In Bali you will see many religious ceremonies but behind this image, Bali hides a taboo subject: black magic and evil spirits. And yes, this island so attractive by its culture. There are many Balinese who still believe in it or who still know a story of someone who has been a victim of dark magic or who has seen a ghost. I know people who know people who have …


Black magic in every place in the world is used for reasons of jealousy, revenge, anger etc. The Balinese are very superstitious and believe in spirit. For example, the offerings placed on the ground with a little rice / candy / cake or even a cigarette are there to appease the spirit. Talk to the Balinese black magic or ghosts and immediately they close on themselves because this subject is taboo, here we do not talk about joking, we take it very seriously.

Before 1970 when the name of the city of Sanur was mentioned, because this city is like the home of black magic. All Bali knows that Sanur is home to people practicing it. It was not uncommon t at that time there were rumors that there was a “war” between the masters of black magic of Sanur and those of the village of Kamasan in Klungkung at certain times. But nowadays Sanur has lost that reputation.

Another place that is feared by many Balinese for because it haunted (evil power) is the island of Nusa Penida. We believe that every Balinese must at least once in his life make a pilgrimage to this island to visit a specific temple: the Pura Dalem Penataran Pede whose energy provides a negative balance with the divine positive energy. This temple has a sanctuary, a source of power for those who practice black magic and a place of pilgrimage for those seeking to protect themselves from evil and sickness.

Penida was a long time ago inhabited by demons, evil spirits, one of the most feared in local mythology: Jero Gede Macaling the king of demons who inspired the dance Barong landung. This demon from the village of Batuan (Bali) was exiled to Nusa Penida because he was accused of being responsible for diseases and disasters. It is said that he always comes to Bali from time to time to do damage.

You have to understand Balinese fear and respect what they believe because it is essential for the Balinese that there is always a balance for everything.


In Bali everything has its place and in order to have a harmony between the two worlds the borders must be clear. So before each construction a religious ceremony must be made to relocate the spirits before construction begins. However with the development that Bali island knows the spirits are dislocated and compressed in smaller spaces. This creates an imbalance in the supernatural world: the human takes the environment of the spirits, especially the rivers and forests that are their roads and houses. More and more rivers are built villas / houses that often have no altars or offerings, this is a problem. The “people of the river” are disturbed because they are then without homes …

The tanya are the spirits that inhabit the rivers and ravines. It is said that they are very active during the day when they take on a human appearance in the villages. They look like us except they have no recess between the nostrils and the upper lip.

Little anecdote: one day when I was a child I played at the river with my cousins. At the end of the afternoon we went home, that’s when I realized I forgot my towel. My parents were angry and wanted me to go back but i did not want to go : too much afraid of the spirits of the river coming out at the end of the day. The next morning we went back with my cousins to get it: it was very well spread on a stone, too perfectly. We were afraid that when taking my towel that bewitched catches us and wraps around us. So we decided to throw stones at her to see if anything was happening. And guess what? Well, nothing happened… so I could quietly take my forgotten towel.

There are also the memedi red-haired humanoids who live in tall, big trees and bamboo groves near the villages. It is also said that they steal children when the suns goes down. The parents used to threaten the children that the memedi would take if they behaved badly.

The tuyuls are spirits of mischievous children. It is said that there is people send them to break into houses or shops to steal money. That’s why often when we keep pennies aside we put a small mirror on this money so if they comes to rob us he will see his reflection and believe that their reflection is their friend and he will play with his reflection, have fun , dancera etc, and forget about stealing money.

The Dete or Moro can take on the appearance of real or mythical animals and before encountering a weird smell emerges.


Leak is very feared by the Balinese.

It can change his the appearance to be a human and is transformed only in the evening, he can transformed to be bird, monkey, a body with head and its organs that go out, rangda etc. The physical body of the leak remains in bed. Some Balinese who linger around midnight say they have already met what they think is a leak floating in the air and fun to scare. It is said that at night he goes to the cemeteries to search for buried human organs for use in making magic potions; it is thanks to these that he is transformed into what he wants. It is even said that if it is necessary the leak can take organs on living people or even look for pregnant women to drink the blood of babies who are in womb in order to regenerate his powers.

The most common form of the leak is with a long tongue and sharp teeth. Some say that the magic of the leak only works in Bali and that this demon can only be found here. It is also said that when one manages to kill him (leak) the human body of this ghost he will die in his bed without injury or apparent illness and some will interpret these signs to conclude that the dead person was a leak in his life. Also he attacks especially members of his family because to attack people outside this one requires a very advanced knowledge.

The leak is actually one of the teachings of Balinese mysticism. Basically the leak is made to help people but it was used by some to hurt people. In Bali there is therefore the leak of white magic and the black magic leak. We believe that people practicing the black magic leak will have great suffering by having 1,000 reincarnations on earth.

The leaks usually like to disturb children, to roam the night and at times they can also fight each other not because of a conflict but just to prove who is stronger. At night, in the sky it is said to be able to see the fight between leak as fragments of fire like a shooting star. The leak that loses the fight will then be ill for a long time or will die following a hemorrhage.

The most sensitive people to recognize a leak are babies who will start crying if they pass nearby. Babies are very at risk of leak attacks especially before their 3 months, that’s why we often place on their forehead a piece of shallot. We believe that the clear smell will help keep the negative forces away from the baby.

In any case the practice of the leak is very badly perceived because we do not realize that it is actually a kind of science that fell into the wrong hands becomes dangerous because at the base it is not the purpose of the leak.


Pengasih-asih : its a magic to get someone who we loved but he/she does not has the same feeling. Loving compassion is a black magic used to conquer the heart of the loved one. It is used through different objects bewitched ring, belt etc. However it will have no effect on someone who has great faith.

Cetik cetik : poison a person via black magic. Cetik is intoxicated food that can only be seen by the 6 senses. This science of dark magic is controlled with the spirit and can attack the victim in general when there is a party. The person targeted by this dark magic may not be hurt if they have faith or if their soul is not in disarray.

There are 2 kinds of cetik : the one with immediate effect and the one with effect on the long term (about 6 months). In order to avoid being a victim of cetik during feasts Balinese typically do things like: putting salt on the food (salt is supposed to neutralize the cetik), throw some food and drink on the ground so the food contaminated will cause cetik to lose his strength when he touches the ground or to pray to the God Ngejo.

When we are convinced that we are a victim of dark magic, we will see balians to obtain an amulet, a mantra, a magic prayer, a ring or other magic object to protect ourselves from the intrusion of evil influences. Another alternative is to go to the pura dalem (temple near the cemetery) and dedicated to Shiva to meditate all night to have the strength to fight black magic but often this alternative fails.

It is often and especially in remote villages that black magic is said to be the cause of certain situations: for example couples who can not have children, sick people who can not be cured. or people who died in questionable / abnormal conditions or simply the mentally ill. When suspicious death a balian can conduct a ceremony and know through his powers and the spirit of the deceased who is the culprit of death.

The Balinese also say that to be a victim of black magic you have to believe in black magic …

So, it is you decided to believe it or not …


We could not do such an article without mentioning them.

The kuntilanak: it is a pregnant woman or a woman who died in childbirth. It is found mainly in Java.

The characteristics of this spirit are:

– screaming

– crying

– likes old buildings or destroyed buildings

– often resides near a watercourse

– loves the child’s flesh (we refer to her as kidnapper)

The kuntilanak likes to terrorize people for revenge and is often seen with a frangipani flower. She likes to eat babies and prey on pregnant women but will not attack them if they have something edged with them: scissors, knife etc. This is why one often finds in the room of these pregnant women such objects in order to keep away the kuntilanak.

We find mostly pocong Java. He would have a green or white head and empty eyes. The pocong would be the spirit of a dead person wrapped in his shroud (used at the burial of the deceased person in the Muslim religion) According to local beliefs the spirit of a dead person remains on earth for 40 days after his death. death. When the ties are not cut after 40 days, it is said that the body comes out of his grave to warn that the spirit needs help to be released. Once delivered the spirit will go away and will not reappear.

Because of the knot at the end of the shroud the pocong can not walk and to move would jump like a rabbit. But more than anything the pocong has the ability to fly and teleport.

Often kuntilinak and pocong are inspiration for Indonesian horror films.

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