Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jul 28, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #97


The stewardship of Sam La'akea's land was a Kuleana (responsibility) handed down from generation to generation for as long as anyone could remember. The tract of land in Sam's family came from the peak of the highest mountain from the back of the valley to the flatlands and five hundred feet out into the ocean.
However, from the time of the overthrow until this moment, that portion of his land was continuously bought out by foreigners who literally cornered his forefathers until they had no choice but to give in. Once Hawaii became a state, the government would condemn the land to build a highway, a sprawling neighborhood, or a shopping mall. All that was left of Sam's ancestral holdings was five acres and a house which stood just outside the mighty walls of one of the last heiau (temple) of human sacrifice. The edifice had been a part of Sam La'akea's family for so long that no one could remember the exact age of the structure. Hearsay dictates that the heiau was built by the mysterious Menehune in one single night.

The time had come when the state decided that it was time to move Sam off of his land so that they could put a connecting onramp through the property that would join the H-3. The contractors and developers appeared at his doorstep one early morning, and he did not resist them. In fact, he welcomed them into his home and fed them breakfast. Sam was very agreeable to everything that the state and county officials had to say, or so it seemed. His only reply was that the heiau would decide if it wanted to go or not. The men laughed at Sam's ridiculous statement. They soon left his house and gathered outside while Sam stayed in the kitchen cleaning up. Through his kitchen window, he saw the men milling about, with some of them unfurling maps of the area and pointing toward the mountain where they believed the onramp would connect to the freeway. Two men departed the group and wandered over to a giant bushel of Ti-Leaf, where they unzipped their pants and began to urinate. Simultaneously, one of the men spat on the wall of the heiau before finishing up his business and going back to meet with the rest of the group.

Sam saw everything and said nothing and did nothing. He simply continued to wash the dishes in his sink.


A short time later, the vehicles belonging to the state and county officials are barrelling down the undeveloped road leading out of the valley. They're traveling too fast. The lead truck runs over a loose 2 x 4 on the way, and its tires send it twirling errantly into the air until it penetrates the windshield of the second vehicle behind it, impaling the driver right through the mouth, killing him instantly. That driver happened to be the very same man who earlier spat on the wall of the heiau. Needless to say, it would be another ten years before the officials would again entertain the idea of developing anything on Sam La'akea's land.