Grave Robbers Feed Voodoo Rituals

A black market trade in human skulls and organs, used in occult ceremonies, has driven grave robbers to dig up more than 100 graves at a cemetery in the village of Dangbo in Benin, a country in West Africa called by Reuters “the world capital of voodoo.”

Most of the 9.6 million residents practice at least a mild form of voodoo, Reuters reports. "The desecration of graves is about money in this region," said Joseph Afaton, director of the cemetery. "It is for sacrifices, or for bewitching."

Benin, the first country in Africa to transition from a dictatorship to a democracy, is thought to be the birthplace of voodoo, which is considered a religion. Followers of voodoo believe in one supreme God but also many spirits representing the souls of the dead. Voodoo is linked to the fascination with zombies.

As an aside, Benin has the highest national average of twins, with a whopping 27.9 twins per 1,000 births.

Live Science Staff
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