Folk Beliefs
Myths
Narrative

The Virgin Ghost

Whenever an unmarried woman dies, her spirit is cursed to become a “virgin ghost.” She is forced to roam around, instead of having passage to heaven or having a peaceful afterlife. This ghost is cursed, as no one loves her in the after-life and her appearance also frightens the living.

This story was told to my informant by her friend. They both believed as teenagers that they needed to get married, as they did not want to be cursed as a ghost. She now believes that this was told to encourage young women to get married.  Korean culture wants their offspring to get married as soon as possible. This is due to the fact that in the olden days Koreans considered unmarried bachelors to still be children. My informant also stated that this myth is quite prevalent in Korean television shows that deal with horror aspects.

This is quite interesting as the Korean culture values so much that they are willing to frighten young women in to getting married. What this folklore basically states to Korean women is that, if you didn’t get married you were not wanted, thus in the afterlife you are cursed to frighten people and roam around. Interestingly females ghosts are also prevalent in Asian folklore as menacing creatures, my informant could not give me a reason why to this. It does make sense to me that a “Virgin Ghost” would be lonely in the afterlife as her appearance is frightening. However my informant stated that if the “Virgin Ghost” meets a “ghost spouse,” the spirit will be free to have a peaceful afterlife.

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