As fright seekers in the United States prepare for Halloween, lawmakers in Pakistan are working to try to prevent their country producing the world's next real horror story. Until now, there has been no law in Pakistan against cannibalism, a fact that has fuelled persistent rumours of crazed residents roaming cemeteries and streets searching for their next meal. Thankfully, many of the tales appear to be just that - unfounded legends. But Pakistan has documented several cases of cannibalism over the years, prompting lawmakers to introduce legislation this week to try to curb the problem. One bill in the National Assembly clarifies that anyone who exhumes a corpse with "intent to cook, eat, sell or to use for magic purposes" will face a mandatory jail sentence of between 10 years and life behind bars. A second bill would make eating human flesh punishable by at least seven years in jail. The legislation is in response to a particularly grotesque case in Pakistan's eastern Punjab province in 2011. That year, police received a call from a man who reported that his sister's grave had been dug up. The ensuing investigation took police to the home of two brothers. When police arrived at their house, they found the men cooking the 24-year-old cancer victim's limbs into a stew. "They had chopped off one of her legs below the knee, and the other one near the shin," a local police official said. The brothers were promptly arrested, and they confessed to unearthing and eating five corpses from the cemetery. But because Pakistan lacked a stringent cannibalism law, they could be charged only with disturbing a grave site. They were sentenced to two years in prison and released last year. Earlier this year, however, police were called back to the brothers' residence after neighbours reported a nasty smell. When they arrived, police discovered the severed skull of a toddler. One of the brothers confessed to using the corpse to make a curry. The two brothers were again arrested, but this time charged under the country's anti-terrorism statute. In June, both received 12-year prison sentences. "Patients would come to me telling appalling tales of people digging graves of their loved ones and taking out different body parts for witchcraft," said lawmaker Nikhat Shakeel Khan, a chief sponsor of one of the bills and a doctor. "Most of these cannibals have mental problems, but we hope to stop them, as well as those who use body parts for magic and witchcraft."