No one will stay in the eastern parts of Mone Taing Pin anymore, where locals claim that dogs howl without provocation, putrid odours materialise and vanish, and shadowy figures are spotted only to disappear before they can be identified.
In May, the military massacred nearly 30 people in this village in Sagaing Region’s Ye-U Township. Though the victims’ remains have since been cremated and buried, survivors believe, in accordance with Buddhist custom, that their souls cannot transition into the afterlife until certain religious rituals have been performed.
Due to continued Myanmar army attacks, the living have been unable to make offerings to monks to share the karmic energy that would guide their loved ones to the next realm.
Once a sceptic of such practices, Mone Taing Pin villager Ko Linn* said he now believes that the ceremony is necessary, speculating that bone fragments of the victims found in homes burned by junta troops may be binding the spirits of the deceased to the location.