Ghosts Stalk This Village As Night Falls

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Indonesia: Kepuh village in Indonesia is being haunted by ghosts recently. Mysterious white figures jump out of nowhere at unsuspecting passers-by and then disappear under a full-moon sky, reported Reuters. Villagers run to their homes in frights when the ghosts appear.

This is a supernatural strategy applied by the authorities on Java island. They have deployed a cast of “ghosts” to patrol the streets, hoping that age-old superstition will keep people indoors and safely away from the coronavirus, the agency further reported.

“We wanted to be different and create a deterrent effect because ‘pocong’ are spooky and scary,” said Anjar Pancaningtyas, head of a village youth group that coordinated with the police on the unconventional initiative to promote social distancing as coronavirus spreads. 

Known as “pocong” (the ‘c’ spoken with a ‘ch’ sound), the ghostly figures are typically wrapped in white shrouds with powdered faces and kohl-rimmed eyes. In Indonesian folklore, they represent the trapped souls of the dead.

But when they first started appearing this month they had the opposite effect. Instead of keeping people in, they bought them out to catch a glimpse of the apparitions.

The organisers have since changed tack, launching surprise pocong patrols, with village volunteers playing the part of the ghosts, reported Reuters.

President Joko Widodo has resisted a national lockdownto curb the coronavirus even though the country has the highest rate of coronavirus deaths in Asia after China. Some communities, such as Kepuh village, have decided to take measures into their own hands, imposing the ghostly patrols, lockdowns and restricting movement in and out of their village.

“Residents still lack awareness about how to curb the spread of Covid-19 disease,” said village head Priyadi, “They want to live like normal so it is very difficult for them to follow the instruction to stay at home.”

 

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