An urban legend about “Grease Devils” in Sri Lanka has spread panic and violence in the island for several weeks. Grease Devils are night-time prowlers clad only in underwear who cover their bodies with grease or oil to evade capture. They are said to have been targeting single mothers and widows for assaults. The grease devil invades a woman’s home at night and takes advantage of her, and bites her neck and breasts. Beliefs about spirits and devils are common in Sri Lankan culture.
Panic over grease devil attacks lead to 30 acts of vigilante violence against authorities and left five dead, including a cop. Rumors have erupted saying that the government is behind the attacks to keep the Emergency Regulations in force in the country.
The Sri Lankan government is requesting the administrators of the social networking website Facebook launch an investigation of a Facebook fan page for the fictional character that has already collected over 3,000 “likes”. They would be seeking information about the users that created the page as well as those individuals who like it on Facebook.