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In Indonesia, Patrols Dressed Up as Ghosts Scare People Into Staying Indoors

by Eben Diskin Apr 15, 2020

Indonesia currently does not have a national lockdown keeping people inside their homes to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but the people of Kepuh, a village in Central Java, are taking matters into their own hands.

Instead of issuing fines to convince people to stay home, they have deployed a more extreme tactic: ghost patrols. The police, in collaboration with the village youth group, sent people dressed as pocongs (ghosts from Indonesian folklore) to scare people off the streets.

At first, the spooky tactic had the unintended effect of bringing curious people out, but organizers have since switched up their plan and instead do a surprise ghost patrol every few days, with village volunteers dressed in long white burial shrouds and their faces ghoulishly painted white and black, Reuters reported.

Pocong are meant to represent the souls of the dead, and are believed to jump out of graves in their burial shrouds to warn people that the soul needs to be released from the burial shroud.

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