From holman to huniyan, from voodoo to seers, charms, curses and ‘pretas’ and some of the most hideous demonic possessions in history, Sri Lanka, or olden day Ceylon as it was known, has always had its fair share of scary paranormal activity. In this column we will be exploring and comparing myths and legends of terror from East and West, as well as a number of the most chilling local eye-witness accounts of the supernatural among us.
So crouch down, draw up the sheets and......prepare for raw terror!
By Nadeesha Paulis
(Previously on the Book of the Undead)
Her instant conclusion was that it was probably her mother, eavesdropping on her conversation. She asked her friend to be on hold and went around to locate her mom whom she found in the kitchen and not outside. In order to double check, she asked her mother if it had been she, who had been outside her window to which the mother replied in the negative. Shrugging the thought that it must have been her imagination playing tricks on her, she headed back to the room.
On arrival, she could still see the figure. It was distinct. Not a face she recognized. But a face nonetheless. The features were not at all visible through the glass but she could specifically see a somewhat pale face. The head was seen as though with a lot of hair. She couldn’t even recognize if it was a man or a woman’s. No other feature was noted as specifically as the eyes. They were large and black and they contrasted prominently against the pale face.
(Continued from last week…)
She had lost all thought and consciousness of her conversation with her friend by then. The dark silhouette that was etched against the window was still distinctively visible. In a few moments it would be too dark to identify. Maybe it was some local fool trying to play a prank on her. After all, everything has a logical explanation.
She tried to remain calm and then slowly focused her thoughts on to the phone conversation. It was hazy and distant. She heard static and her friend’s voice went in and out of ear shot. Her mind was a whirl wind of thoughts. She didn’t want to alarm her friend by saying something that sounded too serious.
“Hey, you still there?” instead of her friend’s voice, she heard another sound.
A faint groan. It was almost inaudible.
“Yheass” a deeper, more raspier voice replied.
“Sorry, what was that? Can you hear me now? Something is wrong with the connection. Call you back” was her friend’s answer.
Natalie was by now in such a state of confusion that she decided to just ignore it. It was probably interference and nothing else.
By now her mother had come into the room to investigate the situation. The face was no longer visible of course. But her mother took it seriously. She too had a bad feeling that something was not right here. Maybe it is a prankster. Maybe it is someone else. Or something else.
They started praying and soon fetched the holy water and started to sprinkle it in the house. Just as they were doing so, their brother came home after work and they told him about the face and how it had appeared on the window. The brother just laughed it off saying “Ayyo unnecessary drama. Must be some tree branch or something.” But he agreed to go have a look outside anyway. He took with him a bottle of holy water and he was still chuckling on his way out.
He returned. But not with the chuckle he left with. Not even a smile. He was pale and his eyes were out of focus as though he wanted to tell something really badly but he didn’t know how to say it. “I saw... Dunno what. No face. Just that.. I felt,” none of it made sense but that was what came out once he found his voice.
After gathering his wits, he later explained what he saw. Or what he thought he saw. When he had gone out to sprinkle holy water just in front of his sister’s room, something had swiftly brushed past him. What he saw, could only be described giving an example of a blurry photograph where everything in the photograph is clear and focused apart from that one object in it which is blurry and discolored. What he saw had been similar. It was mostly a gray blur that had evidently been solid enough to make him have felt its presence. He had felt a cold chill creep up his spine.
This eerie experience had definitely shaken him up. He used to be the one joking about it. Never after that day.
It was after their father came home that they were able to get to the bottom of this. Apparently the father too had seen such a face. Unfortunately, he was unable to recall very minute details but he was indeed in a position to explain what he saw to an extent someone could recognize it.
It had been the visage of a fair skinned man of moderate height with curly hair. They decided to ask around the neighborhood and the previous owners. The landlord when questioned gave a startling response. He said that the father’s description of the ghostly appearance fitted the physical description of his brother who had deceased. He then went on to say that the house was originally willed to his brother but because of his premature death, he had inherited it and subsequently sold it. He further agreed that he believed the apparition to be of his brother.
The family had called for a pastor and did a thorough cleansing of the house. No further unexplainable events had occurred since.
Since then Natalie has been sensitive to events that cannot be explained. Such as that time when she was at a friend’s house. She was walking in their corridor when she had seen a human shadow on the wall when there had been no one around. Sometimes when she visits certain houses she would get uneasy feelings. She would say it was a cold sensation. Her father and grandfather are two persons who are equally sensitive to the ‘unexplained’.
It is just that. Unexplained. They do not know to explain the feelings they get or how they know that something is not quite right. As a Christian, she believes that the more she gets closer to her Saviour, the more safer she feels, and that the closer Christians move towards God, the more resistance they will get. Hence the sensitivity against anything of the ‘unearthly’ nature.
“Be sober, be vigilante, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour.” Peter chapter 1:Verses 5-6
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
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