Korean Urban Legends 2: The Foot and Mouth Scare (구제역 괴담)


This is the second post in a new series on Korean urban legends and spooky stories. These stories, like the  Western urban legends, are more or less wide-spread but almost always false. (No one actually gets a Chicken Blood Tatoo but some people will claim to have heard of someone who got one or will post fake pictures on the Internet to prove that they did). Anyways! On to today’s story:
Earlier this year, there was a foot and mouth disease outbreak. People started to bury the infected pigs and cows in giant graves. At about the same time, a strange rumour spread around middle-schooler in Kyeongnam province and popped up on the Internet. All over the country, human bodies were being dug up in the middle of the corpses of slaughtered pigs and cows.

The story supposedly started in a small village. After burying their cattle, people heard a human voice coming out of the grave. The village chief and all the villagers started to investigate and found a human body among the carcasses. It was later found that the a loanshark had been after the person, and therefore people started to investigate the loanshark trail. But then, all over the country, at each burial spots the bodies people that had previously been reported missing started to pop up. In only one grave, 30 bodies were said to have been found among the remains of dead cattle. According to the investigation results, all the people that were found had either been formerly kidnapped, or had been the target of loan sharks or had participated in an Internet IRL meeting. The police told the media to suppress the story, but people learned about it and therefore the information was able to spread.
Of course, nothing of the like ever happened. Though I guess this is a nice indication of how much people trust their government and police 🙂 I guess rumors such as this are also a good indicator of what people are afraid of.
Also as I haven’t posted anything about language or vocabulary in a while, here are a few words related to this story!
Foot and mouth disease: 구제역
Loan shark: 사채업자
Cattle: 가축
Smother up/Cover up a story: 사건을 쉬쉬하다
Internet meeting: 인터넷 정모

Leave a Comment