Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 17, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #16



I used to think that color had everything to do with it. Wait, I mean, the color of the clothes you wore, like that. I felt that color had an effect on a person's mood on their overall state of being.  
Back then, I carefully selected what color shirt I would wear, what style of tie to go with it, and what knot to tie it in. Merovingian is still my favorite. Yeah, so I figured that the colors I wore would influence people's reactions; however, there was one other consideration. That was how to control them once I got them in the mood; that was easy enough.

Then there was touch, or what I call transference of energy. Be it good or bad, that is what it was; that is what it really was. Museums, for instance, are funny about the human touch in regard to antique pieces on display. The natural oils on our skin can adversely affect the integrity of said antique collections, but what is the effect of supposed inanimate objects on us human beings?
Over the years, I realized that neutral colors dull the effect of how cognitive spirits react to us, the living. More so in situations where the potential for someone to be possessed presents itself. So, I developed a protocol when doing paranormal investigations. Neutral colors must be worn, along with rubber gloves. All footwear must be wrapped with a specialized protective covering. Face masks covering the nose and mouth are worn, as are earpieces connected to a body mic. Anyone who has done a paranormal investigation with me knows that my protocols have no flexibility.


His name was Kenneth Kim, his sidekick was Herman Kipapa, and their third was Caitlyn Halmaran. They'd been friends from high school who only had each other since they didn't fit in. Ten years later, as adults, they found a mutual interest in ghost hunting, thanks to the inundation of all those paranormal reality shows. Needless to say, they just went out at night on their own with recorders and cameras, hoping to capture a ghost in any way, shape, or form. After months of coming away with zero results, they called me in the hopes that I would help them. They must have caught me in a good mood because I quickly agreed. When we met, I sat with them and went over my protocols. They agreed, and I gave them the appointed time and place to meet.

Three nights later, we were a mile past the Aihualma trail. We placed our high-intensity flashlights on the ground and began putting on our neutral-colored coveralls. Next came the rubber gloves, shoe coverings, face masks, and earpieces.  "There are things in this forest that will use the environment to distract you. Stay focused, and only listen to what I tell you."

"Well," Kenneth began. "You're the only one on the main com anyway, right?"

"You may hear other voices that are not any of ours," I replied. "Ignore them, only listen to my voice."

"Okay," Herman chimed in. "Only your voice?"

"You didn't hear me the first time?" I asked.

"Sorry," Herman replied sheepishly. "Just wanted to be sure."

"What if this is all some bullshit, and he's just hyping us up?" Caitlyn asked.

"Having doubts?" I asked the girl.

"Well, we've had six months of nothing, and all of a sudden, we meet you, and you have all the answers?" She said.

"I don't have all the answers," I replied.

"He's not charging us anything," Herman reminded his friends.

"Well?" I asked.

The three conferred with one another and finally came to an agreement with Caitlyn as the spokesperson.

 "We'll go along,"

"Fine," I replied.



The funeral home is packed solid with a lot of people who are not only the relatives and friends of Caitlyn Halmaran but also people who followed what happened to her online and from the reports on the news. I wore a neutral color so I could blend into the crowd and not be noticed at all. I made it a point to sit in the middle of the group and not on any corners, front or back. Nor did I sit at the end of any one of the rows. The center was the best place, it took too much time to look there. The lights in the funeral home went dark, and a screen lowered itself down from the ceiling. It did not obstruct Caitlyn's urn or the myriad flowers and wreaths that piled the front. A black and white portrait picture of Caitlyn slowly faded into view, and the song, 'Father Figure,' played on the overhead speakers. What an odd choice for music at a person's memorial service? With each beat, a different image of her appeared. They were pictures from different times in her life, from infancy to her friendship with Kenneth and Herman in high school. The three of them went to prom together, the three of them at graduation. The three of them, just being the three of them. The last picture was one with just Caitlyn and Kenneth in a tight, naked embrace. They're both crying. A week after the photo was taken, Caitlyn was dead.

Kenneth put the video together and chose the music because Caitlyn grew up without a father, and he always felt protective over her. Yeah, I know, it's kind of weird.


After the eulogy, I mixed into the crowd, returned to my car, and waited. Two and a half hours later, when most of the vehicles emptied the parking lot, I returned to the funeral home. No neutral colors, I wore a red button-down shirt with black slacks, wet boots, and a black belt with a large black skulled buckle; no subtlety here. I made sure that Kenneth and Herman saw me approaching; they stood there wide-eyed with mouths agape. Perfect, they were in a state of shock, which means their reaction time was dulled. Herman was the first to go down after I planted my fist into his sternum. Kenneth got a straight kick in the nuts, plain and simple, just like the way I'm describing it now. "Which one of you idiots broke the protocol?"

I already knew the answer, but I was furious that they thought it was all a game and that it would be fun to say, 'Fuck this guy! We'll just ignore him and do what we want!" And look at how that turned out?

"I told you that night that there were things in that place that would use the environment to mislead you and trick you. I also told the three of you that everything in that forest had mana. One of you idiots thought taking your rubber glove off to touch one of those trees was funny." I said.

"It was Caitlyn," Kenneth groaned. "I tried to stop her, but whatever it was in that tree took her right away. I saw it; I saw her face change colors. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."

"It's too late for sorry," I replied. "Your friend is dead."

"She got worse, day by day, she got worse. She said it was nightmares first, then it was the voices. Then it all started happening right in front of her; she thought it was hallucinations," Kenneth was crying now. "She said it was the spirits from the forest; they wanted her to go back so they could take her. I went to see her that last time; that's when we..."

"I'm the one that went back up to Mānoa to look for her," Herman was trying to catch his breath. "It's not like it matters now, but I followed your protocol to the letter. I found her not too far from where we first went with you. We sorry, we really sorry."

"Apologize to Caitlyn," I said.


If you are thinking about working with me, know that I've got protocols that leave no room for compromise. If you donʻt think you can get with that, then donʻt bother. All you have to do is listen to what I tell you: no questions, no opinions, and no personal insights. Keep the colors neutral, and do not touch anything with your bare hands.

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