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The Superstitions Seychelles Locals Still Believe In

Picture of Chantelle Howell
Updated: 7 August 2017
Seychelles is 90 percent Catholic, however they are still very superstitious people. While there is history of ‘black magic’ and some say is still continued to this day, tourists will have a very hard time getting local people to open up or admit this though because this is not very Catholic.

Gris Gris, as it’s called here, came with the African and Malagasy slaves. It’s a blend of black magic and herbalism.

Black magic in any form including sorcery, fortune-telling, and the possession of amulets and charms was actually banned in 1958. The British still controlled Seychelles at the time and while the law still stands today, some in Seychelles are still extremely superstitious.

Homes and gifts

If visiting a house after sunset, one must call out the name three times to ensure it’s not a ghost responding.

Never sweep a house after 6 pm as this will sweep your fortunes away—though sweeping might be okay; just don’t throw the dirt outside.

Never gift a handkerchief or a knife to a loved one as it is terribly bad luck.

sweep away
sweep away | © Rigel/Flickr

Animals

If a snake crosses your path, something bad is sure to happen.

If you hear a long howl from a dog, someone in the neighbourhood will die.

If a big rhinoceros beetle—known here as a coconut beetle—flies into a house at night, it’s announcing a bad spells.

If you hear the cry of a Seychelles kestrel at night in your garden or on your roof, someone in your family will shortly die.

Coconut rhinoceros beetle
Coconut rhinoceros beetle | © arian.suresh/Flickr

Dreams

If you dream about eating fruit, a family member is pregnant.

If you dream about a pregnant woman, you will have trouble with the police.

If you regularly dream that you are fishing, you will have good luck such as winning the lottery.

Protecting yourself

Tattooing a dot on your ankle and shoulder is a way of protecting yourself against bad luck.

Boil as many centipedes as possible and bathe in them—centipedes in Seychelles are venomous and a bite from one is no joke, so bathing in boiled centipede water is a pretty big step to take in order to protect yourself.

A white cockroach will save your life if you have Tetanus.

Apparently many Seychellois still consult a Bonom di bwa (from the French bonhomme-du-bois) a man of the woods who combines herbalism with superstition. He will sell charms and pronounce incantations for protection.

To protect yourself from bad spells and to stop ghosts from entering the house, plant Bois malgache (from the Creole Bwa Malagash) on the four corners of your house.