Renewed interest in an ancient practice known as 'ghost marriages' has spawned a rise in grave robbing in a rural area of China.
The ritual, which was highly popular in the 10th century, centers around the belief that it is bad luck for unmarried men to be buried alone.
In order to combat this concern, surviving relatives would procure a 'corpse bride' to be buried alongside their departed family member.
Although banned in 1949, 'ghost marriages' were still practiced using artificial proxies for the 'corpse bride' made out of dough or paper.
Incredibly, some companies even offered to match deceased men with recently depearted women in order to facilitate 'authentic ghost marriages.'
But it appears that residents of the Shanxi province are now taking matters into their own hands as a reported three dozen female bodies have been stolen from their graves in the area over the last three years.
The spate of thefts are likely fueled by both the relatively light punishment for the crime coupled with the high price a 'corpse bride' can earn for an industrious grave robber.
Since the pilfered bodies are quickly buried alongside their new 'husbands,' catching perpetrators have proven to be a difficult take for authorities.
And, really, who wants to be the one to break up a wedding, even if it is for a 'ghost marriage?'