Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 14, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #19



Makahiapo could not fight back the tears at the sight of the almost ethereal beauty of Summer as she nervously checked herself time and time again while she stood in front of the full-sized mirror in the adjacent room of the old Wailupe mansion.
The lace curtains filtered out the late afternoon sun as it softly lit the mirror and seemed to bathe Summer in a kind of angelic glow. The silk wedding gown was tailor-made to fit her slender figure and accentuate her golden brown complexion. The epitome of a modern-day Hawaiian princess, Summer Keawe, was stunning.

In a separate room at the other end of the old Mansion, Tommy Choy and his four ushers sat on a large, over-sized couch. They, as well as Tommy himself, were still nursing hangovers from the previous evening’s bachelor party. Tommy made sure that if anyone of his friends felt as if they were going to be sick that they should relinquish their position as an usher so as not to stain their expensive tuxedos.

Lowell Atabay, the best man, sat in the far corner of the room feverishly, trying to convince his girlfriend over the phone that nothing happened at the bachelor party. He swore that he sat in his car in the parking lot while Tommy and everyone else had a great time at La Rockza. The girl herself, being all of nineteen years old and utterly infatuated with Lowell, took him at his word and now assured him over the phone that she would be at his side during the wedding and the reception to follow.

"Uh, my wife and kids are here," Lowell chuckled, "not a good idea."

"Then I'll come by myself," she replied, "Single and available."

The line went dead, and, in any other circumstance, Lowell would have been incensed, but the girl’s pouting actually put Lowell's mind at ease, at least for a short while.

"Eh!" Tommy called out, "Get off da phone already!"

Lowell put his phone away and joined the rest of the hungover party where they all lay, still half-drunk from the night before.

"So what?" Tommy asked, "You told your wife and your girlfriend you and the stripper were fucking in your car?"

“No,” Lowell replied. "You think I stupid or what?"

"Whateva brah," Tommy said.

Outside, on the large porch of the mansion, Summer's mother sat alone as her heart ached over her daughter's choice of Tommy Choy as a husband. For all of her years in high school, Summer and Makahiapo were inseparable, and Makahiapo became like family.

Somehow, during her senior year in school, Summer had suddenly come by the notion that should she and Makahiapo stay together after high school and that she would never leave the neighborhood where she grew up. Her little clump of grass would be where she'd be until the last days of her life. The thought frightened her, and it made Summer upset that her destiny could be so predetermined without any say. So she set her sights on Tommy Choy, whose family owned three restaurants around 'O'ahu. He was not an athlete, nor was he a member of any kind of club, but he was always well dressed and hung out with the best-looking guys in school. By the time Tommy was a sophomore, he was already driving his own Mercedes. This was something that every girl noticed, and it was also something that Summer kept in the back of her memory.

Summer's mother remembers overhearing her daughter's conversation the night that she broke up with Makahiapo. Summer was cold and heartless in telling Makahiapo that Hawaiian culture, protocol, and spiritual beliefs were not enough to sustain the kind of lifestyle she needed.

Although deeply hurt, Makahiapo offered no resistance and left Summer with these parting words, "My heart told me that something was not right and I knew this as soon as I saw you. Outwardly, you are the Summer that I fell in love with, but something within you has changed, and you are no longer the same person."

Summer's mother hung on those final words as her heart broke along with Makahiapo's heart. The fun, carefree, and whimsical young girl that she raised was gone. What remained after Makahiapo's departure was a materialistic, selfish, gold digger. Now, as the wind cooled the late afternoon sun, Summer's father came to retrieve his wife as the ceremony was soon to begin.


Tommy Choy's hangover worsened as his mother and father entered the room for a talk. Shooing Lowell and the rest of the ushers out of the room impatiently while his parents took a seat on the oversized couch, Tommy’s head pounded mercilessly, and there seemed to be no sign that the headache was going to go away.

"Tommy," his father began. "It's not too late to change your mind, you know? Grace is here, and she's still willing to forgive and forget everything. All you have to do is call off the wedding. We can leave right now, and I'll pay for whatever leftover expenses there are. Come with us right now, and we can make this all right."

"C'mon dad, you know I can't do that," Tommy replied.

"Why not?" His father shrieked. "Yes, Summer and her family are nice people, and there's nothing wrong with that, but this girl is still in college, and she works part-time as a dancer at a tourist luau! Is that the kind of girl you want for your future? I guarantee you, Tommy, once you guys have kids, her looks are going to disappear, and she'll be overweight and bitter just like every local Hawaiian woman in town! But look at Grace, she has a Master’s degree, and she's only twenty-six! She manages her own tour business in Waikiki! She has a future, you can have children with her and send them to a good private school!"

"In the meantime, what do I do? How do I make a living?" Tommy asked sarcastically as he massaged his temples.

"Your father always wanted you to take over the business, you know that!" Tommy's mother scolded.

"That's one thing that I don't want to do," Tommy groaned, "I wanna be my own man, self-made. like you, dad."

“You see, Linda?” Tommy’s father turned to his wife, “He gets it.”

Linda Choy shook her head and sighed, “You don’t even know your own son Manford, he's sarcastic.”

Linda stood in front of Tommy as screaming and pointing her finger at him, “You know your father is so business-minded that he doesn’t even know when someone is making fun of him or having a joke, but I do, and I am not as traditional as he is!" Without warning, Linda slapped Tommy across the face, with his hangover and his headache combined, it was all Tommy could do to not retaliate in kind, “He’s still your father, and you will show him respect!”

“Linda!” Manford interrupted, “You don’t have to hit him like that! Tommy?” Manford said, now turning his attention to his son. “Why do you give your mother and me such a hard time when all we want is for you to be happy? We gave you the best of everything, clothes, car, vacations, and a trust fund, everything. Why do you do this, Tommy? Why do you act as if you hate us?”

Tommy looked at his parents as if their concern for him was an irritation, “Because it’s what you want, that’s why I do it.”

Grabbing his tuxedo coat, Tommy headed toward the door, “I have to get married. Stay if you want or leave if you want to, I don’t care. Oh, and say hi to Grace; tell her to come and congratulate me, I think Summer could use a good laugh."

The catering crew arrived late and had already received a personal tongue lashing from Summer’s father, who was entirely free with his use of vulgar language to get his point across. With the added pressure of already being late, the chef and crew were agitated and rushed to have the food out and prepared to serve by the time the ceremony was completed.

Janelle Fiesta was a new server with the catering company who worked as hard as she could to earn her keep. She followed the line of servers who filed into the kitchen where the kitchen lead placed at least seven plates of food on a more enormous serving platter that came hot off the stove. With everything out and ready to go and with just a minute to spare, the chef decided to fry up a special omelet for himself. His joy didn’t last too long when Janelle came into the kitchen to tell him that they were having trouble lighting one of the burners. With a deep sigh, the chef stood up and tossed his hand towel carelessly behind him as he headed out into the back yard. He didn’t see that the dishtowel landed on the front eye of the stove that was still hot and hadn’t quite cooled down yet. By the time Janelle noticed the small fire, she immediately went into a panic and, rather than cover the red dishtowel, she swatted it across the kitchen where it hit the silk window curtains and instantly lit them on fire. The flames spread quickly through the kitchen and, before anyone knew it, the latter half of the old Wailupe mansion had erupted into a massive ball of fire.

The adjacent room that was just on the other side of the kitchen itself was the old study, which was like a small library. It was in this room that Tommy Choy and Summer Keawe were now taking their wedding vows as the bridesmaids and groomsmen looked on. Standing just on either side of the happy couple was the maid of honor, Summer’s sister, April, and the best man, Lowell.

Lowell was still nursing the split lower lip that his wife gave him after she realized who the strange girl was that sat at the back of the room. Lowell, along with everyone else, acted as if they didn’t know who that person was, but when Lowell’s wife observed the girl and Lowell exchanging glances, it was not difficult to put two and two together. At this point in her life, Mrs. Lowell Atabay had enough of her husband’s infidelity. Without warning, she stood up and punched her husband in the face, grabbed the children, and left the old mansion. As she exited the room, she managed to kick the double doors shut with such force that all four locks jammed in place, making it impossible for anyone in the study to escape once the fire swept through the ceremony.

It was the smoke that first filtered through the study from beneath the wall that separated both spaces. The wedding party moved away from the black choking cloud and began to make their way toward the double doors when they realized it was jammed shut. Try as they might, the doors would not budge.

The fire followed the smoke and found the delicate lace edges of the long train at the end of the bride’s gown. Before long, Summer was consumed in a fire that stoked itself even more as she ran around the study screaming in pain. It was a long, horrible end for such a beautiful young woman who had the entire world at her feet. Soon, she would be nothing but a melding of burnt flesh and a melted wedding gown.

Lowell Atabay died with the realization that the great wrong he had done to his family would never be undone. His nineteen-year-old girlfriend crawled toward him so that she could die by his side. She never made it, however, as Tommy, his ushers and the other bridesmaids, trampled over her as they tried to get out of the burning room.

Because Summer’s parents were well into their late sixties, they suffered the least as the smoke-filled their lungs and choked the life out of them quickly. April, Summer’s younger sister sat on the floor in a state of shock as she watched her sister burn to death.

Tommy Choy only harbored one single thought in his mind, and that was to save his own life. Who cared if everyone else burned to death? There were still many things he had yet to do, and dying young was not on his agenda. With his last ounce of strength, Tommy kicked the double doors open and ran into the main living room, which had now become a complete wall of fire. He became disoriented and absentmindedly turned right around and stumbled back into the old study. Screaming for help only increased the intake of the thick smoke that would eventually kill him. When he finally did die, it was at the side of his once-beautiful bride, Summer Keawe.

Tommy’s parents, along with the hopeful Grace, were spared as they went home and never attended the wedding, the rest died of smoke inhalation as they each struggled to escape the old study. The mansion burned for most of the evening until the firefighters finally arrived and found the remains of charred corpses all gruesomely posed in a final tableau.


Ten years later, Makahiapo could not fight back her tears as she beheld the sight of the almost ethereal beauty of Summer Keawe. The lace curtains in the room filtered out the late afternoon sun as it softly lit the mirror and seemed to bathe Summer in a kind of angelic glow. Every year on the anniversary of the tragic Wailupe Mansion fire, people have claimed to see the old structure entirely whole as if it had never burned down. Within the confines of the phantom mansion are the ghosts of the thirteen people who died in that fire, still going through with the wedding ceremony that would never complete itself. Many thrill-seekers and amateur ghost hunters have used the location to see if the residual energy of the tragedy still holds form. Excitedly, they come to take pictures and videos and dare one another to use an Ouija board to summon the dead bride.

Makahiapo comes only once a year to behold the beauty of the one true love of her life for that pristine moment when Summer was her most radiant. Afterward, she leaves a bundle of flowers for the departed and offers a prayer of peace for their repose. Every year, as she turns to leave, Makahiapo hears the voice of Summer pleading for her to come back and take her from the mansion so that she can return to the arms of the one to whom she rightfully belongs.


In ten years, Makahiapo learned to protect her heart from ever breaking again in such a way that she has conditioned her self to ignore the pleading voice of her dearly departed one. She walks to her car without ever looking back and drives off into the night. She does this every year until, finally, when the next year comes, no one leaves flowers and a prayer on the pile of old burnt rubble. This is where Summer waits, hoping to see Makahiapo appear at the end of the lane that led to the mansion, but the road is empty and barren, and the one whose heart she had broken never comes.


Kyle Greenwood’s and Miles Ishii’s bikes lay behind them on the tall grass one lonely afternoon as they place the rocks they had gathered in a pile at their feet. One by one, they throw the dirt-covered stones at the pile of burnt rubble where they are only greeted with the sound of a dull thud in return. As their last few rocks are near to being exhausted, Kyle hurls his one last stone with such intensity that it knocks over an old blackened beam of wood. The two howl excitedly at Kyle’s superhuman effort, but, in the next second, the very same rock returns from somewhere within the burnt pile of rubble with such fury that it hits Kyle square on the chest and knocks him on his back. Even before Miles can make an effort to help his friend up, a second rock comes from out of nowhere and hits him square on the back of his right shoulder. Miles screams in pain and turns to see the gruesome, burnt form of Tommy Choy holding the third rock in his charred palm. Miles grabs Kyle in a fireman’s carry and hoists him over his shoulders and runs for his life.

Tommy's ghost stands there with a shit-eating grin on his face.

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