Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 19, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #75


For a short while in the 70's we lived on Ponohana Loop in Waimalu. Until this day, I could never figure out why. At the end of our block was the intersection of Ponohana, Pono, and Ponohale St. My neighbors and I would take the right turn at that intersection and ride along the canal of Waimalu stream until we found its source.
That's where we would hang out and play and sometimes pack sandwiches and cold cans of RC Cola. Often times we would also bring a knife or a pair of scissors with us in case our rolled-up jeans would come undone and get caught in the bicycle chain. This happened a lot more often than we'd like to admit and our moms would get really upset when we'd come home with one side of our pant leg all mangled up.

One Saturday morning I decided to skip the cartoons and ride out to our usual spot by myself. I knew my friends would eventually show up because that was always our designated spot. I made sure I got two of my mother's clothespins and about four of five of my older brother's playing cards so that I could pin them on the fork while the spokes in my tires whacked them and made that hypnotic buzzing sound. The ride was smooth and the morning air became an ever-constant wind which seemed to permeate the area. I slowed my bike down as I finally made it to the end of the stream. Wouldn't you know it? My one rolled jean leg came undone and it got caught in the bicycle chain. I reached in my pocket for my mother's scissors that she used for sewing and it wasn't there. Darn, I forgot it! I reached into my other pocket for my multi-faceted Boy Scout knife and that wasn't in my other pocket either. I examined my jeans pant closely and realized it was a freshly washed pair! The jeans with the scissors and knife were in my other jeans pocket! I tried to reverse pedal so the bicycle chain would release my pant leg but this was a brand new pair and it was too thick, it was stuck. I lay my bike down on its side and sat on the ground and pulled my jeans away from the chain as hard as I could. It was wedged in there pretty good.  I remember the smell of tepid water first before I heard the sound from the stream behind me. It wasn't so much a splash as it was a surge. As I think about it now, I could have just taken my jeans off and separated myself from my bicycle until my friends showed up. But in a moment of sheer stress and panic, nobody thinks of things like that.

"Here," I heard a mature woman's voice from behind me.  I wasn't in a position to turn around to see who it was, not right away. "I'll help you get out of that."

It was a tall Hawaiian woman who didn't appear to be muscular so much as she was athletic. She cut an imposing figure even though she was soaking wet and naked. She knelt down and grabbed my pant leg with one hand, and my bicycle in the other. She stood up and in one fluid motion, she pulled the bike and my article of clothing apart with no effort. She dropped the bicycle but she still held on to my pant leg with me still in it. She stared at me as if she were contemplating something, she looked toward the stream and looked back at me and glanced at my pant leg which she still held on to.

"I don't like the sound of those things in your wheel," her hand spread open and my leg hit the dirt with a thud. "It irritates me to no end. The next time you come here and get stuck, instead of helping you, I'll help you."

She walked back into the stream and disappeared beneath its cold murky tide. My friends rode up just in time to see me jump on my bicycle and take off screaming. I never played there after that. Today I think of all the condos that line either side of the Waimalu stream and I wonder if anyone has come across a tall naked Hawaiian woman who is trying to pull their chain?


Come listen to Lopaka's storytelling LIVE - Friday, August 23rd, 7:30pm, at the Honolulu Museum of Art Doris Duke Theater

In Hawaii, one of the most common questions when meeting someone new is, "What school did you grad from?" In Lopaka's world, the question has become, "Is your old school haunted?" Come hear about which schools are most haunted, which neighborhoods are most haunted, and which shopping centers are most haunted on our island of O‘ahu. Could it be yours? Join us, you might just be surprised.

Please note: This is not a scientific study; the "most haunted" stories are purely based on the number of ghost stories and haunted tales shared with our storyteller about each place.

7:30pm, Friday, August 23rd

$15 per person/ $12 museum members

Get your tickets HERE

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