Lily Collins believes she was visited by the ghosts of Ted Bundy‘s victims — but the actress “didn’t feel scared.”
The Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile star, 30, opened up about her supernatural experience in an interview with The Guardian saying she’d wake up every night at 3:05 a.m. while preparing for the role of Bundy’s ex-girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer.
“I would go downstairs and have a cup of tea, trying to figure out why I had woken up again,” Collins said. “I started being woken up by flashes of images, like the aftermath of a struggle.”
Curious about what she was experiencing, Collins said she turned to research to try to understand what was happening.
“I discovered that 3 a.m. is the time when the veil between the realms is the thinnest and one can be visited,” Collins said. “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.’”
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile follows the story of Bundy’s crimes through the perspective of Kloepfer, a single mother who began dating Bundy (played by Zac Efron) in the 1970s.
The film’s director, Joe Berlinger, also directed the Netflix docuseries Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, in which Carol DaRonch explained she was a teenager when she was attacked by Bundy in 1974 after he posed as a police officer when her car broke down.
“He headed down a side street and then he suddenly pulled over up on the side of a curb up by an elementary school and that’s when I just started freaking out: ‘What are we doing?’ And he grabbed my arm and he got one handcuff on one wrist and he didn’t get the other one on and the one was just dangling,” DaRonch said. “I had never been so frightened in my entire life.”
At the time of the attack, Bundy had already killed over and over again, the women often vanishing from public spaces at night: a girl near her sorority house, another leaving a bar. Two others during the day in a crowded park.
Bundy was eventually caught and sentenced to death in 1980. He was executed in 1989.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is based on Kloepfer’s 1981 memoir The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy. The real-life Kloepfer worked closely with Berlinger and Collins to make sure elements of the film remained accurate.
Collins even got to meet Kloepfer, saying the meeting was “really helpful.”
“She was so gracious, her and her daughter Molly were so gracious and inviting me and giving me material to look at and speaking to me and just allowing me to ask questions,” Collins said while on the U.K.’s This Morning.
Extremely Wicked, Shocking Evil and Vile is now streaming on Netflix.