According to reports, Van began by sleeping upon his wife’s grave after she died in 2003. He said that a year and a half later he decided to dig a tunnel next to his wife’s grave so he could sleep beside her away from the rain and wind.
However, neighbors and local authorities found out about the practice and persuaded Van to stop. Subsequently in November 2004 Van returned to the grave, dug up his wife’s corpse and brought it home, where it remains today.
Van’s son, photographed below with his mother’s corpse, is said to hug her body before going to bed each night.
His father told the Lao Dong newspaper that his neighbours dared not visit him for years, but have since grown more accustomed to the idea and will now pay him a visit from time to time.
“I’m a person that does things differently. I’m not like normal people,” he was quoted as saying. “My wife’s body only passed away but her spirit still accompanies us. I have no fear when it comes to sleeping with her at all.”
Local authorities are said to be planning an inspection of the case because of new sanitation laws that rule a body must be cremated or buried, and that burials cannot be carried out in residential gardens without approval.