Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 19, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2017! #74


She called me one afternoon but her request was one that I’d heard many times. Normally it was easy to talk to a person out of this kind of request because it was a heat of the moment sort of thing and we all know how a rash decision turns out. Clearly, she was angry but there was an undercurrent of hurt beneath the surface, “Is this the ghost guy?”

“Well, yes; how can I help you?” I’m pretty sure that where ever these people find my number that my name has to be attached to it otherwise why would they call and ask for the ghost guy? Is my name that difficult to pronounce?

“I want to put a curse on somebody, you can help me with that?” A million requests like this come in all the time and my answer is always the same. “Why do you want to do something like that?”

“Well,” the woman began, “ I work for the state and I get seniority in this department for twenty-five years. Six months ago my boss hired a new girl in my department and everybody like her, they bring her lunch, they go club after work, they bring her flower lei they buy her birthday cake and everything! Twenty-five years I work in this department and where are my flowers and lei? Where’s my lunch and where’s my hugs? I like to put one curse on this girl, you can help me?”

I apologized profusely and intimated to her that I couldn’t help her that way. As angry as she was she thanked me and hung up. I busied myself with one of my many writing projects for the rest of the day until it was time to meet a small group of people that evening for a ghost tour. A few days later my phone rang and I was surprised to see the number, I always had it has a contact just in case but I never thought that the owner of the number was ever going to call. It was Rick Williama, he was someone who still maintained the skill of praying people to death. It was something which was passed down in his family for countless years, in his generation it would be he who was chosen to inherit the skill in order to keep it going. In my line of work, you make a point to keep tabs on people who are in your field and on the outer fringes. I was a bit hesitant to answer but I finally mustered up enough nerve to pick up the call, “Aloha!”

“Aloha! This is Rick Williama, how you?” His voice was hoarse and nearly out of breath.

“I’m fine thank you, what can I do for you?” I almost kicked myself for asking that question because of course, he’s going to tell me exactly what I can do for him.

“Did you get a call a few days ago from a lady who wanted to put a curse on someone at her workplace?” I knew exactly who he was referring to but normally people just give up the idea of cursing anyone after I tell them that I am unable to fulfill their request.

“Yes I did but I told her that cursing people was not my thing, did she end up calling you?” I asked. Why didn’t I just shut up and end the conversation right there and then? It’s because I’m a nice guy and I don’t know any better.

“Yes she did, probably right after she spoke to you; but yeah it’s about a new worker who is getting a lot of the attention and she’s really furious about it.” Micah sounded as if he were struggling to get the conversation out but at the same time, there was a lite humor in his voice. “Of course I’m not going to help her but I thought I would scare her off you know?”

“Oh, how so?” Geez, I’m such an idiot, I really am.

“ I told her that she had to go back to work and pretend to be that girl’s friend, she hit the roof and she’s yelling at me, ‘Why the hell would I do that for?! Did you forget about why I’m calling you?’
I calm her down and tell her it’s because you want to get her to let her guard down so she starts trusting you!” Rick starts laughing but it’s not long before his laugh turns into a fit of coughing. At one point it sounds like he’s going to choke to death, but he recovers. “Anyway.…I explained that once somebody completely trusts someone else that person tends to get careless and so I told her to watch for that carelessness. This woman asks me, ‘Like how?’ I told her like if the girl leaves her purse somewhere, go look for a hairbrush or comb in there. If there’s hair on it, bring it to me. If she blows her nose in her Kleenex and tosses it in the trash, go get that and bring it to me. In fact, follow her into the bathroom if she has to go and pretend there’s an emergency. Give her a chance to clean herself up but don’t let her flush the toilet, rush her out of there! Right then it’s a silent on this woman’s side of the phone, then I tell her, ‘Whatever is in that toilet bowl, bring it to me, I want it.’

“Wow,” The intensity behind what he asked of this woman to do came right through the phone. “What did she say after all that? Did it scare her off?”

“Well,” Rick paused while he took a moment to clear his throat. “That’s why I’m calling you, that lady is here and she’s standing outside my door. She’s got all the items I asked for, can you come to talk to her?”



Rick’s house was the typical architecture that one would find in the Pauoa community, it was a one bedroom home sitting just a few feet back from the main road. The grass was manicured and the abundance of Hawaiian plants that grew in profusion around the home offered Rick the natural shade that he or anyone would need on those hot windless days. His front door was painted red and his curtains were also red but the rest of the house was painted in an off vanilla color all around. Standing in his front yard with a rectangular Tupperware container in her hands was obviously the woman that Rick had talked to. She wasn’t your typical demure local Japanese woman, she stood six foot three and she was built like a sumo wrestler. I greeted her and approached her with a handshake and introduced myself.

“Oh, you do one from the oddah day? I talked to you first yeah?” She asked and then introduced herself. “I’m Barbara, you know if dis guy stay home or what? I have been knocking for twenty minutes and he no answers. I get all the stuff he told me to get and now he no stay? I dunno what kine Kahuna is dis.”

“Barbara,” I began very carefully because she had that Toshiro Mifune face that could go from wild laughter to cutting your head off in a second. “You said you’ve been at your job for more than twenty years?”

“What was that?” Her face squinted in the way that an Italian mafioso would if you asked them a really stupid question. “I don’t understand what you saying?”

“Your job,” I raised my voice now. “How long have you been there?”

“Oh twenty-five years I been at that office,” Her demeanor shifted and she held her one hand out and began counting from finger to finger. “Twenty-five years I stay at this job and I no get one thank you, no nothing! I never miss one day of work, I never call in sick but not one time anybody bring me anything for holidays or even my birthday. One day, dis new girl, the boss hires her and all of a sudden you would think they when hire Judy Garland! EVERYBODY like her, everybody bring her lunch, snacks, lei and they got out eat or drink after work. Everything I did in this office nobody eva when do anything for me like that, nobody!”

“So, you’re really mad because your boss and your supervisors never showed you any appreciation all these years?” I made sure that I asked her these questions in a very respectful manner so that she knew I was really listening to her.

“Yeah,” she grunted. “That’s the main reason why I’m so mad!”

“So,” I had to take my time with this one, “it could be that you’re not really mad at that girl at your office it's just that when you saw how positively everyone reacted to her because she was the new girl and everything.…..that was the straw on the camel’s back? Probably all of your frustration was already building up and festering and then BOOM! That girl was just an object of your anger, you don’t really hate her and you really don’t want to see her die from a curse right?”

“No,” Barbara replied quietly and then she broke down crying. A second later she shuffled toward me and the next thing I knew this giant of a woman was crying on my head. I glanced up and saw the red curtains part where I could see Rick Williama looking at me from inside his house. He gave me the thumbs up sign and I flipped him the bird. When Barbara calmed down I convinced her to give me her Tupperware which was filled with the personal hair, nails and bodily fluids belonging to the girl from her office. “Go back to work tomorrow and treat that girl like your daughter, who knows? If you don’t she may end up like you twenty-five years from now. You’ve got the experience so you can mentor her not to take the same path.” Barbara agreed with me and reached into her pocket and removed an envelope filled with hundred dollar bills. “This was supposed to be for dis guy who lives in this house but I give ‘um to you,” Barbara offered but I refused it and assured her that maybe she would need it herself. She lumbered across Rick’s lawn and managed to fill herself into her Volkswagen Scirocco and took off. Looking back at Rick who was no longer hiding behind his curtain, he pointed to the Tupperware container in my hand and then pointed at the garbage can at the edge of the lawn. I walked over and dumped the plastic container in the garbage and then walked up the pathway and let myself into Rick’s home. In the living room there sat an old man in his early to mid 70’s, he appeared to be very terminal. He waved me over and in a hoarse voice he said, “It’s me Rick, howzit going?”

I was floored, I knew for a fact that Rick Williama was a year younger than me at forty-five years of age, but in front of me was an old man in his dotage with one foot in the grave. “You know get so many of these young guys that wanna be Kahuna but they have no idea what that means, but what you see with me like this, it’s the price you pay. One curse I put out, somebody sent the thing right back and when kill my cousin one time, pau! Poor thing him, he was innocent, never would hurt anybody but after that, I stopped doing curses and all these prayers I did and all the offerings I made to feed the Akua or god of this practice.……it wasn’t being fed so it fed off of me, and look at me now. That’s why I called for your help, I no can do this kine anymore.….that’s why.”


These days when people call me about putting a curse on someone I think about Rick Williama and I hang up the phone.

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