Three held in China for digging up corpse bride

Three people have been arrested in the Shanxi Province of China for digging up the body of a recently deceased young woman.

The 'ghost marriage' ritual is illegal in China

The 'ghost marriage' ritual is illegal in China Image by hydropeak

Pretending to be relatives of the deceased woman, the three robbers had arranged to sell the body to a family in a nearby village whose son had recently died, for 25,000 yuan, or $3,900. A Chinese belief holds that the death of an unmarried young man brings bad luck to his family.

The belief has prompted several cases of 'netherworld' marriages, where corpses of unmarried people are dug up and placed together to be married in the after life. There have been arrests in the past as the practice is illegal, with one high-profile case in 2013 bringing the phenomenon to global attention when three men were arrested for murdering a young pregnant woman in order to sell her highly profitable corpse.

The robbers were caught by local villagers while preparing to dig up the woman's body.

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