Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jul 28, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #95

After the death of his father Pi'ilani, Kiha had grown tired of the mistreatment he suffered at the hands of his older brother Lono.
He, therefore, sought out the wise counsel of a Kahuna (Priest) of the mo'o Goddess Kihawahine, the beneficent mo'o diety of Maui.

In relating his unsatisfactory opinion of his older brother to the Kahuna, Kiha learned that there was a test to be had that would determine which one of the brothers might be able to gain the rule of Maui. Without so much as an effort toward the proclamation of war.

The Kahuna intimated to Kiha that a hale pili (house of pili grass) would be built and that within its confines would be a covered imu (underground oven) with a torch on either side. He and the older Lono would be invited to sit there in complete silence. A single beam of light would come from the kaupoku (ceiling) above, like a spider's web and hover before the two of them. The Kahuna of Kihawahine would go on to say that whatever would transpire after that, neither Kiha nor his older brother Lono could move or show any expression or emotion of the face. The first to react would be the loser, the one remaining, would be the true and rightful successor to the throne of their father, Pi'ilani.

So the contest was arranged, and so did the two consenting brothers agree to sit not less than a foot away from one another. The covered imu lay before them with a lit torch standing on either side of the underground oven like guardian sentinels.

 The complete absence of sound would have un-nerved a weaker man to run from the place out of sheer madness, but the two brothers sat steadfastly, determined not to be outdone by the other. As predicted by the Kahuna, a single beam of light like that of a spider descending from the ceiling hovered in front of them. Without warning, it burst into a brilliant spectacle of sparks and lit the interior of the hale pili. Kiha and Lono sat perfectly still, with not even an exhale of breath given. Before long, they began to notice something moving under the covers of the imu.

Still not a reaction.

The covering disappeared somehow, and before them lay a woman in the pit, naked and dark. Her body writhed back and forth until her form began to vacillate between that of a woman and that of a giant mo'o (lizard).

Yet, no reaction from either brother.

The dark naked woman crawled out of the imu and undulated her form around and upon the bodies of the two brothers, but neither moved nor did they react. It was only then that Kiha and Lono realized that this was the mo'o Goddess Kihawahine.

It wasn't until the Goddess sat face to face in front of Kiha that he would genuinely have to find the strength within the depths of his na'au to not flee in a fit of madness. In her eyes, Kiha saw all of the horrible things that she had done to those who wronged her. Kihawahine let him see how she tore people from limb to limb, sometimes consuming them whole until she would regurgitate their remains only to destroy them again, but slower and with relish. In his mind, she sent the smells and sensations which all of her victims suffered by her hand. Kiha, with nerves of steel, sat unmoved without so much as a blink.

The dark, naked, Kihawahine then moved herself to sit face to face in front of Lono. Seeing that, the woman merely sat in front of his brother and looked him in the eye, Lono considered the contest easy. That is until he gazed into Kihawahine's eyes for only a few seconds, and then let out a blood-curdling scream. Lono ran from the hale pili and disappeared into the night. The mo'o Goddess sat in front of Kiha and regarded him thoughtfully before she vanished in front of him, and thus did Kiha inherit his father's kingdom.


It was a moment of insane passion born from a pointless argument that escalated to name-calling and groundless accusations. The punctuation was a proclamation that she no longer loved him. It was unfounded, she did not mean it, but they'd pushed one another too far. Without a word, he left, driving off into the night. His anger grew at the silence of his phone. It did not ring from a call or a beep from a text. It lay as mute and unfeeling as she was, his wife of too many years. It's the way he felt at the moment, typically things would change after a cooling-off period, but this was too much. His heart throbbed from the stinging pain of her venomous words. 'I don't love you anymore.'

It was the blue and yellow masonic symbol on the side of the building that caught his attention. The parking lot was empty, there were no parking barriers between the building and Lake Wilson. Without warning, he swerved off Wilikina drive and over the sidewalk. The pedal pressed to the floor, he was steadfast in his resolve to end his life. He quickly opened all four windows by pushing the buttons down. The steering wheel held sturdy in his hands, he aimed the vehicle toward a small cluster of palm plants and ti leaves. The greenery offered his car no resistance as it went sailing into the lake. The waters were high, and so the vehicle sank quickly. He held his breath for as long as he could before he would eventually have to exhale and let the murky green waters fill his lungs. The sunlight still penetrated the surface of the water and gave him a clear view of a naked Hawaiian woman swimming effortlessly toward his car. Her cheeks were not filled with air, so she wasn't holding her breath. She reached in and tore his seat belt away from his shoulders with one hand. With the other, she grabbed him by the shirt and yanked him out of his vehicle. In one fluid movement, she swam him to the surface and dragged him into the shaded parking lot and left him there. He turned over on his side and curled up into a fetal position and sobbed hysterically. The strange woman, unsympathetic to his plight, kicked him in his ribs. Her strength was such that she sent him skidding and tumbling across the parking lot toward the back of the lodge building.

Now he lay there in pain, finding it difficult to take a full breath. The Hawaiian woman hovered over him before reaching down to slap him across the face. The pain was so horrendous that it felt like the blow tore his skin apart.

"What the fuck???!!!" He finally managed to scream. "You save my life, then you beat the shit out of me???"

"Hōhē," the woman said. "Coward."

Her skin turned a shade of greenish-yellow, and a red tint filled her eyes. She turned and walked back toward the trees at the edge of the lake. A second later, she was gone.


A year later, the man sat in the living room of his aging motherʻs home in Wailuku, carefully relating to her the incident which happened to him at Lake Wilson a year previous. His mother described the story of the brothers Kiha and Lono. "Kihawahine is our ʻaumakua."

"But what happened to me, happened on ʻOʻahu," the son intimated to his mother.

"Ah, yes," the mother replied. "The moʻo wahine of that place takes a life every few years, but you went there to kill yourself, not to give yourself to her as an offering. Maybe thatʻs why she beat you and called you a coward."

"I donʻt understand?"

"That place is her home, and there, the right to take your life isnʻt yours, itʻs hers. She didnʻt want you to defile her dwelling. At least, thatʻs the way I see it."

Truthful wisdom indeed, but very frightening.

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