Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 7, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #24


I recall my childhood days when we lived in Kalihi Valley. To be more specific we lived on Machado Street which as I understand has always been haunted.
One night way back in the late 60's the neighborhood where I lived was up in arms. Most of the residents were standing outside of their homes with kerosene lanterns and flashlights looking fearfully toward their property. The murmur was that Menehune were seen peering into the windows of several homes while some families sat down to dinner and others were going about daily routines. Because of the hysteria, I could only remember the Menehune being described as little brown people, some with beards, some female. Mrs. Correa said it seemed like they were curious, not harmful. However, the sight of creatures like that in a neighborhood of devout Portuguese Catholics could not have sat well with their dogmatic faith. The Menehune may as well have been the minions of Satan himself as far as they were concerned. This was the late 60's after all, and no one was as culturally aware of these things as they are today.

Fast forward two years ago, we were hosting a ghost story event at an estate on the south side of the island. Afterward, the owner of the estate came out and shared Popsicles with all of us and then asked me if it was okay to share the experiences she and her husband had had since living on the estate? I told her that we would be honored if she would share her stories. The long and short of it was that the estate was haunted by Menehune. She was very mattered of fact in saying that she had seen them upstairs and in other parts of the house and the yard. Particularly, they seem to congregate on the west side of the property closest to the water. However, she couldn't give a full description of what they really looked like because she would always see them from the corner of her eye or catch a fleeting glance of one the Menehune as they peered out from behind a piece of furniture or near the fireplace. Everyone inched closer toward her as she continued with her stories. I happened to glance toward the living room where a chocolate colored end table sat next to a couch. On it was an ornate Indonesian lamp of the same kind of color. The lit bulb from within covered the walls with a paisley shadow like design which intrigued me. It was then that a slight movement caught my eye and even now as I write this I'm beginning to shudder and I'm covered with goosebumps. It wasn't a movement of an arm or leg, it was the blink of an eye. I saw something blink.

There he was, a Menehune. His skin color was that of the chocolate covered end table which now explains how he was able to blend into the scenery without being noticed. He was so small and sat so perfectly still that you couldn't notice him unless he moved. His knees were up to his chest and his arms were wrapped around his legs. He had no hair on his head, his skin was so smooth and clear that there was not a blemish on it. I can't tell you what I felt at that moment because I'm not sure if it was fear, or reverence, or even terror. All I know is that I saw it and that I could not let on that I saw it. The feeling was that if I did, I would be breaking a sacred oath of some kind. Knowing how much has been lost to us as Hawaiian people, this was not something that I could give away to overzealous paranormal investigators or worse. So, I stayed silent and looked away, knowing that it wouldn't be there when I looked back. Tears welled up in my eyes because like my own shark 'aumakua that I'd witnessed years before, as my encounters with Pele as well, there was something that was relegated to myth and legend expertly hiding in the living room of a south shore estate.

 I didn't eat the Popsicle I was given, instead, I tucked it between the roots of Ti Plants which were growing inside a huge pot. I left it there for him (the Menehune) to have.

The relationship with the estate is one that I've been able to cultivate over time and I have a great admiration for the woman who runs the facility. However, knowing what I know now, we may never go back at all.

 Just because.

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