Fear has always been one of the biggest obstacles of our life but it’s something that we often just need to eliminate and never let it dominate our mind. This is perhaps the motto that Li Kim has lived by for the reality-based documentary series, “The Paranormal Zone”.
Phng Li Kim, the host for “The Paranormal Zone” will return to host a whole new season of the show that has recently signed a co-production deal with Syfy by NBC. Set to begin filming in early 2015, the show is Syfy’s first-ever Asian co-production that will bring new insights to the unexplained phenomena lurking within Asia.
From haunted spots to taboo experiments to mystifying encounters, the Malaysian-born host and her crew go to the extremes to uncover the paranormal and provide audiences with both mystical and scientific perspectives of the show.
That being said, it was an honour to interview Li Kim, who surprised us with her down-to-earth personality, about the upcoming season of “The Paranormal Zone”! Through the interview, we asked her about her first encounter with the spirits and discovered some “shocking” truths about her!
What was the “shocking” truth, you ask? Read on to find out (H: Hype / LK: Li Kim):
Q: Hi Li Kim, it’s nice meeting you!
LK: Nice to meet you too!
Q: So, tell us, how different is Season 3 compared to the seasons before? Any major events we can expect?
LK: The major difference is that season 3 is a co-production with Syfy which makes it the highlight because it kind of tells me that Season 1 and Season 2 were really quite good work and it’s an achievement. So, what’s going to be different in Season 3 is that, it’ll be a co-production partner with NBC’s Syfy. I think it’s going to open up a lot of avenues for me to further explore the paranormal stories beyond our Malaysian soil to more regional area. So, that to me makes it a little bit more excited because then my audience will be able to explore with me about other regional areas.
Q: Is it only within regional area or would you like to explore other places in America or Europe?
LK: At the moment, Season 3 will only focus on the regional area within Asia. Because I do think the stories are exotic and of course, as the show progresses and moves forward to future seasons, I am definitely open because paranormal events exist anywhere! :)
Q: So what scares you the most, people or ghosts?
LK: Am I afraid of people more than the spirits? Ah yes! I think spirits are more straight-forward Haha! But OMG, this is a very sensitive question! I would say, without any offense to human mankind, I think human species are little bit more intrigued than the spirits.
Q: Would you say you are debunking the paranormal misconceptions with this show?
LK: No, I don’t want to debunk anything. I just want to provide information. I personally think that a lot of people do believe in the paranormal. As such, some are of course skeptical, some are afraid, so I explore and investigate with my team to give our audience as much solid information as we can get. But there are some things that cannot be explained and there are some things which will always be illogical and we have to be okay with that.
Q: Throughout the show, have you had any encounters with spirits, both before and after the camera starts rolling? If yes, tell us about the experience.
LK: Do I have any encounters with the spirits? Yes I do. I experienced it because my body was experiencing it. Fears come from the mind so I don’t let the fear dominate. I eliminate it by having compassion and respect. I do some personal practices my teacher has taught me to protect myself instead of wearing armours or shields. I don’t wear all kind of stuffs all over myself because that will make it look like a different show. I have more spiritual understanding of things where my mind is strong so that’s why I don’t have the fear factor. Normally when you arrive at a place, you already can feel something. I think from Season 1 when I was new and neutral, not much was happening to me, I was like, “Oh yeah I feel something but let’s just get the job done!” But as I explored more into the story, I think I was probably tuning into my instincts, and it’s getting a little sharper. So I actually do feel the presence, I think my ears get a little bit sharper, I have picked up sounds when I was at a cemetery and I was talking about subject matter of noise, because the cemetery was actually right next to the road, it was so noisy even while we were there. So I thought it must be really noisy “living” there, as in for the people who were buried there.
Q: Is there anything particular you like about the show or do you have a particular favorite haunted spot?
LK: Well, I like the show. I love the knowledge that I am personally learning and being able to share. Once again, going back to the principle of the show, if it was purely entertainment and for sensational purposes, then I might not be so satisfied. Do I have a favourite haunted spot? No I don’t, I am not that paranormal yet but I am learning to appreciate why it’s haunted. Haha! So to speak, starting to appreciate there is just a certain energy behind it. I am not afraid about it and I think that allows me to go deeper into the story.
Q: Since you said you no longer have a fear of spirits, would you go and watch horror films that are trending right now?
LK: Yeah I know but no! Haha! My kids are like, “Mom, you host the paranormal shows. Why don’t you go with us to watch the films?” But even with the titles itself, I would ask them, “Haunted ah? Haunted ah?” and then they would answer, “Yeah you sat in the haunted house, why don’t you come with us?”
I am actually thinking that maybe I should. Why? Because apparently I should. But why don’t I? Because I think I understand that it’s like, “Really? It’s not so scary one lo!” Hahaha! But then at the same time, if I’d go and put the record straight so that people don’t actually think everything is hunky-dory. It’s all about intention. If you go into a place that is haunted or has energy, but your intention is to jump around and make a lot of noise or have a party, then it’s asking for trouble. Now, let’s not talk about haunted houses or spirits, let’s say you’re visiting someone’s home, you don’t go around ransack their house and do as you wish, and don’t ask permissions to enter, just walk and charge into house, you would piss people off. So, it’s on the same premise that I operate, I don’t want to piss them off especially when I can’t even see them. That’s all it boils down to.
Q: Just wondering, your kids were never on the TV, right? Would they want to be featured on the show with you?
LK: I thought I should ask them a bit but no, especially my older two. They are like, “No, mom. Thanks.” Then I say, “But they say you are really handsome!” Then he would be like, “It’s okay, mom. Thanks.” The youngest one I dare not ask because he might say yes and ask if he can give up on school. I don’t think I want to go down that road. Haha.
Q: Of all of the guests you had featured, which one has been the most memorable one for you?
LK: In Season 1, we featured Dato Sheila Majid because she is a close friend. She had a story to share and I thought, “Oh would you mind sharing it on the show?” and she totally didn’t mind. In Season 2, I didn’t have any celebrity guests but I interviewed masters who were knowledgable about a particular story that I was doing. I also interviewed people who may have had experiences. My show is not just about myself talking because even I would get bored of myself. I bring in people to provide more information while others work with me through the interview to talk about the academic, the spiritual, and the mystical side of things. And the skeptical side of things as well. I can’t say there’s a specific person that particular drew me to him/her but I would say I am very appreciative with each and every person that came to my show because they added value to the show with information.
Q: Last question! What do you think about some of the haunted spots that have been transformed into tourism spots?
LK: The fact that many million people watch the paranormal shows, movies, documentaries, it also tells you that there are people who have a certain rush or enjoyment of such thing, maybe people would like to visit such places because they are aware that it’s haunted.
Q: So you don’t oppose them to visit these haunted spots, as long as they respect the spirits?
LK: I’m not going to use the word “oppose” because it’s too strong but I think that if such location is going to be converted, then I think proper healing, space, energy clearing needs to be done. It’s a sign of respect for those who are present because they have probably been there longer than anyone else. So, if you’re going to come in for a new development for a good cause, then I think proper practices need to be done as a sign of respect through clearing so that no negative energy or sentiments are left behind in the space. If you watch Episode 2, we talk about spaces and spaces..do hold and record emotions that were left behind.
Following the success of “The Paranormal Zone” in Malaysia, produced by local production house Kechara, the first season of “The Paranormal Zone” will premiere on Syfy (HyppTV 611) at 10:25pm on Mondays. Seasons 2 and 3 will air on Syfy, sequentially.