Posted on April 20th, 2016

By Dr. Tilak S. Fernando

Once Susantha drove all the way from Kandy to Kohuwela with his family to attend a social function his mother-in-law had organized. On the following morning he left the family in Kohuwela and went back home. In Kandy he had dinner at the Lyon Café and went to his empty house alone. Once he parked the car under the hood, he locked the front gate and went to his bedroom to retire for the day..

For his own security, he locked the bedroom door and kept a battery powered torch and a hatchet close at hand, set the alarm clock to wake up in the morning and went to sleep after saying usual night prayers.

Dog’s Howl & Woman’s Bawling

Approximately around 1:00 a.m, his German shepherd dog started to howl in a shattering manner from the storeroom. Coinciding with its barking, he heard a woman weeping and sobbing immediately outside his bedroom window, which was closed and locked firmly.

Her bawling was akin to a woman in pain during childbirth. When the yowling became spookier and gaudier, he sat on the bed quite panicked and petrified. He prepared to confront with the unknown and sat on the bed, holding the battery-powered torch in one hand and the small axe in the other.

Next moment he heard as if someone was ransacking wardrobes and drawers and packing stuff into boxes inside the house and it gave the impression of cartons were being dragged from side to side and hitting the walls with force. For a moment he wondered whether any intruder, having noticed that the inmates of the house were out, trying to rob.

Prayers & Dead Silence

Susantha had no option but to wait inside the locked bedroom not knowing what to expect next! Despite his outwardly heroic appearance, he began to shiver within and started saying prayers non-stop! Suddenly a dead silence reigned and even the dog’s howl became deflated. Thoroughly confused by now, he lounged on the bed and tried to figure out what would have taken place. Seemingly, he fell asleep.

In the morning he opened the bedroom window cautiously to see whether anything unusual had taken place, then opened the main door with the hatchet in hand and jumped out to figure out whatever took place in the night. To his amazement everything seemed to be in order. He immediately took a walk round the house with the German Shephard but could not find any indication of an intruder or a robber stepping into the premises.

Continuation of Squealing

From that night onwards the weird squealing of the woman became a regular feature which frightened his family unduly to the extent they could not possibly live there any longer with the constant hollering of the woman and the dog’s wailing every night. Finally they made a decision to leave Kandy and moved to Nugegoda.

Piyadigama’s Experience

If I narrate another story, Piyadigama’s experience is completely a different one where a grandmother in Panadura, who had died in 1979, possessed a little girl. Apparently, the grandmother loved all her grandchildren but she was very fond of one particular girl whom she possessed after her death.

Whenever she ‘entered‘ the little girl’s body the child started to struggle as if she was getting strangled. During such moments she used to cry saying: “Aachchi leave me alone”! When medical doctors were consulted, they put it down to her “missing the grandmother” and advised parents she would be all right gradually, yet the poor girl’s life became a misery making her younger brothers and sisters getting petrified when she went into a stupor. When her parents’ endeavours to exorcise the grandmother’s soul from the girl’s body with the help of Catholic Priests, Buddhist Monks, Bodhi Pujas and Shanthikarmas and everything failed, they sought the assistance of a fearsome looking exorcist (Kattadiya) from Ambalangoda.

Overnight Thovile

During a full night, operation by the exorcist at the young girl’s house with a congregation of neighbours and relatives, the exorcist’s chanting progressed while the girl blabbered in an inconceivable language until she became exhausted and fell asleep.

Around 5 a.m. the next morning she woke up and let out a blood-curdling scream, which Piyadigama says, ‘still resonates in his ears even today whenever he thinks about it’. He described it as an extremely lurid and ear-piercing echo, which lingered in the air long after it had stopped and, thereafter she collapsed on to the ground semi-consciously.

Finally Kattadiya managed to command the spirit in an authoritative tone to enter the bottle he was holding while his mate played the drums non-stop. Once the exorcist managed to get the ‘grandmother’s spirit’ into the bottle, he sealed the lid properly ensuring the lid will never ever be released! Subsequently, the exorcist and his men went in a boat and dropped the bottle containing the spirit tied to a heavy stone and dropped it into the deep sea for the spirit to never return!

Kattadiya had told Piyadigama’s father (who had been in the boat with the exorcist and his mate) that if ever the trapped spirit were to escape from the bottle, would be his end! The little girl immediately recovered.

With the passage of time she qualified as a lecturer and is presently married and quite happy, says Piyadigama. She seems to believe that ‘her grandmother would never have hurt her and it was only a malefic period that had passed,” but the million dollar question is whether that trapped soul in a bottle in the deep sea will ever see light again even in a million years! People do such inhuman things without giving much thought as if they are born here to be permanent, but such a sin is irretrievable.

Piyadigama seems to believe in such occurrences even the science cannot explain! “It is quite easy to laugh at such incidences and dismiss them as stupid or imprudent until it happens to you,” he says.



  1. Piyadigama Says:

    Dr Tilak has done justice to my story but he ends it with a controversy. No one believes the spirit was actually captured in the bottle. It was only symbolic to convince people the spirit will never harm the child again. The bottle was simply an object to be disposed of symbolising burying the bad past.

    In the film The Conjuring a toy is retained by exorcists and kept in their house not as a trap of the spirit but as a symbol of the series of events that took place. In this case it is an empty bottle buried in the sea. The victim loves her departed grandmother dearly.

  2. asoka2468 Says:

    I release a ghost every time I open a bottle of Coke! What a cock and bull story! I cannot believe it was written by a Dr?

  3. Tilak Says:


    These were your own words: Read the first sentence of the last paragraph ! Kattadiya and his men collected the bad spirit and bottled it …………………….

    “The kattadiya and his men collected the bad spirit and bottled it. They put concrete on it and left to dry. After that they picked it up and went in a boat to deep sea and dropped it. Kattadiya had told my father (who was in the boat) that if the spirit gets out he is finished. The girl immediately became normal

    Piyadigama Says:
    March 25th, 2016 at 12:23 am
    This happened in Panadura to one of our distant relatives. They had a grandmother who dearly loved her grandchildren. She was particularly close to a girl. She died of old age in 1979. Thereafter that girl used to get possessed. She struggles as if something was strangling her. At times she shouts “leave me alone aachchi”. But it continued.

    Doctors told her parents she is missing her grandmother and she will be alright. But things worsened and her life was turned upside down. She started to sleep walk and her parents were devastated. Her younger siblings were terrified. They called Catholic priests, Buddhist monks and even a Muslim priest. They prayed and chanted for days separately but nothing worked. Bodhi pooja and shanthikarma failed.

    Finally they decided to call a fearsome looking kattadiya from Ambalangoda. I remember that night. Many relatives came to stay in their house and in adjacent houses. All neighbors were involved. Chanting continued throughout the night. The girl was uttering things no one could understand. She was exhausted. We children went to bed and woke up early. Around 5 am the next morning she let out a blood curdling scream. Even today I get a chill remembering it. I have never heard such an eerie scream. It was extremely loud and seemed to linger in the air long after it had stopped. Thereafter she collapsed on the ground.

    The kattadiya and his men collected the bad spirit and bottled it. They put concrete on it and left to dry. After that they picked it up and went in a boat to deep sea and dropped it. Kattadiya had told my father (who was in the boat) that if the spirit gets out he is finished. The girl immediately became normal. She studied and became a lecturer. She is married to a popular figure. She refuses to accept her grandmother would ever hurt her. In her words it was only a bad period that passed.

    A few years ago I watched the English movie Conjuring and it is exactly about a similar thing. The movie says it is based on a true story.

    There is something true about these things science cannot explain. It is easy to laugh at these and dismiss them as stupid until it happens to you.

  4. Piyadigama Says:

    Dr Tilak,

    I did say so based on what the exorcist made us believe. He cured the problem but capturing the spirit to the bottle is hard to believe. I think the bottle is an object for people to deposit their fears symbolically and then dump is far away.

    As I said before you did well to write the story. Brilliant. Thank you.

  5. Tilak Says:

    Hi Pidiyagama

    Thanks. I have seen in a video where an exorcist catching, binding and putting spirits into a bottle and closing, one by one at a place in Kurunegala. The video was brought to London by a friend after filming the operation at his brother’s place while on holiday. It was strange and funny to see various types of spirits’ behaviour ( after coming into the body of the exorcist) and doing a small walk from the thattuwa. Kattadiya representing the spirit would imitate the spirit’s walk and behaviour. One was hiding under a bed and he came out and behaved in a very frightened and shy manner, there was another who claimed to be the manager of the Sathosa at Kurunegala Branch, wearing a hat ( kattadiya) and smoking a cigarette showing off in a proud manner. I shall write about it later.

  6. Dham Says:

    My mother suffered from some kind of a depression some 40 years ago. A Kattadiya was brought in and some kind of Thovilaya ( not a real drum beating one) was conducted to cure her. I was young but very observant. I was sitting 4-6 feet away from the Kttadiya. After a while he made a huge noise and scratched his own leg and showed everyone that the Bhoothaya responsible for my mother’s sickness did it.
    Many people were there but no one saw what he did. I could see blood was coming out of his skin but I was very sure he himself did it in a split of a second. Anyway, after the Thovilaya my mother was cured.

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