Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jan 7, 2017

"House Of The Holy"

Save for the noises that old wooden houses are known to exert that of adjusting creaking and settling, this house was empty and without the company of human occupants. All that was living was long gone, but to say that the structure was hollow and lifeless would not be true, it would be more factual to say that the house was dormant and that it was waiting. The lumber that became a part of the framework for the house was taken from old wooden ki'i or tiki that were found on the grounds of an ancient Heiau in Palolo. Those old sanctified images were converted to wooden planks and employed as pillars and posts, walls, and floors in the Kapahulu home. The man who built the house was cheap and did not want to spend the money to buy wood, so he got it from the next best place he could think of. Clueless as to the cultural significance of the heiau and the ki'i images, he just saw it as a way to cut corners. The house took many victims from the time of its completion in 1923 until today. It's first offering or lehua as it would be put in traditional terms, was the builder and owner himself, Henry Chun. He, along with his wife and a newborn child was found hanging from the rafters in their kitchen, there were no signs of intruders or robbers, it was almost as if the act was committed randomly, with no real cause.



 Nolan Hosaka was a hapa-haole boy from Waipahu who barely survived a recent divorce with his ex-wife. The circumstances were bitter, being that his ex-wife received complete custody of their children, and he was only allowed visitation rights. The ex-wife was downright manipulative of the privilege which she had gained from the court and always used it to her advantage, it was her way of making Nolan's life miserable.

Nolan himself complained to his lawyer in regards to his ex-wife's habit of changing the visitation times and places at the very last minute. A short time later, all parties were called to convene in the judge's chambers, where the ex-wife was admonished.

"Winning custody does not make you the winner," the judge began. "In cases like this, the sympathy is always with the mother, but that can easily change. Stick with the visitation schedule Mrs. Hosaka."

"I'm back to Teruya now, your honor," Kelly said. "I'm no longer Mrs. Hosaka."

"Semantics will get you nowhere, Mrs. Hosaka, don't push your luck." The judge had no time for foolishness.


 Although Nolan had many prospects where potentially new relationships were concerned, there was still one disadvantage, he was alone. Being alone at the beginning and at the end of the day gave him too much time to think. It didn't matter what filled his day in between, it's the fact that he was always by himself that proved to be detrimental. A few months after the meeting with the judge, Kelly picked up and moved to Philidelphia with their daughter Jewel, no notice was given to the court or to Nolan.

 She just left.

No one knew that she'd gone until Nolan appeared one weekend morning for his scheduled visitation. Kelly's honda civic was not in the driveway, and when he knocked on the door, it was his ex-mother in law who answered and gave Nolan the bad news.

"I neva know Nolan, she told me she told you she was moving and that you got mad and told her to go to hell." The old woman was in tears. "Was hard for me, I neva like her take Jewel away, but she no care."


Alone in the house built from the 'Ohia images of an old heiau that offered human sacrifices to sanctify ceremonies to the god of war, Nolan Hosaka drank himself into an almost catatonic state and then took a knife and cut the inside of his thighs. Then he slit one wrist, and with the other hand, he slit his throat from ear to ear, where he fell to the floor and bled out completely. The blood formed a red pool around Nolan's body that seemed to sit on the finished wooden floor, a second later, the flooring itself absorbed the blood into its ancient fibers. One could almost hear a long sigh of relief and satisfaction creak through the timbers of the humble domicile.


The length of time that the house stood empty was not long. The for-sale sign sat just outside the gate of the home for less than a month before it was purchased by a local couple, Gary and Aileen Mikuni. Once the keys to the house were placed in their hands, the couple and the realtor could have sworn that the entire house moaned its approval. It was a strange occurrence, but the realtor assured the Pearl City couple that it was really the wind moving the higher branches of their mango tree that created the peculiar noise. He conveniently forgot to tell that them that the previous owner had committed suicide in the house. In the next few days, Gary and Aileen began taping butcher paper to the baseboards in the living room as they prepared to paint the walls in a beige color. Once they were done, they would plug in the giant fans they'd purchased from a local hardware store and let them face the walls to dry the paint. In the meantime, the couple moved to the bathroom, where they began to disinfect the sink and the shower. Then they figured it was time for a break, so they decided to head to the local drive-in down the street. They were headed to the front door through the living room when they were startled. They noticed that the paint on the walls was gone. The fans were still running, the jealousy windows were open, but the paint was gone.

"We mixed the paint right, didn't we? We did, yeah?" Aileen asked Gary more for reassurance than a question.

"Look," he pointed at the paint cans. "It's all empty, the paint tray still has all the leftover paint on it, and the rollers are still soaking in the other tray. So, that's proof that we wen paint the walls at least."

"Then how come all the painting we did is gone?" Aileen asked.

"I dunno," Gary replied. "We go take da paint back to the store."

"Shucks, you know what?" Aileen reminded Gary. "We should have taken a picture after we were done painting the wall, and then another picture right now!"

"Too late now, we just go to back to the store and ask about this kine paint, and when after we repaint da wall, den we take the picture!" Gary said.


The trip back to the hardware store proved to be fruitless, the clerk thought that Gary and Aileen were crazy, but he did give them a second set of paint cans at a discounted price. Their second effort at painting the walls in their living room took about the same amount of time as their first effort. Except when they turned the fans on to dry the paint, the two of them decided to sit on the floor and wait to see if the color would fade away again. An hour and a half transpired before they finally agreed to give up. Gary got up first and extended his hand to help Aileen; a second later, they found themselves screaming with terror. The paint on the walls was gone again.
Aileen grabbed her purse and practically ran her husband over as they made their way out of the front door and ran to their car. Pulling away from the sidewalk, the last thing they saw was the lights in the house slowly go dark. That's all the motivation Gary needed before he and Aileen spend off into the night.


The current residents of the Kapahulu home are a couple who are initially from Wai'anae. They wanted a better life for their teenage son because he'd become involved in too many fights at school, and there were too many boys out for revenge in any way they could get it. It wasn't safe anymore, and so the house on the outskirts of Waikiki seemed to be as far away from all the trouble as they could get. The first month was quiet and uneventful, and everything was smooth as no one had a problem adjusting to their new life. John and Debbie Gaspar were thankful for all they had, as was their son Bertram.

One Friday evening, Bertram's parents were attending his father's company party, which left the boy alone at home. He hadn't made any friends yet, but his folks let him order a pizza and a couple of liters soda, and they allowed him to play x-box for the rest of the night because he'd finished his homework earlier. Bertram was set for a relaxed evening of Assassins Creed. An hour into the game and Bertram was winning on all points, at his age, he'd already mastered the game, and he was sure that he would have to ask his parents if he could buy part two of the game. Bertram paused the screen for a second and took a bite of his pizza and a sip of his soda. From his peripheral vision,  he saw the door to the standing food cabinet in the kitchen swing open. It shut slowly and then opened itself with wild fury back and forth until it closed in a halting manner. Bertram hadn't felt an ounce of fear; instead, he was curious as to what kind of air vent could cause the cabinet door to act in that manner. The boy got up and sauntered to the kitchen, and the cabinet door opened slowly as if to greet him. The cans of food and boxes of dried noodles that usually took up all the space on the shelves were gone. The rolls of paper towels that occupied the top shelves were all gone as well; instead, the door opened to a scene of a daylit area that was covered with manicured green grass and dark stone walls. Beyond that, he could see the ocean in the distance, there was something that was overwhelming about the tableau, but he couldn't put his finger on it. It was a presence more than a feeling, and it was beckoning Bertram to step through the door.

He had seen a place like this somewhere, and he was trying to remember where? Yes! That's it! It was in Ms. Kitagawa's Hawaiian studies class at Wai'anae High School, they were learning about heiau, and that's what this was, a heiau. "It's a luakini heiau," Bertram said to himself. "Po'okanaka, used for human sacrifice."

Bertram was so taken with this realization that as he took one step forward, the cabinet door closed ever so gently behind him.

When his parents returned home later that night, they found the X-box game still on, and a half-eaten piece of pizza placed next to a half-full bottle of soda, but no Bertram.


The neighbor from across the street busied herself always with sweeping and watering her garage and her sidewalk. The task was tedious and maniacal and lasted from morning to sunset. On a bright Sunday afternoon, a sudden wind swept up the old Kapahulu side street and funneled itself into the garage of the empty home. It lifted several old mango leaves and a few unintelligible shards of paper from the carport and summarily left it at the foot of the neighbor's garage. The older Hawaiian woman jumped back with disgust and was overcome with rage as she glared at the home across the street.

"Be wise," the voice in her head told her. "This is one you can't fight Tammy, it's bigger than you."

She was already undoing the giant nozzle to her water hose, ready as ever to deliver a line drive right through the living room window. Her baseball league days were long gone, but she still had the arm that could burn in a pitch at ninety-six miles directly down the middle. She placed the rear end of her fist on the small of her back while she moved the nozzle around in her hand. She'd send it to the left of the window, but she'd give the nozzle some flourish just as she let it go. It would arc full but come in tight, right on the target.

"Let it go, Tammy." Her inner voice was warning her now, this was no angel on her shoulder. This was her first instinct. "The house only looks empty, let it go."

Too late, she lunged forward with an inflection of her hips to give her the momentum she needed, her arm was like a whip that sent the nozzle straight toward the empty house with blinding speed.
There were only mere seconds left before she realized what had happened, she was suddenly standing in front of the window to the old house and saw herself throwing the nozzle from the water hose directly at herself. There was no time for her to make sense of it before the nozzle struck her right between the eyes and killed her instantly. An hour later, Wilford Keala would find the body of his dead wife Tammy, in their front garage with a water hose nozzle embedded in her skull.


The 'For Sale" sign is up yet again, and the old Kapahulu house still awaits offerings...err...I mean offers.

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