A prankster who was pretending to be a pocong and standing on the side of the road, was beaten up by angry residents before being dragged by them to the police station.
The incident happened on 2 April at about 2.30am, in Demak, Central Java, Indonesia, according to Indonesian news outlet Kompas.
A video of the “ghostly sighting” was shared online, with a man seen in the video confronting the “pocong” and kicking the guy to the ground.
A few other people soon joined in and surrounded the prankster, beating him up and scolding him, with the person who was recording the incident suggesting making a police report.
One of the residents then said that they will bring the “pocong” to the police station, and the video then ended with the prankster being dragged away.
The “pocong” was then brought to the Bonang police station in Demak, with Demak Police Chief AKBP Adhy Buwono confirming that they had arrested the guy.
The prankster’s friend, who was also at the scene at the time, was also arrested.
The two pranksters were eventually returned to their families as they were minors, and asked to write a statement promising not to repeat their actions again.
The police chief added that they had called the boys’ parents, the head of the neighbourhood association, the village head and the head of the citizen association to help monitor the two pranksters.
He said that he hopes people don’t do the same things as the pranksters because it endangers themselves and the public.
What is a pocong
Pocong is a ghost in folklore that is often associated with death and burial rituals. The pocong is said to be the soul of a person who has recently passed away, trapped inside a shroud or burial cloth and unable to move on to the afterlife.
According to legend, when a person dies, their body is wrapped in a white cloth. The cloth is tied at the head and feet, and the body is buried in the ground. However, if the tie is not properly undone, the pocong can become trapped in the cloth and rise from the grave to haunt the living.
The pocong is depicted as a pale figure wrapped tightly in a shroud, with the arms and legs bound together. It hops around, as it is unable to walk due to being wrapped up, and the hopping movement is said to represent the soul’s struggle to break free from the shroud.
There are many superstitions and rituals surrounding the pocong. For example, it is believed that if someone sees a pocong, they will die soon after, so people are advised to avoid cemeteries at night. There are also rituals that can be performed to prevent the pocong from rising, such as leaving a small gap in the shroud when burying a body, or tying the knot on the shroud in a specific way.