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It’s that time of year again. The cobwebs are out, the carved pumpkins set on porches, and warty witches and wizards are prowling the streets for candy. –Well, not really. This is Malaysia, after all.

But what we do have on All Hallows’ Eve is a stash of horror movies to gorge on! Especially tonight of all nights. There is something strangely appealing about having a Halloween horror movie night with your friends now, isn’t there?

Rather than relying solely on movies for scares, though, why not up the Fear factor by delving into the “true stories” some of these films were inspired by?

Here are three of the more famous ones:

1. The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)

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A movie that freaked out millions with its chilling audio alone, The Exorcism of Emily Rose is based on the story of Anneliese Michel, a German lass who began to experience convulsions at the age of 17 in 1968.

According to court findings, she had her first epileptic attack in 1969 and was then diagnosed with Grand Mal epilepsy.

At first, her parents relied on doctors to treat their daughter, but as her condition steadily worsened, they soon became convinced she was possessed. So they gave up on professional medical care and came to solely depend on exorcism for healing.

It was at this point that she had long gone past experiencing mere convulsions.

By then, she suffered devilish hallucinations while praying, heard voices that told her she was damned, saw faces of demons on the people and things around her, and harboured an aversion for religious objects. In addition, she was convinced that she was possessed by several demons including Lucifer, Judas Iscariot, Nero, Cain, Hitler, and Fleischmann.

During this unstable state, she performed a myriad of highly disturbing actions that would make anyone take more than a step back. She ate flies, spiders and coal, bit off the head of a dead bird, crawled under a table and barked like a dog for two days, just to name a few. There’s more, of course, but we’re leaving the more disturbing details to your imagination.

Unfortunately for Anneliese, there was no happy ending at the end of the tunnel. Her life ended from severe dehydration and malnutrition after enduring 67 grueling exorcisms for 10 months.

2. The Conjuring (2013)

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There was some controversy regarding the legitimacy of the “true story” that The Conjuring is based on, and in this day and age, hardly anyone would blame you for being a skeptic.

Just how much truth does the film hold? How much is simply fiction?

This story is based on the experiences of American paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, the latter of which was a consultant for the film.

They claimed that The Conjuring farmhouse (the real one, mind) was haunted by a witch called Bathsheba Sherman.

Born in 1812, Rhode Islander Bathsheba Thayer married Judson Sherman in 1844. During their marriage, Bathsheba took on the role of housewife whilst her husband worked as a farmer. Between the both of them, they had at least one child, though it is possible that they had other children as well.

If they had other children, rumours have it that none of them lived past the age of seven. There are, however, no census records that can confirm these reports. Nonetheless, it was possibly from here that stories of her being a witch began.

Although child deaths weren’t uncommon at the time, Bathsheba was suspected of murder after a baby died while under her care. Whether the child was hers or someone else’s isn’t clear, but the ending was the same: the cause of death was impalement via a large needle at the base of the skull. This consequently caused rumours of her being a witch to spring forth, and she was consequently put on trial.

3. The Exorcist (1973)

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The Exorcist is an adaptation of a novel of the same name, which was inspired by the exorcism of Roland Doe in 1949.

Unlike the previous two accounts, the true identity of the boy in question isn’t known; the name Roland Doe was granted to him to protect his anonymity.

The story supposedly began after the death of Roland’s aunt. Having been introduced to the Ouija board prior to her death, Roland fervently tried to contact her with it after her passing. And wouldn’t you know it, it was then that strange happenings started to occur.

Furniture moved across the room, inanimate objects levitated in the house, scratches of words appeared on the poor boy’s body, vials of holy water smashed to the ground, the works.

All of these incidents were centered around Roland.

Not knowing what else they could do, his parents took him to Catholic priests, who reportedly performed -you guessed it- exorcisms on the lad. These exorcisms could at times turn violent, with one of the most prominent incidents being when Roland slashed one of the priests with a bedspring from the mattress.

Other horrors that occurred during this tumultuous time were the appearances of lacerations resembling words and demonic faces on Roland’s body, and Roland speaking in a guttural voice unlike his own.

In contrast to Anneliese Michel, however, Roland survived these exorcisms.

Not much is known about what happened to him thereafter, but those involved in the event said that Roland went on to live a perfectly normal, happy life. He apparently has no memory of what took place during his possession.

Do you happen to have a horror story of your own to share? Let us know in the Comments section below!

Melissa Kartini
Nuffnang Community Team

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Nuffnang is home to many ambitious, hardworking individuals. So much so that one of them has recently risen to stardom status. The person in question is our man of the hour, Lead Producer of ReelityTV Malaysia, Michael Chen.

A long-time member of the Malaysian Theatre and TV scene, Michael has built up quite the impressive portfolio. Thus far, he has had a hand in acting, producing, fitness instructing, martial arts, singing-songwriting, hosting and emceeing. Phew! With such an exhaustive list, Michael is clearly a force to be reckoned with.

Therefore, it is without a doubt that his extensive experience helped him carry the role of Wong from the locally made blockbuster film, Tombiruo.

We at Nuffnang cannot be prouder of our Lead Producer.

So imagine my excitement when I managed to catch him for an interview one afternoon! Busy bee that he is, he is constantly in and out of the office throughout the week.

How did you come across the role of Wong?

I was recommended to the Casting Director and veteran Malaysian Director, Nasir Jani by my friend, Zurina Ramli. She’s one of the lead Producers. They needed a Chinese actor who could act, fight, potentially do his own stunts and is comfortable speaking Malay on screen. So I was just lucky to know the right people and have the varied skillset!

You are a man of many talents. It must’ve been exhausting juggling multiple jobs and projects at the same time while filming. How did you manage it?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been juggling. I’ve been dabbling in theatre since 2000, when I was still in Form 6. When I was studying law in Uni, I’d be doing acting workshops at night and teaching kickboxing in between all of that. The same thing applied when I started working full-time in different lines from production, marketing and so on. This trend continues till today.

During the toughest period of the Tombiruo shoot, I would be in the Nuffnang office, going for a shoot from 7pm to 7am and then back to the office again at 10am. But the awesome thing about this production was that they were willing to work around my schedule and put most of my shooting times after work or during weekends.

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Did you have to do any special preparations for the role? Did you have to do your own stunts?

There were actually a lot of rehearsals for Tombiruo. Rehearsals were broken down into script reads, character development, fight choreography and stunt preparation. For me personally, I attended most of the script reads and selected character development rehearsals. And yes, I did all my own stunts.

What was it like to play Wong? Do you feel you are similar to him in any way?

Wong is my first time playing an all-out ‘bad guy’ who doesn’t seem to have any moral compass. He’s more of a psychopath in the clinical sense of the word.

I’m very different from him. When playing a character like him, I attach certain personality attributes that I can share with him. For example, Wong is a very driven person and I’m a driven person too.

Tell me an interesting story of what happened while you were on set.

That would have to be the day that I had to shoot a very dangerous stunt. They were going to set me on fire. At the same time, I experienced a personal family tragedy and couldn’t be on location for the shoot. The entire production gave me the time I needed to manage my personal situation and when I arrived on set, they were all extremely understanding. They knew I wasn’t in a good state of mind and that I was also quite afraid of the stunt I was about to engage in.

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At the same time, I was set on fire! How much more interesting can I get?

What have you learnt from your experience on Tombiruo?

One of my biggest takeaways is to never stop trying. The likelihood of an unknown actor like me getting such a pivotal role in a big film like this is very low. Had I allowed that ‘reality’ affect me, I wouldn’t have gone for the audition.

How does it feel to star in such a successful local film?

I don’t think it has actually sunk in yet. At the moment, I’m just really proud to be part of it and thankful that I had the opportunity.

Are you interested in acting in more films? What sort of character do you hope to play next?

Of course. I’ll never stop.

I’m actually quite keen to play more flawed characters. Not necessarily good or bad guys but just flawed like everyone we know in real life.

Did you get to meet Ramlee Awang Murshid himself? What was your impression of him?

Yes, I did. Many times. He was very involved in the movie and was regularly on location.

He’s a very intelligent man and an experienced writer with great characters under his belt. He shared with me that he never allowed any of his bestselling books to be turned into movies over the years because he felt that he didn’t have enough stories yet. His novels are all connected like how the Marvel Cinematic Universe is connected. After 20 years, he finally feels like he has enough stories to start looking into making movies. This shows how much of a visionary he is.

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Is there a chance we’ll see Wong again?

Who knows? The fate of that relies on how well Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba does in the box office, whether the fans make enough noise to warrant my character coming back and whether the Producers think the same. I hope so!

Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba is still showing in cinemas!

Written by
Melissa Kartini
Digital Content Writer
melissa.kartini@nuffnang.com

afreeda@netccentric.com
Nuffnang Community Team

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