Lily Collins claims the ghosts of Ted Bundy’s victims visited her


In addition to taking on the role of JRR Tolkien’s wife in Tolkien with Nicholas Hoult, and Fantine in the BBC’s version of Les Miserable, Lily Collins plays Liz Kloepfer, Ted Bundy’s girlfriend, in Netflix’s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. Liz was a single mom when she met and fell for Bundy. According to the film, it wasn’t until he sat on death row that Liz was able to fully free herself from his clutches. So how does one prepare for such a role? According to Lily, she had help – in the form of Bundy’s victims’ ghosts who haunted her at 3AM each morning. If you listened to yesterday’s Gossip with Celebitchy podcast, you’ll know that hanging out with ghosts is one of my favorite things to talk about.

Undoubtedly the darkest of her recent projects is Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, about the serial killer Ted Bundy, who murdered more than 30 girls and women in seven US states in the 1970s. The title comes from the judge’s summation of Bundy’s acts when sentencing him to death. Collins plays Elizabeth Kloepfer, the killer’s long-term girlfriend who is convinced of his innocence, with Zac Efron playing a charismatic and persuasive Bundy.

While preparing for the role, over the Christmas holidays, Collins recounts how she would wake every night at 3.05am. “I would go downstairs and have a cup of tea, trying to figure out why I had woken up again.” Then, she says, “I started being woken up by flashes of images, like the aftermath of a struggle.” She went to the internet to investigate. “I discovered that 3am is the time when the veil between the realms is the thinnest and one can be visited.” She began to believe women who were murdered by Bundy were, perhaps, trying to contact her. “I didn’t feel scared – I felt supported. I felt like people were saying: “We’re here listening. We’re here to support. Thank you for telling the story.”

Collins tells me all of this in a completely matter-of-fact manner, as if receiving messages from long-dead murder victims were a perfectly normal part of preparing for a film.

[The Guardian by way of DListed]

I’ve actually heard mention about a boundary between this world and the afterlife being thinner at certain times. I didn’t know it was a daily thing, though. I imagined it was something that happened at certain times of the year or after major events like earthquakes and floods or when failed TV stars get elected to the White House. What does one offer to a spirit at 3AM? Coffee and donuts seems trite, but it’s just too early for scotch. I’d love to know if Lily believed in ghosts before they started supporting her career or after.

I had to leave the jokes up there because although The Guardian’s interview with Lily is actually pretty good, her comments about Bundy’s victims didn’t sit that well with me. I watched Extremely Wicked over the weekend and was impressed with Efron’s performance. Lily was good in her role as well. I was aware of Bundy through my parents during his trials and execution and researched his crimes later for a script. When the movie begins, the authorities are already looking at Bundy as a perpetrator. The angle the story took was how people reacted to Bundy, whether they were swayed by his charisma or infuriated by the fact he had that effect on others. The horror of his crimes is conveyed with little to no visuals and even though they are prevalent in the story, they are not sensationalized for the sake of entertainment. Although Lily’s perception of Bundy’s victims reaching out to her to thank her is a pleasant one, it walks the edge of exploitative. I very much want Bundy’s victims to have peace, I’m just not sure an early-morning Lily is the one to give it to them.

Thank you to DListed for making us aware of this interview!




Photo credit: WENN Photos

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

48 Responses to “Lily Collins claims the ghosts of Ted Bundy’s victims visited her”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Junebug says:

    Maybe I’m reading this wrong and being overly sensitive but does she not realise how upsetting it might be to read this for the families of Bundy’s victims? I dunno, but if I was a family member, this would be painful I think.

    • Mia4s says:

      No I don’t think you’re wrong at all. And considering the film is not remotely about the victims it’s a gross comment. A film focused on “this guy was sooo crazy charismatic and interesting, uhh he raped and murdered lots of young women, but sooooo charismatic” is not telling or honouring his MANY victims. A film about Bundy and his girlfriend does not tell the story of the TWELVE year old child he murdered. Honestly her comment is just gross.

      The 3am thing is a fairly common belief, but if any spirits are coming to her or Mr. High School Musical, I don’t think they are there to give their “blessing”. Yuck.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        And the remains of some of these young women have NEVER been found and lets not forget that he continued to abuse the women’s bodies after they were dead.

        The FBI believe there there are other victims that we don’t and may never know about. He apparently confirmed before he was executed that he murdered 35 women but police don’t believe that. Its thought that the number of victims could be around 100 given the voracity of how often he committed these horrible crimes. He kidnapped and murdered 2 women in one day.

        Her comments were just thoughtless and made for attention seeking and validation.

      • hal says:

        Amen, sister!

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Some people are really outraged that the film references the fact that he was charming. I think it is so important!!! People on juries to this day say things like “he doesn’t look like a murderer”. It is important that people don’t use what people look like against them (POC for example) or to help them (monsters that looks nice, like Bundy).

        When we see what happened with Bundy, we should be horrified at the leniency he was given and think of how we can prevent it from happening in our own time. Human beings are bias creatures who are easily manipulated and we must constantly be reminded of that, especially when it comes to the justice system.

      • Montrealaise says:

        I haven’t see the film, but any movie or book about Ted Bundy has to emphasize his good looks and his charm, because he used those qualities to lure his victims. Most of them were college students – intelligent, well-educated young women who would never have gone willingly with someone who appeared to be creepy or weird. His favourite ruse was to wear a fake cast, pretending he had a broken arm or leg, and ever-so-nicely ask a young woman to carry his books to his car, which was parked a fair distance away in an isolated area. The fact that his victims agreed speaks volumes about his personality and powers of persuasion.

    • Annie says:

      Not only is the comment exploitative and cretinous (ghosts? Really?), it is insensitive to the families.

    • It’sjustblanche says:

      I felt the same way. She’s actually being extremely sh*tty and narcissistic.

    • Tourmaline says:

      Agree this is gross. Yes how would a family feel, especially if their loved one’s ghost isn’t visiting them but is supposedly taking time to visit Lily freaking Collins. Blech.
      Nepotism plus eyebrows, that is Lily Collins in a nutshell. Against all odds someone is still trying to make this chick happen.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      I had the same thought – the victims would know some random actress playing the wife of their murderer (not even the actress playing them) in this film and visit her?

      Pulmonary function dips between 3 & 5 am – it’s a common time for people to wake. Also a common time for severe asthma attacks/deaths, as well as other significant medical issues.

      • Tourmaline says:

        @pottymouth – now you are freaking me out! I will be scared to fall asleep tonight. 🙂

    • lucy2 says:

      I feel the same way, this really bothers me. It’s incredibly insensitive, and way over the line of exploitative.

  2. A.Key says:

    For whatever reason Hollyweird is still trying to make her happen and I’m still not buying it.
    Also, talk about delusions of grandeur, chica.

    • Annie says:

      EXACTLY. She is exceptionally vapid, untalented and irritating. Hard pass. I will actively avoid anything she’s in even if I like the rest of the cast/premise.

    • Dani says:

      I actually that she was very very good in this film. Especially at the end when she goes to visit him in jail after ten years. Hm.

      • Angela82 says:

        Too bad that never actually happened when he was at Raiford. I guess playing a little loose with the facts.

    • Shasha says:

      It’s because she’s Phil Collins’s daughter.

  3. zee says:

    First Freddie Mercury’s ghost shields Rami Malek from knowing about Brian Singer’s crimes and now Lily gets visited by the spirits of murdered women and girls. Does Hollywood have a special phone connection to the after life or are they just doing too much acid again?

  4. Monicack says:

    This one bugs. Had they been the spirits of Bundy’s victims they would have been loathe to hang out with the actress portraying their killer’s adoring spouse. Secondly why in hell would they support Collins or this project as it callously glosses over their murders to focus on Bundy’s “charm”? Ugh.

  5. Anna says:

    Yeah, her comments already seem exploitative to me. Very callous.

  6. Digital Unicorn says:

    She’s not a terrible actress but she is too try hard and a bit clueless. And yeah like Natalie Portman she grates on me, Am looking forward to watching this purely to see what Efron can do. He looks scarily like Bundy.

    Am currently watching the Ted Bundy Tapes on Netflix and OMG, the man was a complete narcissistic violent sick psycho. They think he started killing as a teenager (there is one victim who was very young when he was around 14). They could never understand why he did what he did, esp the necrophilia but given that his victims all had the same look, its speculated that his hatred of women came from his mother who never wanted him.

    • It’sjustblanche says:

      If it makes you feel better, I knew a man who worked on death row and was one of his guards. They harassed him nonstop. They literally would walk past his cell and make electrocution sounds. Keep in mind, these are local guys and he killed a little girl not far from where that prison is located.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        That’s good to know, I hope he got crap from the other prisoners. Am glad they caught him but he has a child doesn’t he – a daughter.

      • Angela82 says:

        @Digital Unicorn: yeah supposedly. But according to the late Ann Rule she turned out to be a fine upstanding young woman so maybe she isn’t his or maybe she overcame whatever psychopathic genes he carried. It makes me sick the woman would even have a child with him. Imagine being the poor girl growing up knowing who your father was. 🙁

    • Melody says:

      I don’t remember his mother not wanting him but I do remember that he found out fairly young that his birth certificate was faked and noone ever knew who his real father was. Also because of the time and his mother being a single mom, he was raised to believe she was his sister and his grandparents were actually his parents.
      He was also rejected by his first girlfriend and then later got back together with her just to dump her as revenge. I think I’ve heard many of his victims looked similiar to her, not his mother. I think any hatred towards his mother or family was that lies about his parentage. Its speculated a cousin told him the truth or that he found out himself shortly before started his killing spree. There’s a lot that could have triggered him. His grandfather was also a tyrannical bigot and abusive.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        His mother tried to leaving him at the birthing home (she gave birth in a place for unwed mothers) but her father forced her to go back to get him. Its also alleged that Bundy is the product of a incest, his grandfather supposedly raped his mother. Yes the grandfather was a violent abusive man but as I say there were rumours that he sexually abused his daughter (Bundy’s mother).

        Its also believed he started killing as a teenager, at 14 he was suspected of murdering 8 year old Anne Marie Burr so its unlikely that the ex GF was what triggered him. Although saying that it might have accelerated his violent behaviour as his attacks became more frequent after that.

    • Montrealaise says:

      He was born in the late 1940s, at a time when having a baby out of wedlock was considered shameful and unwed mothers were scorned. His mother gave birth to him a Vermont home for unwed mothers and left him there for several months while she returned home and debated whether or not to keep him or give him up for adoption – she ultimately decided to raise him, but who knows how his earliest experiences contributed to his pathology? According to Ann Rule – whose book about him, The Stranger Beside Me, is one of the most compelling true crime books ever written – his victims all resembled his college girlfriend, who rejected him.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        I think the ex GF dumping him likely escalated his behaviour as he is suspected in the attack of 2 young women (Lisa Wick who survived and Lonnie Trumbull who died) in 1966 the year before he met Brookes (was that her name, there was confusion around her identity?).

        The case has always fascinated me and watching the show and listening to him talk about himself in the 3rd person is creepy.

        It seems likely that it was a combination of things that drove him to do what he did but yeah I can see what happened with his ex and first GF being what pushed him over the edge.

    • Dani says:

      Zac was amazing. His best work yet, I would say. He portrayed him so well and he creepily looks like him. I def recommend watching it. I’m starting the Bundy Tapes tonight.

    • Veronica S. says:

      My brutally honest opinion is that there is no underlying reasoning beyond his suggested sociopathy. Fiercely patriarchal cultures (which America is let’s not kid ourselves) objectify, dehumanize, and degrade women regularly as it is. There are plenty of “average” men out there who consider minor forms of sexual assault totally acceptable, and plenty of them will spill into rape at some point or another. Bundy grew up in a time when plenty of men thought domestic abuse was an acceptable solution to keep women in line. A lot of his behavior wasn’t even that inherently clever, just an allowance made by his white male privilege.

      When you create an inherently toxic culture for women, it’s not surprising that those without scruples have no problem taking misogyny to the logical extreme of female destruction. We can look for whatever excuses we want, but that’s just what they are – excuses. He wanted to hurt women. He was taught by a society that his aggression and dominance were acceptable masculine traits. It was inevitable the twain would meet, regardless of the trigger.

      • Melody says:

        I was going to say something like this too. We can try to pin what he did on any number of triggering events in his life but at the end of the day, let’s not forgot he was a necrophile. No amount of childhood abuse can explain away having sex with, and sometimes eating, dead people.

  7. KLO says:

    The things Lily says about the ghosts would be OK in a pajama party conversation but as a knowingly given interview it feels kind of childish and tone deaf, knowing how sensitive the subject is and how much hurt her comments might cause.

    And I am not even knocking the notion that she might have had a “presence” or two visit her. In stressful situations people sometimes start seeing or “feeling” that there is someone with them. Something to do with brain chemistry, it`s a real thing.
    I am sure she was stressed while doing the film so it might have happened.

    I don´t believe in ghosts, but I can not deny that during a very stressful time in college when I was living alone, I felt a presence of a male person (I did not see or hear anything, just “felt it”. I looked around and saw noone, but still felt it) in my bedroom on three separate times. It was always right before going to bed somewhere at 2 am. It was scary and it felt very real. If someone would ask me, I would say it WAS real.
    It has never happened after that.

  8. terra says:

    Okay, admittedly I haven’t read the article yet, but my first thought is this: oh, my God, shut the f–k up, Lily Collins.

    Actually, yeah, that’s my only thought. I don’t need to read it to know this was not a bright thing for her to say.

  9. Doodle says:

    I enjoyed the movie – Efron really surprised me with his acting chops and the movie as I understood it was supposed to be more from his girlfriend’s perspective so it made sense to kind of gloss over the victims because she didn’t want to know the details. With that in mind, she shouldn’t have made this comment to the news. This movie was definitely an entertainment type movie and not at all biopic – if you are going to start communing with the victims you definitely need to honor them far more in the film.

    • NYC_Girl says:

      I saw it too this past weekend and thought it was good. It was really about gas-lighting and manipulation – there is no insight why Bundy did what he did. I DID think Efron looked very much like him, especially with the beard. Ebert has a good review of it.

  10. Michael says:

    Take’s herself pretty seriously, doesn’t she?

  11. Karen2 says:

    I read this too. The real problem is the movie. The star as always is playing the killer. So inherently the victims are sidelined & inconsequential. Which is so so wrong. But standard show biz. Someone in PR realised this & maybe put it to Lilly to speak up for the victims. Thats all I got. Personally I think Lillys done well to star in 2 interesting movies.

    What should happen in all this type of movie is that the star should either play the cop or the victim. The formers been done to death & no star is gonna play a victim.

  12. Leah says:

    This is simply a dumb and needlessly asinine statement. TB’s crimes were atrocious and the only function that man will provide to society is a dulled sense of hope in humanity and some data for psychological studies in violent psychopathy. She must be dim.

  13. bobafelty says:

    I think she’s a bad actress, including in this movie. Thought Zac portrayed Bundy really well, especially the mannerisms!

    Lily must have a really crowded bedroom, with over 30 ghosts in her room!

    I really liked the Versace tv show, because it gave respect and humanity to the victims, while still focusing on the spree killer. A show about a killer can still portray the victims as people, not props for moving the plot.

  14. Angela82 says:

    Maybe I’m cynical but I can’t stand when celebrities bring up their “ghost encounters” and especially when its focused on grotesque crimes. Perhaps she truly believes they visited her but if I were her I would have kept it to myself bc there are still family members of the victims out there today.

    I have not watched the movie yet but one of the complaints I’ve heard is how they focus on Ted’s tricky charisma and all American boyish good looks and not the victims. Apparently a lot of Seattle gets left out too which makes no sense as most of his relationship with Liz was in Seattle. Makes me think its more of the same in terms of rehashing the crimes and trials rather rather than a different angle, but I will have to watch to see for myself.

    I am currently reading a book by Kevin Sullivan that is the first of the Bundy books which delves entirely into the victims’ lives rather than Bundy’s life. So far its been a far more interesting than the regurgitated Bundy biographies and movies. Highly recommended.

  15. stephanie says:

    That is offensive that she would use the victims to make such an attention getting statement. No ghosts visited her. She is full of it. Sick.

  16. Starkiller says:

    “When the realms are the thinnest”??? Surprised she didn’t also bust out an Ouija board and have a seance. What a freaking moron.

    • Tourmaline says:

      I prefer my realms nice and THICK.

    • Angela82 says:

      This screams weird anti intellectual movement to me. I have never seen a god damn ghost and if anyone has I either think they are grasping at straw and see what they want to see, like the attention, or have schizophrenia lol.

      • Veronica S. says:

        I’ve never seen a ghost, but I will say that I went to a school where one of the kids had a home that was notoriously haunted. And people did talk about seeing a ghost in the upstairs window occasionally – not in this frou frou sort of way, but as just a casual, “Oh yeah, that one house has a ghost. You see it sometimes, no big.” It was a very strange experience to hear people talk about it so casually.

  17. Veronica S. says:

    I suppose if you believe in the concept of souls, the idea of ghosts and otherworldly connections is not so far behind it, but something about this seems…uh, lacking in discretion. Ted Bundy was an absolute monster – like, literally, if you read about what he did to his victims, it’s hard not to get nauseous at the absolute sadism of it. I can’t imagine how their families feel hearing this knowing already how horribly they’re relative died as it was.

  18. Amelie says:

    I don’t disbelieve in ghosts and I don’t disbelieve some dreams can be prophetic/related to hauntings etc. I am slightly witchy like that. But in this case it’s clear she did research on Bundy and also working on a project related to him got to her subconscious. She started dreaming about unsettling/traumatic things because she was immersed in the work playing the girlfriend of a psychopathic serial killer. That’s normal, not ghostly. If I binge watch a TV show/immerse myself in a book/research something obsessively, often times elements of what I’ve been consuming appear in my dreams. It’s not weird at all. And for her to say in an interview that she believes it was the spirits of the victims is very tasteless. She comes across as so clueless.

    I do believe ghosts to an extent (I had an experience I’ve already told about on the recent Sting ghost post) but I also know when it’s my imagination being overactive. In elementary school for awhile I somehow had this weird idea that this ghostly nun lady used to follow me around the hallways of my school when I was alone. I have no idea how I came up with this idea because I never saw or experienced anything that could have suggested this. It’s what happens when you are a kid binge reading Nancy Drew and other mystery type books at that age! Things around you affect your subconscious in weird ways.

  19. Beech says:

    A late friend of mine often spoke of her haunted house. It was no big whoop to her and she said it was live people you should fear. Presumably charming all American people like Bundy.