Spiritual possessions are real, say local stars

Spiritual possessions are real, say local stars
Actors Jacko Chiang Wei-wen, Liu Lingling and Jesseca Liu at the press conference for the movie, Bring Back The Dead.

Upcoming local horror film, "Bring Back the Dead" is chock full of the usual scares: ominous music, shock tactics, and blood, lots of it.

The movie stars 35-year-old actress Jesseca Liu as a grieving mother who tries to bring back the soul of her dead son.

While bringing back someone's soul usually only happens in reel life, Jesseca has seen her own fair share of real life encounters with the supernatural.

"For me, I remember one eerie encounter when I was studying in Secondary School. It was during our break when I noticed a crowd outside the female toilet," says Jesseca.

"There were teachers and parents as well. I was so curious about what the whole commotion about. I was in a girls' school at that time so it was quite strange to see so many girls outside the toilet. My friend told me that there was a girl who got possessed.

"Apparently so. And she was spasming and trembling. I saw someone who was throwing eggs at her. She kept threwing and chanting in Malay.

"I didn't know what she was saying but I felt quite terrified at that time. Later on our teacher chased us away. But that was the only time I witnessed a possession."

Veteran Getai performer Liu Ling Ling, who plays the role of Jesseca's caregiver in the film, also had a spooky tale of her own.

Liu confessed: "I see a lot of possessions too. This is due to my job. As I work in getai, this is normal because we interact with ghosts all the time."

"Sometimes we even see audience members get possessed. As performers, we try to use comedy to deflect the situation, if not people will get panicky. Once they get possessed, the people will start shaking their heads and speaking strangely."

Liu asked her co-star if the people would speak in "some other language", which Liu confirms.

Liu says: "My mum was brought up in an opera troupe so I was also brought up in that environment."

"It is one of the most superstitious environments around. I've seen a performer who was arguing backstage, and when it was his time to perform, he was unable to utter a word.

"The drums were beating and everyone was waiting for him but he was just unable to speak. My mum told me not to talk flippantly backstage or I would get punished too.

"So if you see some stages you will see they seal it up and paste this or that," says Liu.

She feels that respect for the dead is really important regardless of religion and whether "you're a human or a ghost."

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