Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jul 27, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #96


Never have the eyes of men been witness to more beautiful a site than that of the sunset beyond the leeward mountains which border the plains of Kaupe’a.
Daily do I see it from the great lawn of my home in the deep green embrace of Kalihi. For myself, the stunning tableau containing the last faint glow of orange and yellow is a harbinger of dread, for it symbolizes the end of the safety of day and the beginning of the night. My only peace of mind is that they cannot enter my home and neither can they go around it, they are mired here because the remains of their paramount Ali'i are in my possession, and without him, they cannot proceed. At first, I thought it proper to carry out to them the vine basket which contained the ancient bones of their leader as a peace offering. However, no sooner did I step without the safety of my home than did their spears and sharp stones pierce and pelt the walls of my mansion. I have no intention of ever leaving the home of which I built with my own two hands.


It was while mapping out my estate and building my home that I discovered a massive cavern which housed a mighty doubled hulled canoe. Within its confines did I come upon the remains of a chiefly native man in a vine basket which the Hawaiians call, ‘ie’ie.’ It was covered with a grand feathered cape richly colored red and yellow and near it was a Spartan-like helmet decorated with like colored feathers. In front of the canoe lay an endless number of skeletal remains, they were more than likely the retinue of the great chief who followed him in death. The items were indeed a find but proved to be too great of a personal value to me that I should even entertain the idea of sharing my discovery with the museum. Thus did we gingerly disassemble the great canoe and leave behind the rest of those loyal followers where they lay. We filled the cavern with a vast measure of earth and soil and committed the dead to their heavenly toil. A top the filled in chasm we put the giant sailing craft back in order and around it and above it I built my mansion. The remains of the Ali’i however, sat on a large wooden table made of acacia. The feathered cloak covered the table from end to end and on it sat the feathered helmet and the vine-like basket with the bones of the once great chief within it.

A thought later entered my mind that those men who were instrumental in the overthrow of the kingdom would perhaps enjoy my new display. So to them, I sent invitations to join me at my estate for libations, a sumptuous meal, and a grand viewing of my findings. On the evening of the gathering, nary a horse would pull its burden up the path leading to the front portals of my home. They bucked, snorted and cried, but for as much as the carriage man would take the whip to their hides, the horses would not move. My guests being the sports that they were, exited their carriages and walked the remainder of the way. It was my oversight that caused a lapse in memory where the wives some of the men I’d invited were concerned. Two were of a Hawaiian stock while two more were half, but no matter the blood quantum, they were each one overcome with a feeling of uneasiness and would venture no further. Their husbands left them to the company of one another and with drinks in hand they entered past the foyer and came out into the grand living room. To my surprise, the very men who schemed and fought alongside Thurston, Dillingham, and the others to rid the Hawaiian islands of the monarchy were the very ones who gasped in shock and utter disgust. Upon witnessing the display of the reassembled canoe, the feathered cloak, and the open basket where its contents could be plainly seen, every man down to the last man save Cooper left without so much as a word.

“Even I who am not a believer of these pagan ways knows well enough not to tamper with the dead!” Cooper hissed and stormed away.


For four nights past, the Hawaiian moon has dimmed in its visibility until it’s last light has peeled out, leaving the dark sky pitched in black. Each night of the four I can see without the doors and walls of my home that they stand shoulder to shoulder holding torches and various methods of weapons, each one meant to run a man through or to disembowel him. I have known full well that each weapon’s purpose is to spill my blood. The sum of their number is boundless, there are too many to count, their bodies are brown and glistening under the dim light of their torches. Each night there appears to be more of them. They are the numberless thousands of loyal warriors who followed their king into death and it has become my thought that they are here to reclaim him. Each night the volley of their weapons have been harmless and no trace of them is found in the morning. But in this dark night, their spears and pointed stones have broken every window and pierced every board. They have become as flesh and blood and will soon overrun my home but I will burn it to the ground before I let them have it. When they finally reached the entrance they found me standing over the table covered with the feathered cloak, holding a makeshift torch, indicating to them that I would sooner burn the remains of their dear leader than give up what I’d labored to make.

I did not see the first spear as its barbed point penetrated my left breast. The wood it was fashioned from was heavy and dense and it lifted me off my feet and sent me back ten paces. The next ran me through my thigh and the other through my hip. Soon I was run through my shoulder and then below my neck, as I stood to right myself I was caught through the back and then the buttocks. At the moment when I’d realized that each ghostly warrior wanted their pound of flesh from me, an odd thought crossed my mind. We’d taken everything away from these savages in order to relieve them of their pagan ways, and yet, here in my home was the very thing that we told them was a manifestation of the beast. But this was not the work of the devil, this was the work of long dead warriors who were loyal to their king while they lived, and long after they perished. While I lay here propped against the mighty double-hulled canoe that was meant to spirit the earthly form of their chief into the realm of the ancestors, his spectral soldiers stand over me and ravage me again with every weapon made of their own hand. My body is broken, but my mind remains alert and I am able to feel every ounce of pain visited upon my corporeal form. They persist through the night until the first ray of dawn appears over the Ko'olau mountains. As the darkness of exhaustion mercifully swaddles me in its dark embrace, I await the grim specter to bear me to the realm for which I am intended but it is all an illusion. I wake again in the same spot only to find myself surrounded by a larger number of ghostly warriors who pierce me through and through until the sun rises again. It does not abate, it never ceases, there is no rest, only unimaginable pain. This is the curse that has been wrought upon me in payment for my transgression. I am to be used as a flesh and blood pincushion for all of eternity while my mind is still alive and what remains of me are left for the dead.

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