Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 16, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2017! #46


Watching someone die makes a lasting impression on your soul, you don’t forget it, you don’t get over it. It’s an indelible loop that plays over and over again whenever it feels like it and you don’t have any control over when that memory decides to rewind and restart. What makes it even more delicious is when the memory plays back in slow motion during the most uncomfortable recollections. It never leaves you, especially when it’s a friend of yours who dies right in front of you.


Right now I’m standing outside of Siosi Pentitani’s bathroom while he throws up a clear thick liquid that has not only filled his toilet bowl but is now flooding his bathroom floor. He’s going to die in a few minutes just like Fia Peneku did two nights ago, and the week before Fia it was Seth Schultz. After Siosi, it’s going to be me, I’m going to die the same way. Ten years ago the four of us got a hold of a story about young men who were being held underwater in the pond at Kapena Falls. It was an exciting story and a scary one too because the four of us used to go to Kapena falls all the time. Back then there was a younger guy that started to hang out with us, his name was Mea Sula. We had no idea that he had a real fear of ghosts and unknown creatures, luck would have it that he was present on the day when we threw around the story of the drownings and how bodies of young men would be found floating in the pool at the bottom of the falls with bruised finger marks around their ankles.
Siosi was the first one to take notice that Mea suddenly went quiet, once that happened he began to signal Fia, myself, and Seth. Siosi continued talking about the drowning when Fia dove into the pond and took Mea with him. The rest of us jumped in after, Fia let go of Mea and allowed him to swim to the surface. Once he breached the water and took a breath, we all grabbed him by the ankles and pulled him down, he screamed under water and tried to twist away but that only made us hold on tighter. We let him go to the surface and catch his breath and each time, we would grab him and hold him under longer. We’d gotten carried away because Mea eventually stopped struggling and his body went limp. We panicked when we realized what had just happened, Mea was dead and it was our fault because we drowned him. It was dumb luck that in spite of the tremendous struggle that Mea put up, there were no bruised marks and scratches on his ankles, that meant no evidence. We took off and left Mea’s body where it floated and made a solemn pact that Mea’s story was one we would have to forget and never speak of again.
Some military guys who showed up at the falls found Mea’s body floating in the pond with his back bobbing just at the surface of the black water. The authorities ruled it as death by misadventure, it was a great relief to us that we would never be found out.


Seth was the first, he was at a Sunday barbecue at Poka’i bay with his family. The area where they chose to have their gathering was on the open field before Kane’ilio point, where they were in full view of the beach. Seth’s entire family saw him walk toward the water and dive in, they all noted to the authorities that they saw a young Samoan boy follow Seth to the water and dive in after him. That was the last time that anyone saw Seth alive. A week later, after already receiving the news about Seth’s disappearance, Fia went to Poka’i bay just to take a look around for any clues. He eventually found the part of the beach that was pinpointed as the last place where Seth was seen. The water was still and the wind died down, “FIA!” came the voice. It was Seth, Fia looked around and saw no one until he heard it again. “FIA!” That’s when he saw him, there was Seth ten feet away from him floating in the water waving him to jump in and join him.

“Brah! What happened? Everybody said you disappeared!” Fia called out.

“No, no, I just decided to stay couple more days das all. I dunno why everybody overreacting?” Seth confirmed with a smile. “C’mon Fia, we go swim around the breakers to the heiau!” All the while Fia does not readily notice that Seth has been moving toward him the whole time. As soon as he’s close enough, Seth splashes Fia with water and dives back in. Fia lets out a loud whoop and jumps in after Seth, afterward Fia too is never seen again.
Right now I’m standing outside of Siosi Pentitani’s bathroom while he throws up a clear thick liquid that has not only filled his toilet bowl but is now flooding his bathroom floor. He’s going to die in a few minutes just like Fia Peneku did two days ago, and a few days before Fia it was Seth Schultz. After Fia, it’s going to be me, I’m going to die the same way. Before I can step forward to offer Siosi a paper towel while I begin to mop the floor, two hands shoot up out of the toilet bowl and grab Siosi around his neck and pull his head in. I dropped the mop and screamed and went running out the bathroom, through the kitchen and out the front door. I ran the entire length of Kalihi street until I got to the safety of the Kam Shopping center. I had to be around people and noise and the smell of exhaust mixed in with the smell of orange chicken and fried noodles coming from Paty’s Chinese Kitchen. It was only a temporary fix, I wouldn’t be safe for long but I stayed at the shopping center until the next morning. It went on like that for a week, I hadn’t gone home once, I just sat anywhere so that I could understand why I was so polarized more than I was afraid?


Sitting up against the double doors of the old movie theater at the Kam Shopping Center was the fully clothed but bloated boy of Stanley Maunga. The autopsy would later reveal that his lungs were filled with tepid pond water, it was as if he had drowned in it, but his body showed no signs of ever having gone swimming anywhere. Around his ankles were the unexplainable black and blue finger marks, and covering Stanley’s eyes was a thick white filmy membrane. In his shirt pocket was a note written on the back of a food receipt, “We don’t have to go to the water, Mea will find us.”

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