Posted on April 12th, 2016


By Dr. Tilak S. Fernando

Supernatural experiences of the people which I have highlighted in Ceylon Today and their reappearance in two London-based websites have inspired some of the readers who, in turn  have encouraged me to dwell in such stories. Although some do not believe in such theories, still they write and say how they enjoy reading other’s experiences. This has given me enough ammunition to continue with different experiences of the supernatural.

Man in national dress

 Susantha Wijesinghe says a few moons ago he returned from Padiyapelella, after work, towards Hanguranketha quite late in the evening. It was a winding road through coconut estates with the river below with rapids on to his right. He had suddenly spotted a man adorning a similar attire to that of the late S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike with a blue Satake around his shoulders at a corner.”

 The man was apparently playing a flute facing the river. The flute is a beautiful sounding woodwind instrument which can be played as part of an orchestra, band or enjoyed on its own. The flute is also the oldest known musical instrument that dates back to 3,000 years found originally in parts of Western Europe.

Susantha had reduced the speed of his moving vehicle thinking it was a mentally disturbed person and continued his journey home.  Upon reaching home he met with a friend, who worked at Ceylon Tobacco Company in Hanguranketha, Hewahata , and his wife who were paying a social visit to his  house in the evening.

During their social intercourse Susantha revealed his experience on his way home a little while earlier about the mad fellow in a national dress playing a flute.” To his amazement his friend had burst into laughter exclaiming, Ah! Then you also saw the flute man!”

Later Susantha learnt from his friend that it was a common occurrence where all lorry drivers, including a number of people who have passed that particular spot had seen this ‘flute man’ in the same pose. He maintains that it had to be an apparition because had it been an optical illusion, surely there was no way for so many people seeing the same thing over and over again in the same spot and in the same pose!

He also describes how the pots and pans in the house they lived in at the time made a big din. The house had been definitely haunted. When he and his family were relaxing in the afternoons in the garden they could hear the falling sounds of pots and pans on to the kitchen floor. He would then rush inside only to see every utensil in its proper place as stacked before in the kitchen pantry.

This unusual unnerving horror had  been taking place daily exactly at a specific time of 5.30 p.m. When such turbulences became overbearing, Susantha had approached their neighbour (‘the late Anuruddha’s girlfriend’s family’) seeking some solace. Regrettably the news had appeared to the neighbours as something comical, laughable and wacky. However, he had later come to realize that even their previous inmates of the house had experienced similar grisly events with the haunted spirits or boothayas, which forced them to leave the place. It made matters worse when he learnt how the previous tenants of the house had shot and killed a cobra right in front of the main door

Myths on cobras

There are many beliefs and superstitions about snakes, which vary from culture to culture. Some believe that a snake’s entry into a house means a peaceful and a blessed omen for inmates. Such a cobra is never killed.  Others consider the cobra as a peace patroller sent by the family’s ancestors. In any event to kill a cobra is generally regarded as inviting disaster. When a cobra is killed some people believe that it may affect the health of the head of the family or an unexpected disaster will befall on the family of the killer.

Finally, when Susantha contacted the local manager of the grocery shop with his problem of numinous experiences, the Mudalali had arranged a Bhikku with two of his friends and some of Susantha’s friends to gather outside the house sharp at 5.30 p.m.

When they heard the tumbling noises of pots and pans coming rolling down they rushed inside the house to see none of the utensils had moved an inch! Naturally he was subjected to some cynical looks and every one stared at him in a suspicious manner and doubting him whether he was staging a sensational spectacle.

Overnight Pirith

However, he had managed to prove all the sceptics wrong when he organised a religious ceremony to bless the house with an overnight Pirith chanting by Bhikkus which ended in the morning with the process of invoking blessings and protecting the house by burying holy Pirith water and Pirith Nool (put inside four pots) at the four corners of the house, as well as hanging another set of blessed pots from the four corners of the roof. Attaching Pirith Nool on their wrists protected all family members and those who attended the ceremony.

Once Susantha took the bhikkus back to the temple and returned home, lo and behold! There were no more noises of pots and pans falling from heights, and all the spooky ‘goings-on’ virtually had come to a full stop and the family was able to settle down to a trouble free life thereafter.

This goes to show whether one likes to accept or discard such occurrences as falsehood, optical illusions or hallucinations where the human brain plays games at times on the weak minded individuals, there has to be a spiritual world unseen by man for people to hear and experience unnatural or ghostly encounters.

Christians call it the purgatory.  Having said so, it is equally known that Christian priests do exorcism. Buddhists generally seek the assistance of exorcists (Kattadiyas) and perform thovile; bhikkus chanting overnight Pirith is believed to be the sober way to protect a dwelling without involving boothayas from the spiritual world.

Tilak S. Fernando 




  1. Dham Says:

    Now Susantha has gone silent.
    Is he sick again ?

  2. Dham Says:

    Buddhist do all these with full awareness that they are seeking assistance of some unknown beings. It is not out of ignorance.
    However, “KEMA” practices are purely superstitions and nothing to do with any religion. Chinese people have more superstitions than us. Tilak should know that since he too worked in Singapore.
    Hungry Ghost month is very annoying, temporary sheds everywhere with huge “HandunKuuru” spreading smoke everywhere. Burning fake money and even fake Mercedes Benz for the relatives to enjoy there is very common.

  3. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    DHAM !! Iam watching the match on Lanka Web. I am more of a spectator. Yes, Iam not that too well. I have to go for a Lumbar MRI, and also for another Cervical Epidural Injection on my spine. This is what old age has brought me. Arthritis has taken over me. I cant believe, because I played Rugby for CR&FC for five years. I was a sportsman. I have a photo of my water Skiing, holding the Tow Rope with my mouth and standing on one leg. So how come Arthritis took over ? Doctors say, that Iam healthy for my age. Iam having a pinched nerve on the back of my neck. That is why the CEI for. I will pop in and out once in a way. I thought you were to talk to me on Skype ?

  4. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    DR. TILAK !! The sound of the pots and pans crashing was not heard only by me, but my wife, little daughter and servant too heard it. It is strange that my dog did not react to the loud noise.

  5. Dham Says:

    Thanks Susantha. I will call now again. Skype name is not Dham.

  6. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    Just one more thing. There was a catholic priest in a Ragama church, who use to roll up the hillock with ease during exorcism.

    Also the flute man experience, and pots and pans episode was in the 1960s, when I was living in Anniewatte, Kandy.

  7. Dham Says:

    Wish you speedy recovery. You have already done well.
    When did you play for CR&FC ? 1957-1960 ? I was a Havelocks supporter in 70s. But I was probably a baby when you played.

  8. Tilak Says:


    I did not work in Singapore. For three decades I lived in London.

  9. Dham Says:

    Sorry, I remembered you mentioned somewhere but cannot trust my memory.

  10. Senevirath Says:

    තිලක් මම ඔබෙන් ඉල්ලීමක් කළා යුසුෆ් වෙදැදුරු ගැන සිංහල පත්තර වලට ලියන්න කියල ඔබේ වුර්තීය සුදුසුකමත් දාල වය්දය වරයාගේ ලිපිනය ත් දාල කලොත් ලොකු දෙයක් අර පින්තුරත් යවන්න

  11. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    DHAM !! I played from 1952-1958, during Summa Navaratne’s Captaincy, and when I had my Levers posting to Kandy, I left CR. Yes, you may have been a small Fella, then.

    If you see my photo on Skype with a Red/Crimson Shirt, that’s me.

  12. Dham Says:

    Susantha,Dharmasiri, Tilak, Dilrook , Mario, Nilwala, Aloy, Charits, SenaD, AnuD and all others of Lanka Web

    ඔබ සැමට සුභ අලුත් අවුරුද්දක් වේවා !

  13. Dham Says:

    when you retired I was 3 years old.
    Earliest I remember was when Saujah palyed as full back for Havlocks.
    He is in Australia now coaching cricket. He said he coached Michael Johnson.

  14. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    DHAM !!! OBATATH, ALUTH AVURUDDATA, LANKA WEB API SIYALLAMA-GEN, SUBA PATHUM. Mata Kavun, Kokiss, kaapu kaalayak mathaka nehe. Sinhalese in Caifornia and New York, will probably have get-togethers to celebrate. Also wishing Lanka Web Personnel, Scribers, and Readers, **SUBA ALUTH AVURUDDAK**

    How did you arrive at my retirement day.? JOB OR SPORTS ? That Gap is too big. After I left CR and took on my new job posting in Kandy, for Levers, I became a spectator, and not a Player. Never put on Boots again. Ofcourse, I retired from my Job, only here in USA. I remember you saying that your daughters were in UK. All my daughters are here. Iam a grand-father. Time went so fast.

  15. Dham Says:

    What I meant was “retired from rugger”.

    Sorry to here you haven’t eaten Kevum etc..
    We are in Australia but my wife ( a village girl) made Kevum, Kokis, Mung Kevum , Thala ( best in the world) and even Aasmee.
    No my daughters are not in UK but here.

    කැවුම් කොකිස් මුංඅලුවා කිරිබත් වල රස බැලුවා.
    අපේ රටට හොඳ දවසක් උදාවෙන්න මම පැතුවා !

  16. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    DHAM !! I TALK TO TWO OF MY FRIENDS OVER THERE ON SKYPE…….. CHANAKA… AND…. IAN. Perhaps you can be the third. I have many friends over there, but no contacts. You are very lucky to make all those sweet meats, and enjoy. Truthfully, We have never celebrated Sinhala new Year for the last 23 years or so. We don’t know what it is, metaphorically.

  17. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:


  18. Tilak Says:

    Thank you for the kind advice. Mata Sinhala type karanna danne neha, mage Sinhala den paththarawalata obinne neha. Namuth mama katha kala Silumina editerta, pinthurath yawwa namuth nehe kisima prathicharayak. This is my problem no Sinhala paper editor likes to publish once an article appears in English. Once I was told that ‘ readers might think that they are short of stories and that is why they publish English articles translated in to sinhala’. Mole Achcharu daana oona katha mewa.

    Dhaham Wishing you also a happy, prosperous and a healthy new year.

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