Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 27, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2017! #5


Aunty Rita attends a class where the weaving of feather lei lends her a therapeutic relief, she has become a fine craftsperson and her feather work is intricately detailed and astoundingly beautiful.

Uncle Tiny mentors a rugby team of young wayward boys on the weekends.
The task is like therapy for himself and his methods are such that he has created a true bond of friendship among his team and has led the team to several victories.

Tabby has a variety of activities which help relieve the academic stress of school and the residual effects of being a part of our office, wrestling, martial arts, and of course consuming large quantities of rocky road ice cream during the late hours of the night.

The Rizal brothers find their relief in fishing or hunting, something that was self-taught while growing up. Also, when they are not attending to spiritual matters they can be found tinkering about their Cadillac for hours on end until their services are needed.

Even our ever loyal doorman Kealoha finds his center while playing Hawaiian music on the weekends with a jovial band of minstrels like himself. While their countenance is intimidating and fearful, their voices and harmonies are angelic. One would never imagine that such beautiful sounds would come from a group of men who appear as if they could crush you with one hand.

For myself, I have found as of late, that transposing my thoughts from pen to paper has unburdened many a worry and concern from my shoulders. Layers of vexed feelings and memories fade away into the ether like delicate rice paper on the surface of a pond. This has been a manner of decompression in which I find relief and release. Our spiritual work is our life and it is all that we are but there must be a balance, there must be a time where one must step away from the circle and breathe.

Uncle Ivan’s time to breathe comes from meeting with an enclave of men like himself who outwardly gather at an old side street bar just near Maunakea. It is where memories from long ago come alive for Ivan and his aged friends. They are his comrades from a war in a far-off land, a place where many young men from Hawai’i ventured to serve their country and never returned alive. These few that gather are what is left of a group who are now down to five, they have no name. No emblazoned symbols on the back of their jackets and no baseball caps which tells anyone what unit they served with, they have only their physical and spiritual scars to show. Theirs were missions which were undertaken with the knowledge that should they be found by the enemy, their existence by the United States government would be denied. Such was the risk they took for god and country, but once a month Uncle Ivan and his friends congregate not for the purpose of fogging their minds with rotgut whiskey but for a more noble task, that of mapping out the locations where any sort of land developing is about to begin. Through painstaking research and the aide of modern technology, Ivan, and his friends are able to locate burials in the areas where developers have marked locations for high rises, shopping malls, and sprawling neighborhoods. As a result, they covertly attend to those burials and retrieve those same bones to be repatriated in mountain caves or in pockets on the reef where he’e normally secret themselves. All the while painstaking chants and prayers are given from the time the task is begun and well into its completion, the chants and prayers never cease. Given that there are groups who perform similar tasks after burials are found so that they can be addressed and asked for forgiveness in disturbing their rest, Uncle Ivan’s group of unsung war heroes perform a similar task long beforehand.


One evening while at a gathering at the same side street bar, Uncle Ivan and his group heard a terrible commotion without the little bar and discovered that a young girl was being beaten by a man who appeared to be dressed in red colored clothing. ‘Her pimp’ Uncle Ivan would later tell us, he and his friend came to the girl's rescue and much to their surprise the pimp attempted to attack them. Ivan stuck his two fingers in the man’s eye and retrieved the girl while the rest of his friends kicked and beat him about the body and summarily tossed the miscreant into the river on River Street. Ivan talked to the girl at length and found out that she had originally come from Ka’u on Hawaii island. Her family life was not pleasant and so she found a one-way ticket to ‘O’ahu with her boyfriend, within less than a month of living here, her boyfriend took all that she had and left. She was down on her luck and met the man who would eventually force her into prostitution, one evening when she could no longer endure giving her body away to strangers, she packed a bag and was prepared to leave when her pimp encountered her in front of the bar where Ivan and his friends were gathered.

Ivan offered to buy the girl a plane ticket that she might return home to Ka’u and never look back to the life which may have nearly been her ruin. He took her to the airport to see her off and made certain that she was safe and sound as she left her wayward life behind. A scant few days later, Uncle Ivan and his friends were in the fields of the old Dole Plantation where they discovered that the vast acreage had been marked for the development, they set to work quickly on the first set of remains which had been marked on their digital maps. Uncovering the large set of remains was not the surprise they expected, for laying next to ancient bones was the body of the girl which Ivan thought he had sent off to return to Ka’u. Yet, here was her pale body dressed in the last article of clothing he had seen her wearing, with a bullet hole through her forehead. He had seen many a dead body in his seventy years of life, so why then would this one trouble him so much? He would say later on that it was because the girl was from Ka’u, his old hometown, the place from which my parents came and their ancestors before them. There was an ancestral connection, a semblance of DNA between them but he felt as if he had not done enough to help the young girl. Her name was Kara Waiale’e, Ivan knew the family during his childhood and grew up with some of the boys as classmates and fishing buddies, it was too close to home, much too close.


When Noah Tavares awoke from his drug-induced stupor he was hanging from a massive sized mango tree in the middle of a field in some strange location. The bonds came up over and around his arms and back and were tethered to a large branch not more than ten feet above him, his feet dangled just a foot or so above the red dirt and grass. Before Noah could make sense of anything, he noticed Ivan and his friends standing in a circle around him, without a word they each removed short knives with curved blades and began to cut Noah from the top of his thighs and down to his calves, then on the inside of the thighs and then on the inside of the biceps. Ivan was last as he cut Noah from left to right, just below his navel. The entire content of his lower intestines came spilling out, witnessing these things happening in such quick succession, Noah’s shock would not let the pain register until his form was hoisted up into the air with blood dripping everywhere.

“This is for Kara,”

That was all that was said by Uncle Ivan, Noah’s body was left to rot in the elements. Left for the birds to pick of his flesh, the bugs, and other animals to feast on his eyes and na’au. At a place so far back in the valley where the abundance of trees are so thick, no one would hear his agonizing screams and pleas for help because none would come. Uncle Ivan would say that during the war the Vietcong would perform the same kind of disembowelment to their enemies and then let their bodies hang from a tree until the elements took the remains. It was a skill or method which he acquired and never forgot.


Uncle Ivan paid to have Kara’s body returned to Ka’u where she was given a proper service so that her family might be able to honor her memory, as well she was given a proper burial that she might be among her venerated ancestors. Ivan stood by and chanted and prayed the whole time until Kara’s casket was finally lowered into the ground.


We each have our own ways in which we relieve stress in our office, for my uncle Ivan Poepoe Napualawa, it is repatriating the bones of those Hawaiians to a place where they may rest eternal, never to be disturbed again. However, in the case of Kara Waiale’e she is resting in a place where family and friends already reside, eager and pleased to receive her to sleep next to their earthly remains.

Don't miss Mysteries of Hawaii's Ghost Hunters Midnight Tour

Saturday, October 28th, 11:45pm

For more information, check it out HERE

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