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A Missing Bride
This is a strange but true story. The two criminals were never caught.
By Sam Chen Posted in Strange Stories on 01/16/2019 14 Comments 3 min read
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A Missing Bride

This is a strange but true story.

In Wuxiu County, Henan Province, China, a family married their daughter in February, in the year 714. The father asked his son to escort his older sister to her husband’s house. According to local customs, relatives, friends, and neighbors would stop marriage carriages on their way and ask for money. The people thought it would bring them good luck, but in the end, this act became a de facto robbery.

In order to avoid this robbery, the father took his donkey and borrowed a fast horse and asked his son and daughter to set off at dusk so they wouldn’t be seen by the local people. The daughter rode the horse, and the brother rode the donkey. They traveled together, shoulder to shoulder.

They were not far out of the village when two men suddenly darted forth from behind some tall grass by the road. The two men jumped onto the horse’s back behind the young woman. One man held onto the reigns, and the other one smacked the horse’s side to make it go faster.

The horse was frightened after being hit, and ran as fast as it could.

The brother couldn’t catch up to the horse on his donkey, and soon fell behind. He went back to the village and reported the kidnapping to his father. The father panicked. He and his relatives spent all night looking for his daughter, but found nothing.

There was a village 15 kilometers away from the bride’s home, and in that village, there was a school. It had night classes, and the roads were very bad, so many students spent the night at the school. It was dark before dawn the following day. A student got up early, opened the school’s gate, and found a woman lying outside, all naked, her private parts covered with blood.

The student called to her, the women just opened her mouth, unable to say anything. Her tongue was cut off. The student rushed back to report to his teacher. The teacher came out and looked at the bloody bride. Then the teacher gathered all his students together, saying “I heard Confucius say that there are stone monsters, water monsters, and soil monsters in this world. We are very close to the Taihang Mountains. I believe she is a monster from it. Let’s stone her away.” The teacher thought that was the wisest thing he ever said.

So the teacher and his students threw stones at the bride. The tongueless girl couldn’t explain for herself, and so she was stoned to death.

After the sun rose and the sky grew brighter, they found it was not a monster, but a pretty girl. It was too late!

Her father came all the way to the village with other family members and found that his daughter had died tragically. Everyone cried their eyes out. The father took the teacher and his students to see the county judge. The case was clear cut. The judge reported the case to his superior. After a short while the superior sentenced the stupid teacher and his students to lashes. Three of them were lashed to death.

The two criminals were never caught.

A Missing Bride China strange but true stories Strange Chinese Stories strange stories that really happened Tang dynasty True Story

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  1. That is an unbelievable sad story, the two bad people were never caught, nowadays I think they have more technology to get them. Now as a teacher, you should be wiser than that, no? That makes it even more tragic, the girl was still alive and probably she would have survived if it wasn’t for him. 

    I don’t know if a death penalty is a good sentence, but they are punished. 

    I feel sad for the father and the family for her. 

    1. Hey, Emmanuel! You are right, the sad thing about this story is that it is a true one.

  2. Good heavens.  That is such a tragic, tragic story all round.  For everyone.  Except the thieves.  

    Is there no lightening follow-up to the story at all?  Nothing else is written to say something nice that happened after such a story?  Like the murderers finding their due justice somehow?

    Such a very sad tale.  Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hey, Cath! Thank you for your comment! It is a true story. Unfortunately, those two criminals were never caught and punished for their crime.

  3. What a tragic story, the teacher was so stupid and unwise to at least wait till dawn in order to report the case to the appropriate authorities. I feel so sorry for the family and the husband. I think in our present world technology could have help in detecting the murderer. So pathetic. 

  4. Hi Sam – thanks for sharing this spooky article! So, she wasn’t actually murdered by the robbers, but by the teacher and the students. What an unfortunate ending! Are there many Chinese mysteries like this? I will have to bookmark your site to read more of them. All the best, Diane

    1. Hey, Diane. You know, China has a long history, so I believe there are many mysteries like this. Thank you for your bookmark! All the best to you too!

  5. Hi Sam – that was a rater interesting and somewhat unusual story, was it really based on a true story?  I’m a little confused though.  If the missing bride was still alive outside of the school’s gate, then why does it say the two murderers were never caught?  

    Thank you for sharing this story.


    1. Hello, Michele! It is a true story!

      What I meant to say is “the two criminals.” My thinking before was that if you attempt to kill someone, you are a murderer. According to the Cambridge dictionary, it’s about the intention. I think it’s an interesting discussion: if you attempt to murder someone, are you a murderer? However, I see that this causes confusion, and I’ll be happy to change it.

  6. This is a very sad story! I have studied Chinese history, and taught English in China many years ago. I loved reading what my students wrote, about many things. It seems that there are so many old Chinese stories, especially since China has such a long history and many people. How are these stories typically passed down? 

    1. Hey, Danette, thank you for your comment! 

      You are right. We have such a long history, such a large population, and so many amazing old Chinese stories. Now China is in a period of rapid development, and everyone’s pace of life is very fast. Few people can settle down to read and collect these stories. Even if someone does the job, their English is not good enough to introduce these stories to readers in the English world. 

      Right now I’m trying my best to find these interesting stories, translate them, and rewrite them, so readers from all over the world can enjoy them. Stay tuned for more stories!

  7. What a story! 

    It just reminds me that in this world never can be even one-day of peace. Every day something bad is happening. 

    Its been a while since I stopped watching the news. Apart from killings, wars and other negative stuff, there is nothing that will start your day positively … nobody want to show how many babies were born or how many schools are opened in countries like India or Afrika. 

    I am more than sure the 7th century had a lot of similar true stories, therefore all of us should realize how bad was it and we should try to change this world a bit and learn from it. 

    Thank you for sharing this post!