Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 13, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #48


Our (inclusive) culture has long since we have known, had names for an endless amount of differing rains. That’s what also makes our culture unique; we hardly have one Hawaiian word that is a blanket definition for all words.
If we want to be mundane we could talk about the word Cup. We all know what the word means and we all know what a cup is used for. If you are ever so moved to pick up a Hawaiian language dictionary and turn its pages, you’ll find that the native word for Cup has more than one meaning. You also find that those individual meanings will lead you to other interesting definitions that will uncover layers and layers of our poetic language. Okay, where was I?

Oh yes, rain.



If you wanted a clear glimpse into Kaimuki's past where you might be able to see a living piece of history, then a drive of one city block on Kapena street would serve you well. People who know the area often pull their cars over somewhere and take pictures of the old plantation style houses that cannot be found anywhere except here. The six bedrooms two-story home located in the middle of the block is where I was called to lend support in an exorcism. The fairly new owners of the 1921 structure were waiting for the property to be deemed a historical site because it would not only give them a bit of prestige but also a bigger break on taxes. That would be the husband and the wife’s son from a previous relationship. In a scenario like this one, everyone would assume that the troubled stepson who is angry at his mother for divorcing his biological father and forcing him to live with her new husband would be the focus of all the supernatural activity. In the movies, this would be the classic plotline but alas this is real life. It turns out that the agent for all the spiritual upheaval is the husband. As far as what the presiding exorcist would tell me, the unholy activity began the second they were all moved in.


The skies over Kaimuki avenue were colored in an angry grey hue that loomed over the otherwise dry town with threats of rain. It reminded me of those grey tarpaulin tents that get filled with rainwater overnight. The ones that weigh heavy and swollen the next morning like a woman ready to give birth. Sometimes the unwise poke and prod it with the business end of a broom handle and get more than they expected. By the time I drove up to the 621 address the wife, her son, and the exorcist was seated on the stone wall outside their property. They looked like they’d been beaten by a mob but in a minute I was going to find out that it was Lori’s (wife and mother) husband Randal who’d single-handedly assaulted her and her son Durant. He also managed to pummel the exorcist, the psychologist, and two of Lori’s brothers. Glancing toward the entrance of the home I saw the three gentlemen hovering outside, they were already headed in my direction.



The name of the exorcist or  Odaisan was Wanda Akema which is of course not her real name but this is how I'll refer to her in this story to protect her privacy. The six of them converged around me which made me feel uncomfortable, they were like a small huddle of pups who'd bitten off a bit more than they could chew after trying to collectively converge on an emaciated stray cat who was deceptively strong. Wanda pealed out her cigarette on one of the porous stones on the wall and blew the remainder of the smoke out of her mouth. She took a step toward me and let out a long sigh, "Fucking guy kicked all our asses. Six against one, I had to false crack him myself.....he neva even feel 'um. I gotta remove myself from this one cause I wen cross da line. Probably going get sued but fuck 'um."

Lori put her arm around Wanda and assured her that everything was fine, there wasn't going to be a lawsuit of any kind, "It was a stressful situation Odaisan, it was fight or flight and you only reacted the way that anyone else would react in that situation. It's not your fault."

"No," Wanda corrected Lori, "the fact that I wen physically strike your husband means that I wen lose control and now I'm no betta than what is possessing Randal. That means I can be influenced too. Even if you not going hold me liable I still have to remove myself from this case."

Wanda hugged Lori and shouldered her backpack and walked toward her car but not before coming back to give me a hug as well, She pulled my head down toward her and whispered, "Sorry fo' just dig out but you should kick rocks too."

Lori explained that everything was perfectly fine, there was no friction between Randal and Durant what with the two of them being stepfather and stepson. They got along perfectly fine. The trouble started immediately once Randal discovered a door in the kitchen that no one noticed right away. It was right next to the supply closet door which was next to the refrigerator. The walls in the kitchen were painted in one white color but unless anyone was looking for it, they wouldn't have noticed it, but Randal did. Once he noticed it he gently pushed on it without much effort and the door creaked open as it separated itself from the old paint which up until that moment held it in place. Lori said she and Durant were in what was going to become her sewing room when they heard Randal's horrific screams. The two rushed to the kitchen where the source of the commotion was coming from. Seeing the strange door wide open, they began to take the stairs into the dark space until Durant found a light switch and turned it on. It revealed an empty basement covered in dust and cobwebs. Lori said Randal's screams were blood-curdling but it stopped once she and Durant took the last step and stood on the basement floor. A deathly silence fell over the area and the two of them jumped out of their skin with shrieks of terror of their own when Randal suddenly walked out of the darkness and marched right past them. Heading up the stairs Lori and Durant were right behind him and once they were out of the basement and standing in the kitchen Lori asked Randal about what happened?

"Spiders," Randal told her with a blank look on his face. "They freak me out."

Lori said her husband then headed upstairs and took a shower but after that, he spent every waking moment in the basement. She said she could understand if he were down there tinkering around with his tools or working on projects but all he really did was stand in the middle of the space and stare out into the nothingness. Even when she wanted to be intimate with her husband, he would only make love to her in the basement and not in their bedroom. "The first few times was okay but after a while it was creepy; not the basement or the act itself but Randal. He became increasingly creepy, I started to feel like I was making love to some kind of pervert."

At that moment the hairs stood up on the back of my neck and I turned my attention to the front door again and Randal was running out of the front door. He was heading straight toward us with a manic look on his face. In one hand he held one of those old rice bags, in the other was a fistful of rice but as he got closer I saw that it was salt in his hand, thick layers of flaked sea salt. I put my hands up and was prepared to try and talk some sense into him but he suddenly screamed at the top of his lungs, "MOVE!!!" 

Lori and her son along with the psychologist and the two brothers were in the process of scrambling into whatever direction they could run to. They were desperately trying to escape when Randal threw a swath of salt in a wide arc which covered every single one of them. I jumped when I heard the loud popping sounds which were followed by thick plumes of smoke that came off of everyone's backs. I was caught with the salt as well because I felt it pelt the side of my face and my head but nothing happened to me. The five of them writhed in pain on the sidewalk while Randal stood above them and continued to cast the flaked sea salt on them until the popping sound and the smoke finally subsided.



Randal Sasaki was the only Japanese person I'd ever seen who was built like a brick shit house who wasn't on steroids. He also turned out to be a really nice guy, he also turned out to be the one who wasn't possessed. It was Lori and Durant who were possessed after accidentally finding the painted door in the kitchen. It was Randal who had been in the extra back room where he had been mapping out blueprints to convert the space into a sewing room for Lori. It was Randal who heard their horrific screams and found then in the basement together staring out into the nothingness. It was Lori who called the psychologist and her brothers to come to the house to subdue Randal who she claimed was possessed and trying to harm her and her son. Calling Wanda Akema was a last-minute decision to give her cause legitimacy. Lori had no clue that Wanda would end up calling me for support. Randal revealed that this was all a plan on the part of whatever it was that possessed his wife and stepson to get him out of the house so that IT could have the two to itself. Through Lori, it had done a great job of convincing everyone else that Randal was the evil one.

"Wea da Odaisan?" Randal looked around with eyes wide open and filled with anger.

"She left, she hinted that this whole thing was too much for her. She also said that things got hairy and she had to hit you?" I was just repeating what I was told but at this point, I wasn't sure about what to believe anymore.

"No, that's another bullshit lie! I was fighting all dese fakas off and then the thing wen jump into the Odaisan so I had to false crack her to make it leave her body!" The truth in Randal's eyes was undeniable and that could only mean one thing.




Rain, I was talking about rain and blanket words in English and in Hawaiian. The Lililehua rain finally broke through the threatening clouds and began to soak the entirety of Kaimuki and the Palolo area but only after I walked out of Wanda's front door. Randal was generous enough to loan me the remaining contents of flaked sea salt in his old rice bag. He stayed back with his family and the psychologist to see to their injuries. Wanda's place was the front house on 9th avenue in Palolo, the other houses on the same side lane belonged to her as well. She inherited the property after the passing of her parents Shunta and Akiko who was also trained Odaisan as well. I didn't bother to make a U-turn as I drove up 9th, I just pulled over to the left on the sidewalk and got out of my car. Her front stairs were a foot away and it was just three steps which I took in one bound. I could see that the screen door wasn't secure, it was one of those flimsy ones from the '70s that never got changed out. I kicked it in and the frame bent inward and came right off the hinges. I heard the water running in the kitchen so when I marched into the tiny space I found it was empty. Instinct told me to turn around and I did just in time to see a knife coming at me in an overhead strike. It was the old rice bag of flaked salt that saved my life just as I put it up above my head to block the blow. The weapon was a large serrated kitchen knife, it pierced the rice bag with ease but when Wanda pulled it out the serrated edges split the bag further and the flaked salt poured all over her face and into her mouth. She crumbled to the floor as her skin began to pop and huge plumes of smoke came out of her back. I immediately picked up a fist full of salt from the floor and put it under my tongue. There was a fan on the kitchen counter which I turned on to full tilt and used it to fan the smoke out the large kitchen windows. Wanda would come to in a few hours, whatever it was that took a hold of her probably drained her once it left her body. I just left her where she was, she'd appreciate me later for not carrying to her own bed. We were the same age but she was old school and very modest, I didn't want her to feel embarrassed. I went to the sink and washed the salt out of my mouth before I left the house. One can never be too cautious.

I sat on the sidewalk just near the front end of my car, I was suddenly drained too. It felt like I was coming down with the flu but I knew that wasn't it. It's this spiritual shit, it does that to you. The second I exhaled and let it all out, and what I mean by letting it all out is that I had to let go of the experience and not carry it with me. Once I did that the Lililehua rain fell in one complete deluge all over Kaimuki and Palolo and it soaked me completely down to my socks.
If you do not ever get a chance to cleanse in the ocean, the next best thing is the Ua-the rain. I can feel the Lililehua rain lift the burden from my shoulder and I can feel my form relax. I can also feel my mind take ease and I can even feel the scowl remove itself from my face. It trickled down the length of my shirt and the fabric of my jeans and down from my shoes. It followed the stream along the sidewalk which raced toward the drain at the edge of the street corner, down the drain and out, way out into the ocean.