Women being murdered and sold as ‘ghost brides’

// 31 January 2007

A gang has been buying women from their families, supposedly to sell them as ‘wives’, only to kill them because they are worth more as ‘ghost brides’.

Singapore’s Electric New Paper reports that Yang Donghai and two other men have been arrested, after police caught them killing women and selling the corpses to families looking for a bride for their dead single men.

In certain parts of China, it is believed that young men who die unmarried should go to their graves accompanied by women who will be their dead wives in the afterlife. Often, these women die natural deaths.

Yang has confessed to one murder:

WHEN farmer Yang Donghai approached a poor family asking to ‘buy’ their mentally-handicapped daughter for an arranged marriage, they agreed, thinking she would have a better life….

He had initially intended to sell her into a marriage as promised.

Then he ran into Liu at a guesthouse in Yanchuan county, where the latter offered him RMB10,200 for the girl’s corpse.

Yang refused, but changed his mind when Liu said that the woman would be worth much more dead than alive.

Two days later, they poisoned then strangled the woman.

The next day, they took her body by taxi and sold her corpse to Li Longsheng, an undertaker who police said specialised in buying and selling dead women for ‘ghost weddings’.

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