Want to sucker overzealous developers? Build a fake graveyard

At least that seems to be the scam in China. Over at Asia Obscura, blogmaster Dean Pickles has reported seeing scattershot graveyards appearing on farmland throughout the Beijing suburbs.

When Pickles asked a friend about these strange graves, he learned that this was a con to pocket government payouts:

"Ha," he laughed, "I don't think those are real graves. There probably are no bodies down there."

Fake graves? Outside our Tongzhou village??

"Yes. The villagers know that the land is going to be developed, and the government will only give them so much money. But if it's a graveyard, they may pay more. So the local villagers build fake graves on their fields, to get more money. You know the expression 'shǎjīng?'" I didn't. "It means stupid-clever. That's what they are. Shajing shajing." He laughed at his own expression, as he repeated it again. "傻精傻精."

Weird! Looks like they're engaging in some voodoo economics (rimshot). In any case, I suppose I'd rather live next to a fake graveyard than a ghost mall.

[Photo via Wooland Hotel. Hat tip to Steve!]