Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 23, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #69


A year ago George Luke began to receive correspondence from his uncle who lived in the Zhongnan residential district in Foshan, China.
There was the prospect of an arrangement between George and a neighbor’s daughter who was of age to marry and perhaps live in Hawai’i. The neighbor was a very close friend of George’s uncle Zhou and it seemed the man was worried that his daughter who was already twenty-nine years old was going to turn into an old maid so to say. She had many friends and an active social life, but it seemed she had no interest in settling down and starting a family. Her name was Mei and through his Uncle Zhou, George and Mei began to correspond online. Mei’s English was very good and there was hardly any difficulty with the two understanding one another. George was fifteen years older than Mei but she did not seem to mind, after some time it was finally determined that George would fly to Foshan during the summer in order to get to know Mei better. If things worked out the way they were supposed to, Mei would return to Hawaii with George and the process for her citizenship would begin and eventually, she would become George’s wife. Foshan also happened to be George’s ancestral province so the visit would have a dual purpose, he wasn’t only going to meet Mei and her father Wei, but he was also going there to honor his ancestors. This was something George needed as things got a bit awkward with Myrna Lum Hoy who was the eighth-grade math teacher at Waipahu intermediate. He had a crush on her for a while and when he finally asked her if she was interested in going to dinner with him, he was so nervous that he inadvertently began to drool over his bottom lip. He was so embarrassed that as much as Myrna tried to convince him that it was all okay, he would never speak to her again.


Mei was tall and naturally beautiful and George was instantly smitten, although more than a decade apart in age, the two fell in love with one another instantly. Every waking moment was spent together, the only thing was that Mei could not allow George to take things further as she wanted to remain pure for him on their wedding night. George could not have agreed more. Later that afternoon, George made a personal pilgrimage to Yangmei, the cemetery where he would find his ancestors and ask for their blessings. He didn’t stay long, because he wanted to get back to Mei, but on his way out of the cemetery, he was shocked to see Myrna Lum Hoy. She was wearing her favorite brown dress and her favorite knee high boots. “George, I thought we were going to dinner or something? Weren’t we? Why are you here in Foshan with Mei when you still owe me a date?”

George was beside himself and yet, very confused. Why would Myrna follow him all the way to Foshan and wait until only now to play her card? All he could do was scratch his head, there were no words that he could think of to say except, “Uh…….uh…..Myrna, I never asked you out…I thought about it…….in my head but I never actually said those words to you. There’s no way you could have known that…..”

Myrna walked right up to George and grabbed him by his shirt collar and pulled him toward her, “All I want are two things from you,” her lips met him like a prayer and the invocation was deep and passionate. “The first was that kiss, can you guess what the other thing is?”

“No,” George said softly, “I have no idea.”

“It’s so simple,” she purred while rubbing her nose on the inside of his neck. “I want your soul.”

Before George could even comprehend what Myrna meant, she had already changed into a hideous demon on four massively sized legs. He couldn’t tell if what she possessed was the face of a bear or a wolf but its mouth was armed with razor-sharp teeth and its eyes were on fire. Its low rumble of a growl shook him to his core. He was too mortified to move and so the demon took advantage of that moment and ripped George’s soul from his body and consumed it whole. The science teacher from a little plantation town on the island of ‘O’ahu crumbled to the pavement with his eyes wide open. Well, at least his body did, his soul, however? It wanted to live. It didn’t want to spend an eternity caught up in the form of a Yaoguai, a shape-shifting demon who knows your deepest desires and fears and uses it against you in order to take your soul. George’s body died in Yangmei but his soul lived in the Yaoguai and fought to live as his old self, but whenever persons close to George began to excrete their deepest fear, desires, and temptations, the Yaoguai would take over and consume the souls of the unsuspecting. Mei never saw George again, and what returned to Hawaii were two entities fighting to be one thing.



Denise Ramento sat near the door of Mrs. Murakami’s second-period social studies class, it gave her a good view of the main courtyard of the school where she could see Ms. Chun’s room on the opposite end. She froze suddenly and tears welled up in her eyes, it had to be an illusion or at least all the stress from home. That’s what she kept telling herself, she also kept telling herself to look away but she couldn’t. How was it possible? It couldn’t be and yet there he was, it was Tama Chun walking across the courtyard strumming his ‘ukulele with the case strapped to his back. She heard him as clear as day plucking away on the chords, “Try to catch hold of the island dream, maybe it seems that its just beyond reach. Hoping it won’t take too long to find, Maui you’re on my mind, Maui you’re on my mind.”

He walked up the steps to Ms. Chun’s room and waited outside, just then the school bell rang, it was the signal for everyone to head to their fourth-period class. Once the students filed out of Ms. Chun’s class, he paused at the door and looked directly at Denise from clear across the courtyard and winked at her. She wanted to scream and warn Ms. Chun, she wanted to scream and tell Mrs. Murakami about what she’d just witnessed but there were no words. The fear that gripped her was so paralyzing that she hadn’t realized that she wet herself until Mrs. Murakami shook her out of it. When she looked up, she was surrounded by the entire class. Some laughed and some didn’t know what to say, others jumped when Mrs. Murakami yelled at them and told them to get out the mop and bucket from her broom closet. Chasing everyone out, Mrs. Murakami let Denise sit right where she was while she cleaned up the mess around her. Washing out the mop and Lysol, Mrs. Murakami dumped the water out on the grass in front of her classroom. Her fourth-period students were already waiting outside but she made them wait longer while she shut both doors to her room.

“Denise, let’s get you to the health room so we can call your mother to come and get you okay?” It took Denise a moment before she heard what her social studies teacher just told her. Knowing her mother was still at work and that her stepfather was home, she couldn’t let that happen.

“Can you take me home Mrs. Murakami so that I can change my clothes and come back to school?” Even in her state of mental duress, Denise was still able to pull herself out of it if it meant that she didn’t have to go home. “My mom’s not home and I don’t want to be alone with my stepfather, he’s mean. Please, Mrs. Murakami, please?”

Mrs. Murakami recognized the situation all too well, she was faced with the same thing in Manzanar as a young girl herself. She was hard-nosed and gave no quarter to her any of her students but this was something different. Fortunately, she was able to get one of the office staff to watch her class while she took Denise home to get changed. She walked her into her home and waited in the living room and made small talk with Denise’s stepfather. It only took a few minutes before Denise was ready and they were on their way back to school. “If you ever need anything you just come to my class and we can talk okay?”

Denise nodded and offered her thanks but she still couldn’t bring herself to talk about seeing Tama Chun, that was going to take a while before that happened.


Noka Aliviado walked right past Tama Chun without realizing it at first. Like everyone else in Ms. Chun’s class, he was unnerved at the sight of his English teacher standing in front of the class staring out into space. He did a double take and Tama was gone, maybe his mind was playing tricks on him or maybe he’d just gotten used to seeing Tama around campus so much he just expected to see him. He didn’t think anything more about it and headed straight to his next class.

….……to be continued

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