Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 17, 2016

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween! 74 Nights Left! "Sienna"

In our Hawaiian culture, one of the meanings of the word Noho is that of a possession of a medium or Haka by spirits, gods, demons, souls of ancestors or even animals. According to Kawena Pukui, “The spirits in these invitational possessions was usually a family aumakua (ancestor-god) summoned to speak through the Haka,”

In our culture, people who experienced random possessions were also aware that there was kahuna who sent destructive spirits to possess their intended victims without warning. Understanding that each culture worldwide has their own way in which they deal with the spiritual or demonic possession of a loved one has made me keenly aware that there are indeed malevolent forces afoot that are bent on wreaking havoc whenever possible. You see, the one thing that I have never been asked to do is an Exorcism, and frankly, it never crossed my mind that anyone would ever ask such a thing of me. Yes, although I don’t advertise I do perform cleansings and blessings whenever my help is needed; but an Exorcism?



Three days later.…

I’m standing in the doorway of Sienna Helelua’s room in her home in Kapolei. She is sitting on her bed with her laptop in front of her. She randomly reads whatever is on her screen and scrolls with each passing second.

“Hi,” I offer.

“Oh hi,” she says without looking in my direction.

“Your parents tell me that you’re having a problem?” I ask her.

“Yeah, they think I’m possessed by the devil,” her reply is casual.

“Do you think you’re possessed by the devil?” I ask the question in such a way that it puts her in the position to acknowledge if she is or is not possessed.

“Of course not,” she paused right then and looked up at me. “Why? Are you an exorcist or something?”

“No,” I chuckled. “Far from it,”

“Then why did my parents call you?” She asked. “I mean I’m assuming they did call you because you couldn’t have just shown up today and magically told them that you thought that I was possessed right?”

“Right,” I nodded. “In fact, they called me a month ago and I suggested family counseling or that they should consult a clergyman. They insisted that I come and talk to you so I finally gave in and here I am,”

“So you’re not an exorcist?” She asked again.

“No. These days there’s so much red tape and politics that people have to wait almost a year before an exorcism can be approved and sometimes people don’t want to wait. That’s when they get desperate and they begin to consult with laymen Pastors who are certified online exorcists; lotta liability there,” I said.

Sienna just shrugged her shoulders and continued to look at her laptop.

“So, why do your parents think that you’re possessed?” I queried.

“Two things,” she began. “A month ago, I came out to them and told them that I’m a Lesbian. They didn’t take that very well,”

“I’m sorry that happened,” I sighed.

“It’s okay,” she finally smiled.

“What’s the other thing?” I asked.

“I’m a Haka,” she replied.

I was stunned. I hadn’t heard of anyone being a Haka since my childhood. A haka is someone who exhibits skills as a medium while young. In some Hawaiian families, this kind of person was taken to be trained and their talent was developed so that they could channel the spirits of family members and family guardians and gods. It was a form of controlled possession.

“Wow, has anyone mentored you or told you what was going on?” I asked.

“No, I kinda found out on my own. When it started happening and I couldn’t understand it, I went to the Hawaiian section at the library. The information is in a book written by Kawena Pukui. That’s how I realized that I’m a Haka,” she shared.

“So, the combination of you telling your parents that you’re a lesbian and you being a Haka.….I get it. I can see why your parents would assume that you’re possessed by evil influences,” I exclaimed.

“Bazinga,” she said quietly.

“Well, I’m gonna take off, thanks for letting me hang out,” I waved.

“Thanks for being cool,” she smiled.

I removed my card from my wallet and placed it on a small end table just inside her bedroom door.

“This is my card, call if you just need to talk,” I told her.

“Cool, thanks,” she waved.


Walking down the stairway I could see Sienna’s parents eagerly waiting at the bottom of the steps.

“Anything? How’d it go?” The woman asked.

“Are you alright? Was she violent?” The father asked.

I looked the both of them in the eye and said, “I strongly suggest family counseling,”

“What?” The woman asked.

“Family counseling,” I said again. “She’s not possessed, she just needs her parents to understand her. Sienna is a really smart girl,”

“No,” the father said with a look of horror on his face. “Our daughter’s name is Carolyn,”

“Sienna,” the woman whispered in a hushed tone, “is the thing that’s possessing her body!”

“What?” I was confused.

Just then I saw that by the looks on the parents face that something behind me caught their attention. I turned to see what it was; we were all now looking up the stairs. It was
Sienna or Carolyn. She looked at all of us and smirked and went back into her bedroom Her door closed very slowly, very purposely and then swiftly slammed shut. Then it began to open and shut wildly again and again until it came off the hinges and flew down the stairs directly toward us.

We got out of the way just in time.

“Shit,” I said out loud. “I gave her my phone number!”