Indonesia to erect 330ft statute of ghost from The Ring

  • Western audiences know the character from Hollywood’s horror franchise
  • However, it remains a long-standing part of Indonesian and Malaysian folklore  
  • Legend has it that she haunts Asia after dying a tragic death while pregnant 
  • As a mark of respect, the city of Pontianak is superstitiously named after her

It’s a long-standing part of Indonesian folklore that was immortalised in smash-hit Hollywood franchise The Ring.

But officials in Pontianak – the capital of the country’s West Kalimantan – now want to use the mythological ghost, Kuntilanak, to help boost tourism.

According to reports, the region’s Youth, Tourism and Sports Agency believes erecting a statue of the vampiric ghoul would inject fresh blood into the local economy.

Would you travel to see it? Local experts  believe a 330ft statue of The Ring's terrifying ghost, Kuntilanak, would help attract visitors to the capital of Indonesia's West Kalimantan

Would you travel to see it? Local experts believe a 330ft statue of The Ring’s terrifying ghost, Kuntilanak, would help attract visitors to the capital of Indonesia’s West Kalimantan

The plan, which remains in its embryonic phase, would see the proposed 330ft statue positioned where the Kapuas and Landak rivers meet.

Faithful to its original description, the spectre would be depicted with black hair and sunken eyes while wearing her trademark bloodstained, white gown.

There, it’s hoped it would attract new pop culture pilgrims as well as those interested in general myth and legend, much like Singapore’s Merlion.

Since being installed at the country’s Marina Bay in 1972, the marketing icon – which depicts a lion’s head and a fish’s body – has gone on to personify Singapore worldwide.

Big-screen adaptation: Hollywood adopted the mythological legend for its 2002 film The Ring

Big-screen adaptation: Hollywood adopted the mythological legend for its 2002 film The Ring

Holiday hell: Legend has it that the ghost haunts Asia after dying a tragic death while pregnant

Holiday hell: Legend has it that the ghost haunts Asia after dying a tragic death while pregnant

‘People say I’m a pagan, superstitious hillbilly [because of my idea]. Those who call me a hillbilly are the hillbillies, because they never go abroad,’ said the head of the Youth, Tourism and Sports Agency, Mr Kartius.

‘I have never seen a Kuntilanak, so if you have no idea how to make the statue, look at my face. It’s alright, you may call me crazy, I’m fine,’ he joked when speaking to the Jakarta Post.

However, perhaps understandably, the provisional plans have not been warmly welcomed by locals.

One person took to Twitter to say: ‘Not Pontianak please i beg you???????? Are you planning to let the real one lives happily in the statue or what.’ 

Another added: ‘If they build a kuntilanak statue I definitely would not going to Pontianak, ever.’

Despite this, Mr Kartius insists the region’s Public Works and Housing Ministry is willing to help allocate funds for the project’s completion, if required.

He also added that the private sector has offered to find investors.


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