In several Asian countries selling salt to ghosts in a cemetery is a practice that is told in the form of a scary ghost story. This practice done mostly by “desperate people” to get money is considered by many today around the world to be just an Urban Legend. But…
In Singapore, it was a traditional story that was passed down from one generation to the next for many years. The belief was that ghosts need salt in order to prevent the decomposition process so they will pay the living handsomely for the salt they supply.
If one was desperate enough to do this there were strict rules they must follow. It was believed if these rules were not adhered to the seller would lose their life.
The traditional practice involved going to a cemetery at dusk. The salt seller then would have to stay until dawn--under no circumstances could they leave the cemetery until daybreak--if they did it meant certain death.
Today the legend that circulates states the seller should go to the cemetery at midnight and stay until dawn.
There are several other traditional rules that must be followed--if they are not observed the salt seller will face dire consequences.
The seller was warned that they should take enough salt to last the whole night--if they ran out before dawn it would mean certain death. This salt should be equally portioned out into individual bags--the traditional way was to place these portions in tied tissue paper.
Upon entering the cemetery the seller should find a “suitable place” and sit down. They must wait patiently. They were told to bow their heads and to never look up the entire time--if they did it would mean certain death.
Today it is stated the seller should wear a jacket with a hood.
The ghosts would then approach the salt seller one by one. Keeping their head bowed the seller would see the outstretched hand of the ghost and pass a bag over. Then the seller would hold out their hand and the ghost would place payment in it--all the while never looking up.
These purchases would continue throughout the night. It was stated the salt seller could walk away at dawn with thousands of dollars.
Traditionally the ghosts would pay in “hell notes.” These hell notes would then turn into real money at dawn.
A more modern version states the ghosts sometimes would pay in leafs with numbers on them. These numbers were winning lottery numbers.
A final rule--the salt seller must spend the money given within two weeks or lose it.
Here is a 40-minute video where one man recently tested this “practice” in a cemetery.