Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jun 22, 2017

Po Kane

My cousin Keone hosted a small group of Maori's who he invited on the ghost tour out to Wai'anae. It escapes me at this moment as to what part of Aotearoa they were from, by that I mean what territory. They were a lively group and armed with a guitar, they shared their mele and haka with the guests during the dinner break. When the sun finally set that evening just at the tip of Kaena point, we piled our guests into our car and drove them out to Keawaula while Glen gathered everyone on the bus. Upon arriving, we pulled our car over just across from the parking lot of the first bathroom. The sun was setting early and I recall as we shared conversations regarding the similarities and the differences of our Hawaiian culture and that of the Maori culture. We happened to notice that a flashlight was on in the back seat of the car because it was shining directly on the window. I opened the front door and put the key in the ignition and turned the car on so that I could roll the back window down. It turns out that there wasn't a flashlight in the back seat, at that moment one of the women in the group exclaimed, "What do you suppose that is?"

We turned around to see that she pointed out toward the ocean; there skimming just above the surface of the water was a perfect round ball of light that moved ever so slowly with a tail at the end. What we had seen was its reflection on the rear window of our car, not at all a flashlight beam from the back seat. We all stood there silently as it became the only light in the pitch black of the westernmost point of 'O'ahu when suddenly it separated into small white sparks and shot directly toward the satellite tracking station up on the ridge. It dissipated the higher it got until it was completely gone. There was no noise and no wind, everything was deathly still until the reverent silence was broken by the sound of the yellow school bus, squeaking and creaking as it appeared around the corner with its blinding headlights. Glen was off the bus first and Keone followed directly behind him, they both stood to one side as the rest of the people emptied themselves out of the giant vehicle. Keone led the group to the big grassy area where he began to talk about night marchers. The Maori's took the opportunity to grab Glen and explained what we had all just witnessed. I was still standing at the car with my hula brother so I did not hear what the exchange was, but by Glen's wide-eyed facial expression, it was obvious that he was astounded. 

With the stories done at Keawaula, the next and final stop was the cave, arriving there in our vehicle we again waited for the bus to empty out. Walking across the street to cave, Keone asked me, "What happened now?'

"Akualele," I said.

"Who was it for ?" He asked.

"Not any of us," I replied. "It was just checking us out."

"Tonight is Po Kane," he said."We better finish early."

I couldn't have agreed more, we were done in less than twenty minutes and on our way. Our guests were taken back to their hotel room in Waikiki and along the way, we had merry conversations and lots of laughter. When we parted company, the eldest male in our group shook my hand and said, "If you ever get to Aotearoa, look us up. What we saw tonight was nothing compared to what I can show you in our home territory. Things will walk right up to you and give you an introduction!"

That was fifteen years ago and I never got the chance to take that gentleman up on his offer, but on those rare nights when we are taking a ghost tour out to the Wai'anae Coast, I remember that man and I remember the night that we saw a living orb as it observed us from the ocean and took off in a burst of sparkling light. Do I hope to see it again anytime soon? I'm in no rush, really I'm not.

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