Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jun 13, 2017

The Urban Legend and Fact of Morgan's Corner

During the month of early June in 1999, Glen Grant drove me along the route of the old Ghost Hunters Bus Tour in his red Nissan Pathfinder. The route concluded just at the front of a tall gate that sectioned off an abandoned road called, “Kiona’ole”
Glen intimated to me that it was a location of which teenagers hung out and that they decided to call it, ‘Morgan’s Corner’
That raised my eye brow quickly because he and I knew very well where the real Morgan’s Corner was located. He agreed and said that the actual location isn’t a very safe place to let people off the bus to walk around. The hairpin turn on the Nu’uanu Pali Drive was also a blind turn and that there was a higher chance of liability with cars racing by all the time. And so, Kiona’ole road was the stop for the duration of the time that I did the old Ghost Hunters Bus Tour. The stories associated with the Kiona’ole road location were very compelling, it was the perfect haunted place even in broad daylight. The trees were so tall and overgrown that their branches formed a natural canopy over the road and practically muted out the sunlight.

I stopped going there once I realized that a new ghost tour began to utilize the locations in my second book, ‘The Legend of Morgan’s Corner’ and began taking people to that location and others that I had written about. In fact, one of the tour guides from the other ghost tour company mentioned that very fact to me, absentmindedly believing that I’d be happy about it.
But I digress, first let’s talk about the infamous urban legend that’s been associated with Morgan’s Corner for so long. It’s the story of the boy and girl who are parked in a car very late one night at the aforementioned spot. It’s late, and the girlfriend wants to leave, the boyfriend begrudgingly agrees and puts the key in the ignition and turns the engine over but the car won’t start. After several attempts and a peak under the hood, the young man grabs a flashlight and utters that all too familiar phrase, “You stay here, I’m going to get help. I’ll be back.”

The girl rolls up the windows and makes herself comfortable, she dozes off she is periodically awakened throughout the night by an alternate scraping and tapping sound that petrifies her. Eventually, she falls asleep but when she finally wakes up it’s because of a police officer knocking on her window motioning for her to open the door. The officer escorts her away from the car, but the girl continues to ask, “Where is my boyfriend?”
As she is about the be placed in the squad car, she catches a glimpse of a body hanging upside down from a branch of the tree under which they were parked. The body is slowly swinging back and forth and blood is dripping from its throat.

She realizes that the scrapping sound were the fingernails of the body, scraping up against the roof of the car as it slowly swung back and forth. Scrape, scrape, scrape.
The dripping sound? It was the blood coming from the slit throat of the body, cut from ear to ear. Drip, drip, drip.
It’s the boyfriend, he ventured off into the night going to look for help but never found it. Whoever killed him, brutalized his body and hung him from his feet right above the car where the girlfriend waited.

This urban legend somehow found its way to our archipelago and into the psyche of our teenage population, it's had a long shelf life since then and will be around for a while. You’ll find almost the same story in nearly every state of the union, some may vary here and there but the context of the story is always the same. Girlfriend waits, boyfriend dies. The man who used to do the ghost walk in San Francisco’s Mission district was on my tour once and told me the boyfriend and girlfriend urban legend was started in the lower bible belt area of the United States in the late 40’s and early 50’s in order to prevent young people from going out late at night and parking in dark places and as a result, having unwanted teen pregnancies. “But it could have been around longer than that,” he said.

The infamous Morgan’s Corner murder actually happened at 3939 Nu’uanu Pali Road, the former home of Mrs. Therese Wilder. The old home no longer exists and has since been replaced by a private gated community called, “Ilana Wai”
Dr. James Morgan’s house was/is located in a cul de sac on Poli Hiwa Place, just a stone's throw away from the old Wilder residence on the opposite corner. My wife and I were fortunate to have run into a woman at the ‘Iolani Palace three years ago who claimed to be the great-granddaughter of Dr. Morgan, she said that more often than not, he would grab his doctors bag and walk over to check up on Mrs. Wilder from time to time.
Unfortunately, the fate of Mrs. Therese Wilder is not a pleasant one. In 1948 the sixty-eight-year-old widow was bound and gagged in her own home by two escaped prisoners named, James Majors and John Palakiko. She died as a result of suffocation from a broken jaw and from being gagged too tightly around the neck.

Thus, throughout the decades' fact and urban legend commingled and gave way to one of the most infamously haunted locations that aren't really haunted. Well, maybe by rank amateur paranormal investigators and spur of the moment ghost hunters, but not by anything that we can truly discern as an apparition. Sure people have shared pictures that they have taken in that area and some are interesting while most are very explainable. Others have shared the disembodied voices that they have captured on their digital recorders, most are murmurings that could be anything while other alleged spirit voices turn out to be the owner of the digital recorder.

What really haunts Morgan’s Corner is people, people who are out on a thrill seeking dare with their friends, people who are searching for answers outside of themselves, people who hope that a picture or a recording or a ghost radar app will give them the proof they need for validation. I know this because the ghosts have told me.

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