Posted on June 13th, 2016

By Dr. Tilak S Fernando 2016-06-13  Ceylon Today

Gayathri lives in Dehiwala at her sister’s house, occupying the upper floor, since her husband deserted her. Her own personal story is long and tragic, but she has been leading an independent life ever since by sharing her sister’s accommodative house with her brother Prasanna.

Prasanna suffered from polio for a considerable period of time but not seriously as he was supposed to have been infected with a type of polio known as Poliovirus – a ‘post-polio syndrome’, which affected one of his limbs making his knee joint weak and painful. Gayathri was very fond of his disabled brother and looked after his welfare affectionately. Prasanna in return reciprocated his love and fondness to his sister without any reservation.

To overcome his disability and help him walk comfortably, health authorities recommended a specially designed pair of shoes that enabled him to cycle at times. His only possession in life was his bicycle that he owned for some time and treasured much.

Due to degeneration of his knee joint and not wearing the shoes as advised, he had to live on crutches for the rest of his life. Seemingly his health deteriorated and his sojourn in this world came to an end recently.

Unfamiliar noises

Less than three months of his demise Gayathri was disturbed by various odd sounds here and there in her house, while the barking of the dog continued nonstop. Gradually things became worse where Gayathri was wondering whether it was due to a supernatural force inside her home. The television was switched on automatically out of the blue, and a rocking type chair in front of the TV where Prasanna used to sit started to undulate automatically. With the passage of time Gayathri was convinced completely of a spirit’s presence inside the house but she became helpless and could not do much about it.

The spirit did not like her sister-in-law for some reason. This became evident by the violent behaviour of the spirit whenever she visited Gayathri. The spirit appeared very angry and exhibited hostile behaviour. When she stayed with Gayathri for about a month, the spirit became extremely violent showing signs of disapproval by removing the TV aerial and throwing it out into the sitting room. Chairs in the sitting area were thrown about violently. Once her sister-in-law was pulled out of the bed from her legs and thrown on to the floor. Poor thing became so petrified that she pulled out the Rosary (being a Catholic) and started saying prayers nonstop while shivering.

Physical appearance

One evening when Gayathri was on her own Prasanna appeared before her inside the house face to face. It was life like and his figure was standing on the stairway. She ran away out of fear due to reflex action but Prasanna kept on appearing thrice that day while the dog continued to bark nonstop. She was petrified being alone in the house and could not sleep till 3 a.m., despite having all the lights in the house switched on. Finally when she fell asleep in the early hours of the morning, Prasanna appeared again in her dream. Gayathri had asked him why he was in the house and pleaded with him to leave her in peace and go. His reply had been: “I am here only to protect you Akki, don’t worry I won’t harm you.”

Following that incident Gayathri could hear him moving about in the house quite often with the help of the crutches, and she could distinctly recognse the sound of the crutches hitting against the floor tiles while he kept limping while walking.

Proof of protection

It happened to be a rainy and miserable day when Gayathri had to leave the house for some important task, so she locked all the doors and windows and even her bedroom door before she embarked on her journey. Unexpectedly due to heavy rain and problems with public transport she delayed her return until it was completely dark.

She became unduly worried about the house being in complete darkness and ran home from the bus halt. As she approached the main gate Gayathri had her heart in her mouth when she saw her house fully illuminated with all the lights switched on, and even the ceiling fans were rotating. Her immediate reaction was shock thinking whether it was due to an intrusion by a gang of robbers. However, the moment she turned the front door key she was convinced that no outsider had entered the house and it took a while for the penny to drop that it could have been Prasanna, his dead brother’s spirit in the house who had taken the precautionary action.

Just prior to Prasanna’s three months’ alms giving, one of his ‘drinking friends’ named Nande approached Gayathri and took Prasanna’s bicycle by force. It had been a heartbroken incident, but Gayathri being a woman and living alone in the house could not do much to stop Nande’s mindless and thuggish act.


Nande being a neighbour rented a room on the first floor in a house not far away from her. Days after the “stealing of the bicycle” Nande was about to come down the stairs to see Prasanna standing on the staircase staring daggers at him. He had apparently shouted saying: “Ado Nande.” Nande would certainly have had brown underpants at that moment when he fell down and came rolling down the stairway and damaged his ankle. Prasanna had disappeared.

Gayathri is so accustomed having to live with the spirit of her beloved brother and says she has no qualms about it as she thinks Prasanna is acting as her guardian. She explains that suddenly her brother switches the TV on and his favourite chair, which he used to sit and watch TV, undulates to a certain rhythm; living with Prasanna’s spirit has become a part and parcel of her life now.

Despite Gayathri conferring a lot of merit to Prasanna in an endeavour to release his spirit from his ‘suffering’ she seems to think that there is only one reason why Prasanna is still hanging on to her house. A soothsayer has revealed to her about a family property where others are trying to play her out. She says things are turning in her favour after all this time and the moment Prasanna’s share is written in her name he may leave the house.

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