Islanders use ‘ghosts’ for pandemic lock down


The Tuk Songo village in the Purworejo regency of Central Java has recently gone viral on social media for employing two men who dressed up as pocong to guard the kampung’s main entrance, after a self-imposed isolation to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus was put in place. Photo: Istimewa

MYSTERY WIRE — With much of the world on lock down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, different countries are taking different approaches to keep people inside. In much of the U.S., people are under ‘stay-at-home’ directives, which are mostly locally controlled but no punishable by law.

Some areas of the world have used the military or police forces to keep people inside. But in Indonesia, one island has taken quiet a different approach. The Indonesian village Tuk Songo on the island of Java has two people each night dressed as ‘ghosts’ patrolling the area.

Coast to Coast recently reported, two individuals sit at the main entrance to the village dressed as ‘pocongs,’ which are infamous spirits in the Indonesian culture that are said to be undead entities clad head to toe in a burial wrap. You can see these ‘ghosts’ at work to keep people away in a television news clip shared on YouTube.

It tuns out that these ‘ghosts’ are much more than just a scary presence. According to the pocong is more or less the Indonesian zombie, wrapped up from head to toe with white cloth as is customary in Islamic burial rites. With their lack of limb mobility, they hop around from place to place.

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