Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 17, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2017! #15


“Why was I given this name?” She asked her mother with tears covering her face.

“Because I liked the song, it was beautiful just like you,” her mother smiled and tried her best to reassure her.

“Didn’t you ever think to learn something about the story behind this name before giving it to me?” Her lips quivered and she cast her face down and wiped her eyes.

“No,” her mother admitted. “I suppose I wasn’t thinking, I just loved the romance of the lyrics and it seemed beautiful and fitting for you.”

“Fitting for YOU mom, not me. I’m the one who is suffering because of this name. Is this how my life is going to be from now on? Just moving from one broken romance to the next until I lay down and really become a doormat?” Her mother forced herself to fight past the words at face value and instead tried to understand the content of what her daughter was trying to say. She had to take a second to choke back her tears before she began, “When we first moved here one of the things I really had a hard time getting into was the Hawaiian music, I guess it was because I didn’t understand Hawaiian that I just couldn’t make the connection. It’s like when the Jackson 5 came out, it was the prejudice that my parents instilled in me against black people that prevented me from really appreciating their music.”

“Again, that’s a YOU problem mom, not a ME problem,” her daughter wouldn’t make eye contact with her and chose instead to look out her bedroom window. The mother’s fear of losing her daughter was real but all she could do was tell her story.

“What I’m trying to say is once I got out of my hometown and went off to college and saw the world, I realized that black people were not the problem, ignorance was the problem. So, coming to Hawai’i being nine months pregnant and ready to give birth to you, I had a new kind of ignorance I had to deal with. Just like everyone else who comes to Hawai’i for the first time, I had a preconceived notion of what this place was, but it turned out to be nothing like those Elvis movies or Hawai’i five-0. This place was a thriving city like everywhere else except that the people here are warm, beautiful, and real, nothing like the place where I grew up.” The mother did her best to hold herself up well but the tears came anyway.

“And that’s why you gave me this name? Because you’re a reformed bigot?” The daughter’s sarcasm was thick and biting, whether she lost her completely in the next second depended upon what she was going to say next.

“Your name is not just about a Hawaiian goddess who always lost at love, but it’s about her beneficent nature and how the snow on Maunakea is her mantle that protects that mountain whenever it needs a break from us people who go up there and trample all over it. There are Hawaiian people today who are descended from the very same goddess that you are named for,” her mother did her best to make her daughter see reason but to no avail.

“Yes, but we are not that family and we are not Hawaiian mom. I’m not Hawaiian but even I know that you have to be careful about the kind of name you give your child, even with that song, you romanticized the heartbreak but its still heartbreak none the less, thanks a lot!” Her daughter walked out of the room and she called out after her, “Poliahu! Don’t be mad at me! “

“Don’t call me that name! It’s not my name anymore! I changed it to grandma’s first name, “Tammy!” Her daughter practically screamed at her as she marched down the hallway into her kitchen. The mother tried to follow but she couldn’t, it was almost as if there were some kind of invisible barrier blocking her from leaving the room. “Poliahu!” “Poliahu!” “Poliahu!”
The mother heard the thundering footsteps coming back toward her and in a second her daughter stood in the doorway. “Why can’t I get out of this room?”

“Ask yourself that question, Pele.” Her daughter retorted.


Eva Monroe became so enthralled with the creative energy of Hawaii island and it’s volcanic churning fires and new land that she thought it only fitting she should give herself the name of that creative energy, “Pele.”

Eva suddenly fell ill and developed a fever so high that people standing a foot or two away from her bed could feel the heat emanating from her body, the sweat that came from the pores of her skin smelled of sulfur. Her sickness lingered until a pastor was called and urged Eva to relinquish her self-gifted Hawaiian name and accept God into her life so that she could become Eva again, but in her fevered state, she refused. She felt it was disrespectful.
She suffered long from her fever until she finally expired from severe dehydration and renal failure, her daughter was present the whole time and once her mother passed she cleaned the room and left it as it was. No one ever went into that room if only to periodically clean the dust from it, but now and again visitors and family alike would see Eva’s apparition lingering in that space, it was only Poliahu or Tammy who would express her bitterness toward her mother’s specter never thinking that it was that very same grief which binds her mother to her old room where she died.

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Don't miss Mysteries of Hawaii's Ghost Hunters Midnight Bus tour

Saturday, October 21st, 11:45pm

We'll meet on the steps of the Hawaii State Library

Check it out HERE

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