SVAY RIENG PROVINCE, Cambodia, June 3 (UPI) -- Instead of being happy to see a Cambodian man who had been missing for five days, his relatives and acquaintances were frightened when he finally showed up – because they were at his funeral.
Mourners at the funeral of Kong Channeang started running away when he appeared during twilight on Sunday evening, just before his cremation was about to start.
"All of us were scared and ran away immediately. We thought that we were being haunted, since it was a little bit dark at 6:30 pm when he showed up at the funeral," Orn Song, the chief of Svay Chek commune, told the Phnom Penh Post.
Channeang suffers from a hereditary mental illness and his family assumed he was dead after he went missing and a decomposing body was spotted floating in a river.
When the 32-year-old appeared, Channeang's 63-year-old father Kong Vanny said that he ran to his son while everyone else was running away.
"When I heard him call me, I just went to him and grabbed his hand," Vanny said. "I realized that he was not a ghost and I told the villagers and authorities to return to the funeral and to not be afraid of him because he was actually alive."
The body that was thought to be Channeang was returned to authorities and buried.