, first Chairman of the Communist Party of China, tried to outlaw ghost marriages in 1949 when he assumed control of the country. The strange custom has been going on for thousands of years. Although rare, it is still practiced in China and other countries today.
In modern times, some families choose to bury statues or dummies with their loved ones.
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