Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jul 27, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #96

I was part of a cast of characters that performed in a traveling show around the islands. It was a four-year stint that paid a thousand dollars a week.
Thank you, Kamehameha Schools and Bishop Estate. Our first trip to Kauai, we arrived at noon and immediately made our way to our hotel/condo. The year was 1996, and we'd been at it since 1994. By that point, we were in survival mode. Our director was just too much to deal with; he was in love with the actress who played his wife. She was married at the time.

Otherwise, there was me, the musician, and the two other performers who were left to deal with the fallout. Now that you get the idea of the dynamic, I can tell you the story.

By one 'o clock, we were all checked in to our separate condos. A few minutes later, everyone opted to head out for lunch. I was still tired because my morning started earlier than everyone else's, so I stayed back to get some shut-eye. It took a couple of seconds before I began to doze off when suddenly, with my eyes still closed, I sensed a shadow walk past me. I opened my eyes and sat up on the couch, in front of the curtains stood a tall, Hawaiian warrior. He glared at me like I didn't belong there. I could see his contemplation as to what he was going to do to me in his gaze. Whatever the outcome, I was going to end up dead at his hands. I jumped to the back of the couch, so there'd be something to distance me from him.  An errant wind blew the curtains into the living room where the warrior and I stood. Some of the sunlight got in, and that's when he vanished without warning. I'll never forget the look in his eyes; he meant to take my life.

I bolted out of the room and nearly ran over the housekeeper who was right outside the door. She was an old Filipino woman who was very surprised herself.

"Nana," I was breathing heavily. "There's a ghost inside this room!"

She looked at me and looked at the room number, "Aiyah," she said to herself more than to me. "Not supposed to rent out this one! Wait here; I find you one other room. Poor thing you."


On another trip, we were at the Molokai Shores. Again, we unpacked, got settled, and headed out to Kaunkakai for a bite to eat. I found some poi at a local market, and then myself and the musician happened into a place called "Kanemitsu's."

I loved that place, and I loved the aloha that lived in that humble restaurant. Lunch was very filling, and as the musician and I went to pay our bill, the Hawaiian woman at the counter asked us if we were from 'O'ahu. We told her we were and that we were performing a show at the elementary school that evening.

"We going be closed by then, but if you come by and knock on the door, I'll open the grill and make dinner for you folks," she said.

How could we refuse? We were so excited! Right at that moment, the director walked in, and we told him about the good news.

"Why I like to eat crappy food like that? I am going to eat pizza at the cookhouse after the show!" He walked out the door; we apologized and assured the nice Hawaiian lady that we would return after the show. I was upset and followed the director and asked him why he was such a jerk? He waved me off and kept walking.

The musician and I returned to Kanemitsu's after the show. As the woman said, the door was locked, but we saw her in there and knocked on the door. She waved and smiled and let us in. All I'm going to say is that woman made the best hamburger steak I've ever tasted! We didn't want to overstay our welcome, so after we went to pay our bill, it turned that our money was no good there. She wouldn't take it.

"I told you I would make dinner for you folks," she said sternly. "I neva say you had to pay for it."


I forgot to mention that my mother once told me that when and if I ever go to Molokai, I should be kind to every single person on that island no matter who they were. "Don't hana 'ino or Kalalau over there," she warned me. "You don't know who might be a Kahuna 'ana'ana or who might be 'ohana to one."

I never forgot that morsel of advice. How this makes sense is that a year to the day later, the director passed away. It was determined to be death by misadventure. The director was a manic-depressive, and on the night of his passing, he took his medication and washed it down with a bottle of beer. There was an adverse reaction, and he passed in his sleep. It could be mere coincidence, or it could be...well, let us say that on the island of Molokai, it pays to be kind to every person no matter who they may be.

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