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Stories From A Haunted Island: Everything You Need To Know If You’re Celebrating Halloween In Sri Lanka

Spooky season is here! Even though Sri Lanka does not traditionally celebrate Halloween, it has its fair share of horror stories. Here are some of those stories that Roar has published over the years. 

Demonism And Witchcraft In Sri Lanka – As Seen In 1865

However unusual it may seem in the 21st century, seeking the aid of the supernatural is a practice that goes back centuries, perhaps even millennia, in Sri Lanka.

In 1865, Dandris de Silva Gooneratne attempted to succinctly record all this in his book, “On Demonology and Witchcraft in Ceylon.” Gooneratne acknowledges that a belief in the supernatural and superstitions forms an integral part of any society but in context to Sri Lanka he states,  “…here it has been moulded into a regular religion, arranged and methodized into a system, and carefully preserved in writing: so that the amount of influence, which it exercises over the thoughts, the habits, the everyday life of a Singhalese, is such as can hardly be believed by a stranger to the character of a genuine Singhalese Buddhist.”

Read more: https://roar.media/english/life/arts-culture/demonism-witchcraft-srilanka

A Sri Lankan Horror Story

Sri Lanka has a rich background in local folklore, many of which more than qualify as horror stories. This piece, the writer analyses this history of Sri Lanka’s ghost stories. Beware, dear reader, for she shares several stories of her own supernatural experiences! 

Read more: https://roar.media/english/life/history/sri-lankan-horror-story

The Darker Side Of Colombo: Places With Grim Histories

As far as grisly pasts are concerned, Colombo may come off as a surprising candidate. The modern façade of the city is dotted withmany impressive structures, some colonial, and while most of them blend well into the modern metropolis — you would probably have passed by, walked around, and admired these places — some of the stories behind these places are grimmer than you may have imagined.   

Read more: https://roar.media/english/life/srilanka-life/the-darker-side-of-colombo-places-with-grim-histories

Is The Sinhala Language Haunted?

Although we cannot say for certain that ghosts exist in real life, they certainly do in languages. Many a language has peculiarities that suggest another language may have influenced its vocabulary at some remote time, before vanishing without a trace. These are called ‘ghost languages’. Sinhala, so far as we can infer from an unknown substratum that pervades a considerable part of its lexicon, seems to be still haunted by such a ghost language.

Read more: https://roar.media/english/life/history/is-the-sinhala-language-haunted

Colombo’s Oldest (And Probably Most Haunted) Locations

When the Portuguese found Sri Lanka in 1505, they made a deal with the king of Kotte to use the coastline for trading, and so the city of Colombo was born. The Dutch drove the Portuguese out in 1656 after a siege, and, over a century later, the British captured Colombo in 1796.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the oldest structures with historical value in Colombo, spanning from the 17th century to the early 19th century.

Read more: https://roar.media/english/life/srilanka-life/colombos-oldest-and-probably-most-haunted-locations

Of Devils, Death Omens And Mohini: The Superstitious And The Supernatural In Sri Lanka

There is no denying that Sri Lankans are a superstitious bunch. Over here, we live our lives in constant consultation with a medley of elements from geckos and black cats, to fortune tellers and the stars.

Here are a few examples of such baffling superstitions that thrive on our island. Read more: https://roar.media/english/life/srilanka-life/devils-death-omens-mohini-superstitious-supernatural-sri-lanka

Seven Mythical Creatures That Supposedly Haunt Sri Lanka

Ours is a country that has long been steeped in mysticism and folklore. Even in historical accounts, the line between supernatural and natural elements is often blurred, and the mystical and the magical weave seamlessly in and out of the stories that craft our country’s past. In this day and age, with all the development and urbanisation in progress, the days of yakas and spirits are now long gone, but for the most part, Sri Lanka is still a country caught between the times. For every citified tech-savvy teenager who scoffs at such stuff, there is probably another kid in some rural area who has spent his life looking out for Mohini; and exorcisms, rituals, and beliefs in the mystical still thrive in many corners of the island.

Read more: https://roar.media/english/life/srilanka-life/local-demons-ghosts-crazy-myths 

Cover image design: Roar Media/Jamie Alphonsus

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