Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 9, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #52


"Will I heal?" The old woman asked.

"You will
," I nodded in the most certain way I could to convince her that she would.

"How will I heal?" She asked, her eyes beginning to water. "Will I feel like brand new?"

"No," I had to be honest, I couldn't lie. I never have lied to those I helped; some appreciated it, and some did not. This was one of those times when my honesty would not be welcome.

"Then how will I heal?" Her soft, gentle voice grew a hint of a shriek in it, which made sense. She didn't understand.

"By forgetting," I replied softly. "It's the best way."

"But I don't want to forget!" She protested. "If I do, then I don't know who my family members are!"

"If you don't forget you'll never heal and you'll be completely destroyed," before she could protest any further, I placed my open palms on both sides of her head and inhaled. Her body jolted upright as if she'd sat on an electric wire. Building slowly from the depths from her core, a vibration rumbled forth with such strength that her entire body became a blur. I held on to her head and took long, deep, slow breaths. Her eyes were slits with the pupils turned over white and bits of spittle coming out of the corners of her mouth. Suddenly it stopped without warning, and her family members lunged forward and caught her before she fainted to the floor.

"She's okay now?" Her daughter asked, exhausted and desperate.

"Yes, she'll just never remember this time in her life, but everything else is the same," the daughter reached in her purse and handed me a thick envelope of money, and I gave it back to her. "There's no fee, but I'll have some water or something."



The sizeable tubular can of soda sat in my cup holder while I meandered the streets, which would lead me out of Manoa Valley. The poor woman who lived in the Tudor mansion in the back of Manoa became wrecked with a terrible illness that nearly took her life. It turns out that the old Cooke House wasn't the only location that had a Menehune heiau in its backyard. There was one in the old woman's yard too. One afternoon while she stood in her kitchen, she happened to gaze out into her backyard and spied what she thought was a bunch of local kids who climbed over her fence and were now picking all of her ferns from her garden. She was able to fill a pot with hot water from her faucet and gingerly walked out of the back door of her kitchen. What she thought were children were so focused on pulling out her ferns that they hadn't noticed her standing over them. In one motion, she dumped the hot water on them and relished in their screams of pain.

"Fucking little bastards trying to steal my plants! Good for you, fuckers!" She laughed hysterically until she saw them disappear right in front of her. Now she was scared because she didn't know what just happened. Without warning, she was suddenly being pelted with stones on her head and back; howling in pain, she turned around to see her backyard filled with little Hawaiian people who were fully-formed human beings but small, very small, less than three feet tall. She was too old to run, she could only stumble toward the back door of her kitchen. She barely made it into her house, but when she did she collapse, it was not without screaming for help. Her daughter, who happened to be upstairs in her room, getting ready for work, witnessed the entire incident from the second floor. "It was Menehune," she would later tell me over the phone. Her mother was so traumatized by the supernatural assault that she was to the point of being manic. She would wake every morning with little angry human bite marks all over her body, and even worse, she would also be pulled off of her bed by her hair where she would be physically scratched once she was on the floor. The household was finally at their wit's end. My reply to the daughter was that an apology was in order and that offerings of particular kinds of food were to be made. More particularly, some part of the old woman's body had to be made as an offering as well, perhaps a tuft of her hair braided up nicely.

"It may or may not work," I said while using voice text because I was driving while at the same time hoping that the message would come out clear. "The point is that you make an effort; also, its too late to worry about your personal beliefs because, according to what you said, it's out the window."

With my help the first part of her troubles went over as well as it could have; food items were left out in the backyard overnight. Everyone in the house was forbidden from watching the Menehune eat, and to prevent their curious temptations, I personally painted their windows black. The second part of the effort was to remove any memory of the incident from her mind; otherwise, she was going to suffer from her own brand of PTSD in her remaining years.

I also offered my own prayers of apology, coupled with my private offerings to our mysterious ancestors. In some aspects, I am bewildered that parts of our culture are still regarded as nothing more than myths and legends. What happened to this poor old woman is proof that our ancestors do not exist in the past tense. We are as real as the air we breathe; if more people knew this then calls like this one would diminish because people would know better.

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