Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 5, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down 'Til Halloween 2017 #88

Mother and Child Reunion

“...No, I would not give you false hope, on this strange and mournful day...”

It was already 12:30 am as the 25 passenger minibus idled quietly along the length of Kiona’ole Road. The trees which lined the paved path gave off the impression that we were in a Hammer film movie where a horse-drawn carriage ravages its way to its inevitable destination as it takes its charges to meet their dark and sinister end. Unlike those old horror movies, however, ours was not an old haunted mansion which awaited us at the end of our path. Ours was a haunted tree that was rumored to be infested with the spirits of the restless dead
. However, that part of our journey would be sidetracked by a very odd occurrence. The bright lamps of our weathered and worn vehicle framed the figure of a local girl walking down the path towards us. She was dressed in a pair of dark jeans, slippers, and a khaki colored sweater; her arms were crossed in front of her and her uneven steps nearly led her into the middle of the road where the mini bus took a drastic turn at the last second in order to avoid running her over. Because the interior lights within the bus were muted, I had a better view of her as did the bus driver. There appeared to be a significant gash on her forehead which caused the flow of blood to cover most of her face. Gasps and shrieks echoed through out the bus at the sight of this lone person on a dark road with her face covered in crimson red. I assured the people that this was not a trick and that we did not stage this as a cheap effect in order to garner their attention. The driver safely pulled us over to the side of the road where both he and I exited the vehicle in order to find this strange girl and offer her some help, especially since she was hurt. Truly, the night was pitch black but luckily for the two of us, we had our flash lights. Clicking them on, our beams revealed that there was a kind of natural smoke in the air that the headlights from the bus did reveal as it took the path to our destination. We walked twenty feet away from the bus in both directions and even made sure that we checked the sides of the road but to no avail, the injured woman was nowhere to be found. Returning back to our vehicle, the driver and I saw that our passengers were now milling around the out side the mini bus with their own flashlights in an effort to help us find the strange girl. The effort was appreciated, but for their own safety, I asked them to please return to the bus. 

Now the vehicle is filled with excited chattering as we are finally on our way to wrapping our arms around the spiritually infected tree. We stop in front of the old fence which separates the newer portion of this path from the aged, worn and cracked portion of the road which has not been in use for many years. The people are good sports and they step through the gaping hole in the fence one by one until we are all gathered and prepared to complete this last part of our adventure. There is much hesitation when everyone is standing in front of the tree of legend. It seems to be a normal money tree that one would find anywhere in downtown Honolulu. The people are almost disappointed because it is not what they were expecting of a haunted tree. What they haven’t seen yet, is the old rusted barbed wire that is wrapped around the trunk, it covers six feet of it from the base up. The theory is that those who hug the tree and look up into its branches on a late night like this might see something, what that something is, no one is quite sure, suffice it to say that if whatever it is that is up there in those branches sees YOU, you won’t be able to let go of the tree and you’ll be stuck. Then the next question is, “Who’s first?”

Eventually, everyone takes a turn and not a single person is unable to release themselves from the tree. Verily, everyone is relieved and some say to their companions, “I knew the tree wasn’t haunted.” It was about that time that someone in the group let out a blood-curdling scream, “LOOK!”
Without a second thought we turned and looked back at the tree and there was the injured girl we had seen earlier, hugging the tree. Everyone was stunned and people were holding on to one another while others could not bring themselves to gaze upon the unusual sight. The girl was in tears and her body heaved through whatever grief it was that possessed her, but we could not hear a thing. It was like watching a silent movie.

Finally, she released her hold on the tree and turned toward us, the people screamed again as she made a beeline toward them without even waiting to see if they were going to move or not; but move they did. She took the path down the old road toward the run-down fence through which we all had previously entered, and then she faded into thin air in front myself, the bus driver and twenty-five other people. 


We were through the old fence and prepared to enter the vehicle when we saw that an old Lincoln Mark IV pulled up next to us, an older woman armed with a huge bouquet of flowers exited the car and looked me very seriously and asked me, “Who you guys supposed to be?”

“We’re just telling ghost stories,” I offered a smile but really I was a bit intimidated because of the personality and appearance of this woman. She was dressed as if she were going to a party, but not from this era.

“Perfect place,” the woman replied. Her eyes were intense and filled with purpose and she gestured with her eyebrows toward the fence. “My daughter was killed up that road, she was in the car with her two cousins. They were racing another vehicle and the car my daughter was in, it flipped over. She was thrown out and hit face and body first right up against that old money tree up there. I’m glad she died right away, at least she neva’ suffah. I had to come identify the body; she had one big gash on her forehead. Tonight I’m a little bit late, but every year I come to put flowers at the tree otherwise this girl, she going try come home. The flowers keep her in place because it’s her favorite kine flowers; hard head you know this girl when she was alive? Head strong, no like listen just like now.” She looked at me for a second and nodded. “You folks seen her hah? Yeah, yeah, yeah, you seen her I know.…my fault though. Sorry about that, I was a little bit late.”

She stepped through the gaping hole in the fence while balancing the king sized bouquet of flowers. “Vanessa! Vanessa!” the woman called out, now practically out of breath. “Mommy stay coming!”

“Wait!” I called after her and stepped through the fence, she would need a flash light to guide her the rest of the way since it was so dark, but she was gone. So was her car, it was all a very strange event. 

The following night we were about to embark from our starting point as a new group of twenty-five people began to board the bus. Needless to say, that I was completely floored when I saw the mother from the night before with her deceased daughter in attendance. The only difference was the daughter was not burdened by her bloody wound from the evening before. Did it finally happen? Was I affected by hosting a ghost tour after only being at it for such a short amount of time? I was still speechless when the mother and daughter approached me to offer their greetings.

“We just wanted to let you know that the last stop we’re going to tonight? That’s where my great great grand mother lost her daughter in a tragic car accident, tonight is the anniversary of that accident,” the woman offered. “That woman brought flowers to that spot every year up until the day she died and beyond,” the woman shared. “At least that’s what I was told.”

Whew! They were flesh and blood human beings after all!

“Probably to keep her spirit from coming home,” it was so nonchalant I didn’t even realize what it was that I was saying.

“Who told you that?” The woman asked curiously.

“Oh,” I was quick on the draw with this one. “It just something I know that I would do.”

“Hopefully they will make an appearance tonight!” The daughter was smiling and very thrilled to finally be on the ghost tour.


It was disconcerting to see the mother and daughter on my ghost tour that evening. It was, even more, difficult to host them as part of the group. As we’d already slipped past the opening in the fence and were now standing in front of the money tree, I noticed their hesitation as they decided against embracing the monster. However, that did not prevent the echoing voice coming up the road from breaching the dead silence of those last few moments.

“Vanessa! Vaness! Mommy stay coming!”

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