THE CONJURING’s Lili Taylor on Researching YouTube Videos of Real Possessions

Actress Lily Taylor watched real life possessions on YouTube to research for her role as a possessed mom in THE CONJURING, and she definitely wouldn’t recommend anyone do the same.


Actors are increasingly researching their characters by searching YouTube for videos that will help them inform their approach. To play Carolyn Perron, a real-life wife and mother who was possessed by an evil spirit, Lili Taylor took to the popular video search engine to watch real-life possessions.  THE CONJURING is based on the Perron family haunting that started when they moved to a farmhouse in the country during the late 70s, and the demonologists (played by Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson) who helped exorcize the demons.

Taylor didn’t have references to play a woman inhabited by an evil spirit. She knew that mental institutions would not let her visit patients.
“I knew they wouldn’t let me into a psych ward and help me find the most “F’up” patient in here. ‘Can I go to their room?’ Right!”
While not a pleasant past time, she felt it was really “important” to sit there and watch.  She was certainly surprised that a simple search turned up dozens of these videos.  “It has it all,” she tells CineMovie about YouTube.   However, she certainly wouldn’t recommend anyone watching the disturbing footage.

Possessions weren’t the only videos Taylor watched on YouTube.  She also searched for videos to learn to scream.  In order to be believable, she had to master the scream coming from a deeply disturbed person.  “It’s really the darkest voice you can imagine,” says the soft-spoken actress who describes it as a “horrifying kind of, cigarette-y palmed out throat.  She noticed from the YouTube videos that there were two types of vocalizations coming from possessed individuals.
“It’s either a foreign tongue or a deep screaming that’s coming from a place I didn’t know. I had to learn how to scream by watching YouTube videos.”


On set, being possessed was the toughest days during the production due to the physical requirements of simulating a demon-induced body.  However, she was able to shake off the character at the end of the day without fearing any repercussions from that other world.

Too bad the audience may not feel the same after watching THE CONJURING when it opens July 19.

So how many of you will be typing in “possessions” on the YouTube search bar after reading this article?



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