Three men have been accused of killing two disabled women and selling their corpses as ‘ghost brides’ for dead bachelors.

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One of the suspects is alleged to have posed as a matchmaker for the women giving him the opportunity to kill them by injecting them with a lethal substance before taking hundreds of miles away for their shocking burial.

The suspects identified as Ma, Tang and An, are reported to have sold one of the women’s corpses for 35,000 yuan (£3,980).

The suspects who hail from China’s north-west Gansu province were stopped by the police on their way to Shaanxi for another ghost burial with one of the corpses.

Ma confessed to the police that they had told one of their victims that they would be helping her find a groom before they injected her with powerful sedatives which killed her.

Ma also faces murder charges for the murder of another woman in February. He now faces murder charges while his accomplices face charges of human trafficking and accessory to murder after the fact.

The reports reveal that “Ghost weddings” date back almost 3,000 years, and usually involve the burial of elderly bachelors with the brides when they die.

Most families in rural China have come to consider it bad luck for a single man to pass into the afterlife without a female companion.

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Despite rigorous efforts by the government of Beijing to put an end to these gruesome superstitions, the demand for these female corpses has reportedly increased.