Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 3, 2016

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween! 57 Nights Left! "Creating Lampenelli"

“My name is Kaleo Pule. Well, really I’m Martin Lampenelli from Temecula; but I took the name Kaleo Pule because that was the only way that I could sell my con. The fact that the Lampenellis were from the southern tip of Sicily worked in my favor because we were a darker shade with curly hair. That made me fit in quite nicely with the locals, especially the Hawaiians. Truth be told; I’m thankful that Hawai’i is such a Hodge podge of different ethnic groups because no one would question my background once I got rolling. Besides, everyone here is so overly superstitious; I mean the second I set up shop and started advertising on social media as “Kaleo Pule Hawaiian Psychic”.…people were pounding my door down! Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Filipinos and the Portuguese? The Portuguese will talk your ears off about how devout they are as Catholics but in the very next second they’re begging you to predict their futures or bless their homes! This place was ripe for the picking!

You know who never came to see me? The Hawaiians. You could tell that they were THE most superstitious out of everyone here but the second you bring up anything otherworldly to them, they suddenly go quiet or they change the subject. They’re a hard egg to crack those Hawaiians let me tell you.

But I digress; word gets out real fast here and before I knew it I was giving psychic readings on the radio and on the morning news; I don’t know if you caught it but within a year I had my own TV special on a local station. Not cable access but a full hour time slot on a major station! I guess what really put me on the map was when a military wife from Hickam came to me and asked me to put a curse on her neighbor’s husband. Apparently, the husband of this woman’s neighbor got a promotion over her own husband and she was upset because she felt it was unfair. She was sure that it was a race issue and she was desperate and she said that money was not an issue. How could I refuse?
It turned out that the curse business was a lot more profitable than the psychic business, and a lot more dirty. You couldn’t begin to imagine the kinds of people that came to see me about putting curses on people they wanted out of the way. Lawyers, doctors, land owners, celebrities, musicians, pastors. Even a couple of people from the governors office! Can you believe it? The thing I don’t understand is.…………..why am I telling you all of this? I mean, I don’t even talk to myself about my cons much less my immoral choices in life! Why am I doing it now and how did I get here?” Martin asked as he pointed his two fingers to the floor. “And.…why can’t I get up from this chair?”

“Mister Lampenelli,” Boy began.

“Call me Kaleo,” Martin smirked.

“I don’t think so,” Boy said with no expression. “Mister Lampenelli, con men, swindlers, liars and confidence men come and go through this state all the time. They gain peoples confidence, take their money and then they skip town. Some get caught and do time and others get caught but they manage to get away somehow and we never see them again and that’s life. It’s a part of human nature and we don’t interfere. Then there’s people like yourself who also profit from human misery by giving psychic readings; goodness forbid if you predict that anyone will live happily ever after. You’d be out of business. “

“I don’t get it; what is this? Are you guys the feds or the union or something? It’s not everyday that you see Hawaiian men dressed in coats and ties so this has gotta be something right?” Martin was a bit worried now as he shifted in his chair.

“Mister Lampenelli, it’s humorous to us that as a Sicilian you decided to create your own Hawaiian name to promote yourself. It’s sad to us however, that there is such a lack of confidence in your own ethnicity that you found the need to assume another one. Something like that denotes a severe insecurity about yourself. I’m guessing that sometimes you feel like self immolating am I right?” Boy asked.

Martin simply shrugged his shoulders. “What are you guys? The resident psychics? You puttin’ the squeeze on me? You guys need a cut, I can do that,”

“You put cat bones, dirt from a heiau and hair from the floor of a barber shop inside a ti-leaf bundle and then you do a smudging ceremony before you put a curse on someone; is that right?” Boy asked.

“How’d you know that?” Martin asked.

“Is that right Mister Lampenelli?” Boy asked.

“Yeah; they don’t know any better so what’s the big deal?” Martin smirked.

“So, you combine something Hawaiian with hoodoo summoning items and a native American ritual that’s actually meant to purify a place?” Boy asked pointedly.

Martin shrugged his shoulders again and nodded his head.

“Tell me, has anyone dropped dead from your curses?” Martin could see that Boy was a serious customer but he was sure that he could talk his way out of this situation, just like he’d done before.

“Well, no of course not but that’s all part of the con. When it doesn’t work you just tell them that you need more money in order to make the curse stronger you know?”

Boy didn’t reply but instead he reached into his coat pocket and removed a small ti leaf bundle that was tied together at the top with braided human hair and handed it to Martin. The con man examined it closely and couldn’t help but admire the craftsmanship.

“Nice touch; real hair to tie it off. Gives you the chills if you don’t know any better; wherever did you get the hair from ?” Martin asked.

“From you, it's your hair," Boy replied.

“What?” Martin was confused. In the next second, he would be paralyzed and unable to move.

“This is the prayer that goes with it, no smudging,” Boy began to chant in Hawaiian and a deep voice came from somewhere within his being. Simultaneously Martin felt an unbearable heat rising in his body. Clumps of his hair began to fall out and he became uncontrollably flatulent. His muscles cramped and the pain was so sudden he couldn’t even scream. He felt his heart racing as Boy’s chant intensified; he tried begging for Boy to stop but nothing came out of his throat. His eyes rolled back white while blood trickled down from his ears and nose. All the while it sounded as if there was a terrific storm surging in Boy’s office. Death would have been preferable, but it wasn’t over yet.
The haze of pain ebbed for a comforting moment and allowed Martin a short window of time to gather his senses.

“ Hey! Hey I’m sorry! I didn’t know this was your corner you know? Hey, my name’s not even Martin Lampenelli!” He cried.

“I know,” Boy said. “You’re real name is Marion Givers and you’re from Ojai, California,”

“Yeah, yeah that’s right.…that’s right. I’m just a small time scumbag...but where I’m from there’s this new age crap all over the place. You can see why it was such an easy hustle here right?” Martin/Marion asked.

Boy began chanting in Hawaiian again and even before Martin could beg him to stop, the office fell away and was replaced with a tableau of his mother sitting on a sidewalk at Libby Park. Her hair was unkempt and her clothing was filthy. All hope was drained from her eyes and she seemed to be mumbling to herself. Martin called out to her but there was no reaction, it only took a second for everything to sink in. His mother’s condition was his fault. The money he stole from her must have been all she had left; he took it and flew to Hawai’i to play out his last con without any thought of her.

“Maaaaaa...!!! Maaaa...!!!” He sat there unable to move in his chair as he cried uncontrollably.

Rising to her feet, Mrs. Adele Givers wandered into the middle of peak traffic where she was hit by an on coming truck and killed instantly. The sound of her bones breaking made such a sharp snapping noise that it made Martin jump in his chair; all he could do now was to beg Boy to stop.

“Oh my god please, please no more. No more, oh my god, just let me die. Let me die,”

Retrieving the small Ti Leaf bundle from the hands of the con man, Boy whispered to him,

“Now THAT’S a curse,”

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