Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 9, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #54


Grant Society Case File: #0000006


The ring from Raymond’s phone bounced off of the walls of his small office and startled him from his project, which he was not certain was even correct. The trustees of the old Church Choir were antiquated, aristocratic descendants of the old missionary families whose ideals had worn out their relevance to modern times. The choir suffered due to the lack of investors who saw no use in floating an artistic entity that recycled the same formula for the past six seasons. It was frustrating for young Raymond who, himself, was a music teacher and an opera singer. Now, he sat in front of his work computer looking at yet another version of a letter that he hoped would change the mind of his employers once and for all.

“Queen Street Church Choir,” Raymond answered sharply.

“Hello,” the older female voice came over the phone, “I have in my possession several pieces of art that I would like to donate to your establishment. My husband has recently passed away and I am moving from my home in Manoa and I am going back to my birthplace in New York. So, I have no use for these things.”

“Oh I see,” Raymond replied and before he could ask anything else, the woman blurted out her address.

“97-245 Hualala’i Circle. Honolulu. 96812,” the woman said, “The front door will be open, just come right in. I’ll be there.”

The phone clicked once and the woman hung up. Raymond looked at the call as a needed opportunity to take a break from the stress of the office. His was in his car in no time as he headed up Ward Avenue and took a right turn on to the freeway. It was the symbolic freedom he needed as he let out a deep breath and relaxed while turning up the radio to the Hawaiian music station. The house was simple to find and, as the caller specified, the front door was open. It was a split-level home with a high ceiling. Just at the foot of the stairs lay a pile of different sized paintings that were stacked one on top of the other. Raymond knelt down in front of the stack and began to go through each framed piece of art; he shook his head after realizing that he’d come for nothing. The art was low-level amateurish, the kind that no one would give a second look to, the kind that your relatives accept as a gift because it was rendered by family. Raymond stood up and turned to leave when something caught his attention. It was a frame hanging on the wall just before the staircase, one could only see it if they knew where to look. He moved closer and it was exactly as he had thought; a tessellated, half-oval shaped, ornate, lambskin apron embroidered in black and gold. Two composite pillars stood as the primary symbol on the apron along with three architectural tools, a square, a level, and a plumb. Although the embroidery was gold, Raymond could discern the mosaic pavement that made up the design of the floor, but what stood out the most was an upright coffin with a skull and crossbones on the lid.

Nodding, he whispered to himself, “French Scottish rite, this is a Masonic apron.”

“I know,” the older female voice that came from behind him made Raymond jump slightly. “Those paintings are pieces of shit. I told my husband so, but he kept them anyway as a favor to his sister. the bitch had no talent.”

“Oh, I’m sorry! I’m Raymond, we spoke on the phone, and I’m from…”

“I know who you are, so do you think you might be able to use anything from this pile of horse shit?” the old woman asked.

Smiling now Raymond replied, “Uh... nooooo… we can’t use any of them, sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry,” the old woman said, “By the way, I’m Dorothy Manning. Howard was my husband. No need to worry about these paintings, guess I can finally burn them like I always wanted!”
Pointing over to the framed Masonic apron, Dorothy continued, “You like that thing you can take it, it’s all yours.”

“Wait, are you serious?” Raymond was shocked.

“Young man, if you ask me that question one more time, I’m going to smack you!” Dorothy shot back.

“Alright,” Raymond smiled as he removed the frame from the wall, “Thank you. By the way, what Masonic lodge did your husband belong to if you don’t mind my asking?”

“Fines iustificare possit media.” Dorothy said, “Just take the apron.”

Without another word, Dorothy made her away upstairs and locked the door behind her. A few minutes later while Raymond drove frantically on the freeway; he dialed the head of the Grant Society and put him on speakerphone, “Dude! Where are you?”

“I’m at home,” Lopaka replied, “Where are you?”

“I’m on the way to your house, I got something you have to see!” Raymond was frantic.

“Alright,” Lopaka said calmly, “I’ll see you when you get here.”

“By the way,” Raymond said, “Do me a favor and go on Google and find out what, ‘fines iustificare possit media’ means?”

“I can tell you that right now. It stands for, ‘The ends justify the means,’” Lopaka’s tone changed suddenly, “Um, what exactly is it that you have with you?”

“I’ll show you when I get there, I promise you it’s really cool!” Raymond was ecstatic.

“Okay,” Lopaka replied, “see you when you get here.” A cold chill and a bit of anxiety came over Lopaka as he hung up the phone. “Fines iustificare possit media.”
His heart raced and he began to feel light-headed at the thought of what Raymond said over the phone. The ends justify the means. It was the motto of the Illuminatti.

Lopaka met Raymond at the sidewalk the second he drove up, he took the passengers seat immediately and didn’t even bother with salutations. “Drive to Kaneana Cave,” Lopaka instructed.

“Alright,” Raymond answered, “Don’t you want to see what I got?”

“Don’t talk, don’t say anything and don’t even answer your phone. Just drive to the cave.” Lopaka tone was still the same.

“Can I at least turn on the radio?” Raymond asked. His only answer was Lopaka’s chilly stare.
The drive was painfully silent as the older Hawaiian man looked out the window. The excitement was eating away at Raymond but at the same time Lopaka’s stoic silence was unnerving, it was something he could never get used to. After an eternity, they finally pulled up to the dirt parking lot, which was just across the street from the cave.

“Bring whatever that thing is with you,” Lopaka said as he got out of Raymond’s car. He made a beeline for the underground chamber and waited. It took a few seconds for Raymond to acclimate his eyes to the darkness. Thankfully Lopaka turned his flashlight on at the bottom of the passage.

“Over here,” he called out.

Raymond held up the framed Masonic apron for Lopaka to see. “Pretty cool huh?” Raymond asked.

There was a large boulder just behind where the two stood, Lopaka pointed toward it with his flashlight, “Put it down over there,”

After laying the frame down carefully on the waist-high boulder, Raymond finally had to ask, “Do you mind telling me why we’re doing this cloak and dagger thing?”

Ignoring Raymond, Lopaka shone the flashlight on the glass-framed apron and examined it closer.
“How did you get this?”

Letting out a sigh of exasperation, Raymond recounted the morning’s events up until the moment he drove up to Lopaka’s house. “So this Dorothy Manning tells me to just take this French Scottish Rite Masonic apron and walks upstairs and that’s it. I asked her what lodge her husband belonged to and that’s when she told me, ‘fines iustificare possit media.’”

“She gives you THIS Masonic apron and all she says is, ‘fines iustificare possit media?’” Lopaka asked.

“Yes,” Raymond answered, “Can you tell me what the hell is going on?”

“Do you know what it is you have here?”

“Yes! A damned Masonic apron! Please tell me what is going on!” Raymond shouted out of frustration.

Staring intently at the Masonic apron, Lopaka continued, “This is King David Kalakaua’s French Scottish Rite Masonic apron.”

The surprising revelation left Raymond dumbfounded but he had to be certain. Of course, he didn’t doubt Lopaka and yet just for his own sake, Raymond had to be certain.“How do you know for sure?”

Pointing toward the frame, Lopaka said, “On the bottom right of the apron, OUR right, there are embroidered letters. They’re really small but it’s right there. See it?” Lopaka held his flashlight at an angle so that Raymond could see clearly.

“KK Rex,” Raymond said out loud.

“His initials,” Lopaka said, “Rex was how he signed all of his documents and letters as far as I know. Rex means, ‘The Reigning King.’”

“Holy mother-freakin’ crap!” Raymond said in disbelief.

“Don’t get too excited,” Lopaka remarked, “ We still have to deal with, ‘Fines iustificare possit media.’”

“Right,” Raymond confirmed, “The ends justify the means! So?”

“That’s the motto of the Illuminatti and if all that woman did was give you their motto in Latin and then just walk away, then we are dealing with more than just a Masonic apron.”

“Like what?” Raymond asked.

“We’re taking it back,” Lopaka said, ignoring Raymond’s question, “Let’s go.”

He was beyond frustrated, Lopaka would only give him a morsel of what he needed to know and then he’d ignore certain questions completely. “Can we at least listen to the radio on the way back?” Raymond called out.

“Take your battery out of your phone,” Lopaka called back.

. . ..............

Returning to the house in Manoa, they found that it was completely empty. Every last bit of furniture was gone and so were the paintings. The carpet had been pulled up and the room upstairs was bare. It looked as if no one had ever lived there.


In 1979 a 16-year-old Hawaiian boy dreamt one night that he approached two Marines standing guard at the Makalapa gate entrance to the Pearl Harbor naval base. In the dream, he stops just before the guard shack and crosses the street to walk toward them. Both guards put their hands out to the boy and command him to halt. The first guard asks the boy to state his business. The boy holds out something to them that they couldn’t quite make out. Upon closer inspection, they see he has two military I.D.s in his hand. One belongs to Thomas J. Fountain; the other belongs to a Wilson K.C. Crowley. The Marine guards are dumbfounded; the military I.D. cards belong to them. They quickly remove their own wallets from their pockets and find their I.D.s missing. Alarmed now, they draw their sidearms and point it at the Hawaiian boy. It’s here in the dream that the 16-year old boy wakes up. The dream is confusing because it’s so random and yet it felt very tangible. It takes a whole hour before the boy can fall back to sleep again. Two days later as the boy is walking home from school, a black car pulls up in front of him and he is taken away. No one sees him for two days and when he is finally returned home, his parents act as if he had just left for school that same morning. The 16-year old boy lost days of the time that he couldn’t recall.

That boy was Lopaka.


There was always something about Mānoa and its lush green mountains and cool breezes that brought comfort and ease to Lopaka’s mind. It was a place where he and his wife had always hoped to buy a house. For Raymond, it was the frustration of not getting the answers he wanted that fueled him to get back to the Manning house as soon as possible. Even as Lopaka seemed to evade his inquiries, Raymond instinctively knew that what he was after would manifest once they returned to Dorothy Manning’s home.

“It’s your Masonic obligation to protect your brother from impending danger,” Raymond reminded Lopaka.

“Just because you were given the king’s Masonic apron doesn’t mean that this is a Masonic matter,” Lopaka answered.

“We don’t know that for sure,” Raymond said.

Lopaka pulled his phone out of his shirt pocket and fumbled with it for a second and then showed it to Raymond at the moment he pulled up to a red light. “See that?” Lopaka asked.

“Yes, it’s a satellite map of Nu’uanu,” Raymond confirmed.

“Where in Nu’uanu?” Lopaka asked again.

“Luakaha!” Raymond exclaimed.

“Right, but what is it that you’re looking at in this satellite image?” Lopaka queried.

“The Nu’uanu forest reserve,” Raymond said.

“No,” Lopaka said calmly, “You’re looking at Kaniakapupu.”

“Cannot tell because all you can see is the forest,” Raymond replied.

“Doesn’t mean that Kaniakapupu isn’t there,” Lopaka looked at Raymond without saying another word.

“I hate when you do that,” Raymond growled.


The Manning house was a large 70’s modern style home that contrasted the two southern plantation mansions which sat on either end at the front of the property. However, because the Manning house was tucked right up against the west ridge of Mānoa valley behind the two homes, the house itself was hardly noticeable unless you were looking directly at it. The driveway took Raymond directly to the front of the house where the front door was still open. Grabbing the glass-framed apron from the back seat, the two men exited the vehicle and walked into the front door. They had only gotten to the foot of the staircase when they heard the door close behind them. Four men in dark suits and ties stood in front of the entrance while three more men entered the living from the kitchen, at the same time, Dorothy Manning descended the stairs.

“Fines iustificare possit media,” Dorothy exclaimed.

“Illuminare iter transeundum,” Lopaka replied, “This is a bit dramatic Dorothy, although using Kalakaua’s Masonic apron to hook me in was a nice touch. But really, the men in black? You could just call me.”

“It’s been thirty-six years since you’ve been on our radar and you’ve changed your last name since then. Were you hiding?” Dorothy asked.

“No,” Lopaka replied.

“Then what happened?” Dorothy inquired.

“I became who I truly was,” Lopaka said, “I became Hawaiian.”

Dorothy stared, incredulous, “And what were you before then?”

“Lost,” Lopaka stated.

Looking at the men who surrounded himself and Lopaka, Raymond raised his hand slightly and asked, “Are we in some kind of trouble or something? Did we do something wrong?”

Nodding in Raymond’s direction, Lopaka said to Dorothy, “Don’t pay attention to him,”

Dorothy scoffed at Lopaka and took Raymond’s hands in hers, “Don’t pay him any mind. Even when he was sixteen he was a grouchy old man! But you can ask anything you like, this involves you too.”

“Alright,” Raymond sounded relieved, “Are we in some kind of trouble? It’s already been established that this has nothing to do with the King’s Masonic apron, correct?”

“Correct!” Dorothy confirmed. Eyeing Lopaka, the old woman continued, “And you’re not in trouble. However, let me ask you, have you heard of something called remote viewing?”

Lopaka quickly inserted himself between the two and interrupted, “You don’t have to say anything you don’t want to Raymond”

Dorothy could already read the minds of her security team who were trained to defend her from any threat, perceived or real. She raised her hand to stop them before they could intervene. “I’m afraid he does,” Dorothy said.

“Is that what all the muscle is for?” Lopaka asked.

“When you knew me, I was just the doctor attaching all the wires to your head so that we could monitor your sleep. It’s now thirty-six years later, and I am the head of the entire pacific branch. I have ‘muscle’ whether I like or not,” Dorothy said as she feigned exasperation.

“Answer the question,” Lopaka said as he looked at Raymond, “It’s okay.”

“Yes,” Raymond began, “I have heard of it. In fact, we began to study remote viewing about six or seven months ago.”

“By ‘we’ you must be alluding to The Grant Society?” Dorothy was pointed now.

Raymond looked at Lopaka with wide-eyed wonder that the old woman knew about their group. Lopaka returned a nod to Raymond, indicating that it was fine to continue on. “Yes,” Raymond said, “The Grant Society.”

“How many consists of your group?” Dorothy asked.

“Including myself, there are nine initiated members. The rest are on a kind of probationary period,” Raymond replied.

“Has Lopaka ever explained why he formed this society?” Dorothy began to press ever so slightly.

“To help people like myself and others develop and understand our innate or cognitive psychic abilities,” Raymond was now beginning to word his responses very carefully.

“Oh god, don’t sell me a car, just tell me the story,” Dorothy demanded.

“Well, all of us in the Grant Society grew up having these so-called, ‘abilities.’ When we were kids, we didn’t understand what was going on and neither did our parents. A lot of us were told that we were evil or going to hell or that we were possessed by the devil. Some people like us end up abusing alcohol and drugs or worse… Lopaka helped us understand that we weren’t crazy. It was a revelation for us, it was freedom,” Raymond said.

“I see, thank you, young man,” turning to Lopaka, she continued, “six months ago your society remote-viewed a target in Sicily. We knew it was random because you were practicing, honing your abilities as it were. Do you recall that target?”

“Yes,” Lopaka answered, “It was in Marsala, 633 Via Vincenzo.”

“That was one of our safe houses,” Dorothy sighed, “One of countless many that we have around the world. Your little ‘exercise’ put you and your society on our radar. We were not sure at first because, as I said earlier, you changed your name. So, we set about casting out our fishing pole with some bait.”

“And you figured if you caught the little fish, the big fish would come after,” Lopaka confirmed what everyone already knew, “So what happens now? We disappear mysteriously like George Helm?”

“Oh don’t be silly!” Dorothy hissed, “I told you that nothing was going to happen to either of you and I meant it!”

“Well, then what?!” Lopaka demanded.

“The people I answer to want to offer you something,” Dorothy said.

“Are these the same people that put me in that think tank for those few days?” Lopaka asked sarcastically.

“The same.” Dorothy nodded.

“What’s the offer?” Lopaka asked guardedly.

“We would like to be able to prevent certain kinds of events from taking place. Events that certain entities may act upon, diversely affecting the safety and well being of innocent world citizens. Such an undertaking would require unique services like that of yourself and your society.”

Lopaka looked at Dorothy intently before answering, “Aaaand we don’t have a choice?”

“They are prepared to pay you handsomely,” Dorothy confirmed in her arrogant way.

“Taking money from you would be the same as brushing my teeth with a dirty toothbrush. We’ll pass on the money but give us the house, you pay the property tax, the maintenance fees and all of the upkeep. I’m already assuming that this is a safe house so it shouldn’t be a problem, right?” Lopaka asked.

“This is is completely off the grid, it’s self-sufficient for as long as we need it to be. We needn’t bother with the electric company or the board of water supply. Are you sure you won’t take the money?” Dorothy pontificated more than she asked.

“No,” that was his final answer.

“Very smart,” Dorothy smiled.

“What about my group? Do I tell them what the deal is?” Lopaka wanted to see how just how much light Dorothy was willing to shed.

“They’ll be here any second,” the old woman had every finite detail planned out.”You can tell them whatever you want.”

 A second later, while the core members of the Grant Society pulled up to the driveway, Dorothy Manning slid out the back door and disappeared.

“So that’s it?” Raymond asked. “This place is ours?”

“With Dorothy Manning, that’s never it. There’s always some hook, some loophole somewhere, but yes, this place is ours.” Lopaka confirmed.


Raymond and Lopaka first took everyone on a tour of the house and then ordered pizza and drinks. The rest of the evening was spent explaining the unusual circumstances under which the two came to be in the company of Dorothy Manning and her team of bodyguards, and following that, the acquisition of the Grant Society’s new lair. They all spent the next four days cleaning up the Manoa home and then tending to the yard. When mid-day rolled around, the society sat around a triangular-shaped koa wood table for lunch. The festive atmosphere was briefly interrupted by a phone call from another society member who had just recently moved to New York. Raymond set his phone on speaker mode.

“Moonie!” Everyone shouted.

“Hey, Guys!” Moonie replied.

“What’s happening?’ Tanya asked.

“Well, I’m sitting on a bench in Central Park and I have someone here who says she knows you guys! She wants to say hi, here, hold on one second.” They could hear Moonie saying something they couldnʻt quite make out on the other end.

“Hello!” Came the older female voice. “It’s Dorothy Manning calling you all the way from Central Park in New York City! Are you prepared for your first test assignment?”

The mood changed very quickly as everyone sat up at attention.

“Test assignment?” Lopaka asked.

“As we speak, young Moonie has already been brought to our van, we’re going to secret him to an undisclosed location and it will be the Grant Society’s first test assignment to remote view his whereabouts. You can call Moonie’s phone once you’ve determined his location but not until then. You have an hour and a half.”

The phone clicked off immediately after. 

The exploits and adventures of the Grant Society will return. Thank you for supporting us.

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