Long time ago I used to live in a small town called Negombo. It's on the western coast of Sri Lanka. It was a simple cozy little town where almost everyone knew everyone or everyone knew someone who knew everyone. It's a fishing town where most people are are Roman Catholic and you could find many historic buildings such as churches, schools (some even date back to the year 1600) within a mile radius throughout the town and the suburbs. It also has a ancient fort (still standing and now used as a prison) These were due to the Dutch and Portuguese colonial era and later on the English I presume. And only around half an hour's cycling could get you to the sandy beaches or the lagoon from most parts of the town! I used to live there from the age of 10 through to 17. Come to think of it, it was the most carefree and laid back time of my life. Most of my teenage days there consisted of school, church, friends, parties, beach, fishing, snorkeling etc and of course plenty of free fresh seafood! Loved it there. Sorry, couldn't help reminiscing.
Well, to the story; This story is about a house I used to live during those years in the town I mentioned above. Can't remember exactly when it all started to be honest. Well it's not actually in the swamps as the heading states, it has been built on one after a landfill project. So was the rest of the houses around the area. We were the second owners of it. So it was quite new. It had a fair bit of garden. 3 bedrooms at the start. And a concrete roof (with the idea of building an upstair apartment, but not yet) with stairs from outside. My sister, brother, parents had their own rooms and I was squatting in my brothers room for the time being. Me being a pest in my brothers room we (mostly my bro) had decided it's time I got my own room. The house had a huge L shaped living area. It was large enough even without the shorter part of the 'L' as a living room. So we partitioned off one leg of the 'L' using wood and tinted glass, but had left about 2 feet of a gap from the roof to the top end of the partition. This made me able to hear what's going on in around the rest of the house when I'm in it and to see the living room through the glass windows.
Even before moving into my own room, when everyone else in bed, I normally watch telly in the living room, I sometimes used to hear the toilet and the kitchen being used by someone. They were at the farthest end of the house. Had to pass 2 rooms on either side (parents' and sisters) through a corridor. So I go check but nothing. It couldn't have been anyone of the family because all our room doors were very loud. If any of the doors open/close I would be able to hear from the hall or from my room. Also we all have heard footsteps on the hard roof. Just doing random directions as if someone doing house chores. It happens at night around bed time. At first few times we got really alarmed thinking it was a prowler. So my father and the no nonsense of a dog of ours (a rowdy German Shepard) would go check. But no one. After a while we kind of got used to the 'roof walker'.
On few occasions, when our cousins were visiting, daring each other, we kids would grab our mattresses and go sleep on the rooftop hoping (not really, would have wet ourselves silly had we seen anything!) we could catch/see the roof walker. We were a 'brave' bunch then (of course with numbers and our lazy mutt of a dog!)
Those were awesome moment's, when you lie down and gaze at the stars, the sheer numbers of them in our galaxy... Makes you awestruck and wonder how brief we are! And each time our mission (which is to sleep overnight) lasted only few hours. Even though the 'roof walker' wouldn't turn up, one or two will chicken out around midnight and the rest will follow. Lol. Come to think of it, what ever the entity/spirit didn't turn up (so to speak) when ever there's acrowd in or on the house.
I think it preferred to go about its business when no one is around (except the angry man who hates to see people going to sleep;which I'll tell you in a while) My dog had shown signs that he too notices these. Mind you our dog, who'd be always by my side if I'm at home basically doing what I do (mostly the sleeping part by my bedside), was all nose and ears. He could sniff/hear out a stranger down our lane 100 yards away even from inside the house and go bonkers (only to strangers, he kind of used to know all our neighbours including their visitors!). But to these noises, he kind of raises his head listen, then go about his business. Mainly sleep and fart, lol lazy mutt!
After moving to my new room, apart from hearing the sounds as if someone was going about their business in the living room while the lights out and everyone at sleep or in their respective rooms, the weirdest thing would start to happen; When I'm just about nodding off, this thing/voice snaps at me shouting something along the lines of "Oi oi oi!" Jitters me awake! As if some lousy old boss wakes you up after catching you while sleeping on the job. Only in a scary way! I had tried to find who or what it was but never succeeded. It spooked me to a point where I thought moving back to my brothers room. (But I knew he would never compromise his new found privacy). And the living room couch was out of the question! That's where the furniture gets alive at night! So this happened almost every night for sometime. Several times a night even.
First few days I couldn't sleep at all. As weeks passed this became more of a nuisance rather than being downright scary. So I've tried music (earphones). Sure it did the trick of cutting out the noises but the thing is music keeps me up, won't help me sleep, I'm weird that way! Also I'm a very light sleeper. Then I had found the perfect solution. A rattling old table fan! It never failed to rattle even on its slowest speed. It perfectly drowned out the angry mans Oi oi's and the other noises. Mind you this 'jolting you up thing' would happen even during daytime if anyone is alone in the house and trying get some sleep. My mother was often a victim because she's alone during the day and she liked her siesta. I remember she used to bribe my dog to get him to sleep in her room then. Lol
One time one of my cousin sisters was staying with us. Because her parents thought sending her away from the city and the not so ideal boyfriend of hers for a while would help make some sense into her. We got along fine. She was my big sis from the city who was cool and all!
Back to the story; One morning she asks me were you drunk last night, because there were lots of noise coming from the living area like stomping, chairs being dragged, the toilet being used etc. And finally it all ended up with a very loud bang like a steel frame falling on the tiles (that, I could explain). She used to sleep in my sister's room which was right down where the living room was. She used to keep the door not closed because she uses the loo often and wouldn't want to wake my sister up while going out and coming to the room. Mind you that house used to be very echoey. All noise kind of had an amplified nature to it, especially at night. Maybe because the bunker type structure of it (the concrete roof).
That night I was not in my room/house up until the loud bang. You see, I sometimes sneak out the house through my window (my parents locked us in at night; not that they were paranoid but they didn't trust me either). They were about 5' tall and had grills on them. So I had made one window grill without the securing screws. It was tightly fixed to the window frame so it won't fall even without the screws. I used pull it out of the frame, step out, pull it back to place and go out partying/sneak in my girl friend's or other silly stuff really. This night I had had one too many, came home, pushed the grill so hard and ended up falling into my room. The heavy grill first, me second. That was the loud bang my cousin had heard! Of course she was spooked enough already up until that, hid under the converse and didn't go waking anybody up.
Come to think of it, there may had been 2 spirits/entities in that house. One being the grumpy wake you uper and the other being the harmless entity that minded its business when no one's around (I think this one was also the roof walker).
Also there were rumours of other strange goings on around the area. One of them was an alleged roadside haunting only 5 minutes walk from our place where the swamp still (used to, at the time) stood natural. People said to have seen a man standing still in the swamp only to disappear later.
At the time I did not bother digging out the history of that place. But I think the reason for those unexplainable things is the violent events that took place in and around the area. The area was a vast swampland with mangroves from the lagoon to the city limits and isolated. There were reports of brutal killings (few I've witnessed afterwards) and rape in the area. There was a civil war in the country and the rebels, suspects were burned alive throughout the country. Some unlucky souls met their deaths in this area. And some bastards took advantage of the chaos and raped innocent girls and women and dump their bodies in this mangrove forest. May be the area the housing scheme was built had seen some parts of those violence. May be the spirits of those poor souls still lingered?
Actually the new tenants of that house (we rented it out) also confirmed the strange goings on! Luckily they didn't break the lease.
Thanks for reading,