`Police in northern China have detained three men for the deaths of two women whose corpses were to be sold as “ghost brides” to accompany dead men in the afterlife, state media said.
Authorities indicated that the killings last year were not isolated cases, the Legal Daily newspaper said on its Web site, but it did not give any details.
Yang Dongyan, 35, a farmer from Shaanxi province, said he had bought a young woman for $1,600 and planned to sell her as a bride, according to the paper.
But then he met Liu Shenghai, who told him that the woman could command a higher price as a “ghost bride,” it said. The tradition, called “minghun” or afterlife marriage, is common in the Loess Plateau region of northern China, where a recently deceased woman is buried with a bachelor to keep him company after his death.’