Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 31, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #61

 1975


There was a kid in intermediate school that we called Frankenstein because he looked like the resurrected monster from the movie. His actual name was Irwin Ching, pronounced as eye-rin, everybody just settled on Frankenstein.

Aug 30, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #62

 It wasn't a secret that we hired guys who lived in halfway houses. The tour industry always has a shortage of drivers. There are still a small handful of old-timers, but guys come and go on the regular outside of that.

Aug 29, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #63

 1998


"Here, dad," My son handed my grandson to me, and I hugged my little man close and kissed him on his chubby cheeks. He began strapping a harness around me, which seemed awkward.

Aug 28, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #64

 Certain kinds of houses are put together with the Hawaiian stature in mind. Take me, for example, five feet ten inches tall and very broad-shouldered and a wide frame. The house on the eleventh avenue tract in Kaimuki was designed for persons of a smaller frame by its architectural style.

Aug 27, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #65

 1979


Somebody bashed Ronald Shapely over the head with such force that it split his skull open right down to his naturally arched eyebrow.

Aug 26, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #66

I spent many mornings sitting on an oversized love chair watching and listening as Clara Kalaukoa played Suite Bergamasque by De Bussy.

Aug 25, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #67

 In the dream, Iʻm walking through a dense forest at night. I know itʻs in Hawaii, I just donʻt know where.

Aug 24, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #68

 Every high school has its secrets; Terry Higa was ours. He wasn't a strange kid, like how other weird kids were back in the day. Terry wasn't aloof or self-absorbed; he didn't talk to himself or chew on his fingernails.

Aug 23, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #69

 The best part of the fourth of July and New Years' celebrations are the fireworks. In my family, it was a tradition that after all the big fireworks are done, we kids got to play with all the sparklers we could handle.

Aug 22, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #70

 1970


It was summer and my sister and I was tired of swimming in our pool every day. One morning we woke up early and prepared sandwiches and put them in Saran wrap.

Aug 21, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #71

 Westervelt tells us that in the indefinite long ago, Kakei was the mōʻī of ʻOʻahu. He was an enterprising chief whose men saw days of being poor in one instance and rich the next.

Aug 20, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #72

 Fiction


Maylen Borner sounds like a strange name, but it's also a name you can't forget once you hear it. That name burned itself into the memories of our population twenty years ago.

Aug 19, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #73

 ....Conclusion from yesterday



The services were small at the mortuary near Diamond Head. There was only an urn upfront with a hand made lei around it.

Aug 18, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #74

 .......continued from yesterday


HPD brought me in for questioning. We already established what I did for a living. What they wanted to know was why my wallet and ID would be on Carol's body?

Aug 17, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #75

People on the bus are cordial, but it's evident that everyone wants to stay in their own lane and not be bothered. Everyone is headed somewhere, and we'd all like to get there peacefully. As luck or misfortune would have it, there is always someone who feels that they have the right to invade your personal space in whichever way, shape, or form they please.

Aug 16, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #76

 In the dream, it's dark. I can only see a lone road crew worker. He wears the reflective vest over a long-sleeved lime green shirt. Silently he works with a power cutter making a deep straight line into the pavement.

Aug 15, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #77

 

Out of respect, the names of the people in this story have been changed.


Carla Thomas crooned ever so painfully about her perfect man. Her heartfelt description of his attributes culminates in two words, 'Gee Whiz.' The percussive tempo of the piano and the freestyle of the violin give the song the romantic undertone it needs.

Aug 14, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #78

 As a kid, I only half paid attention to the warnings my parents gave me. I was too busy being a kid. What did I care about stepping on a crack and planting ti-leaf around the yard? 

Aug 13, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #79

 An intruder murdered a mother and her child at home one evening. He was coming off a four day high, and the withdrawals were too much for him to bear. Out of blind desperation, he barged into the one-bedroom apartment in Makiki, grabbed a serrated knife off of the kitchen counter, and slashed the mother's throat.

Aug 12, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #80

....Another perspective from yesterday's story 

1970

She was home from school in Honolulu. The plane ride was uncomfortable, too many tourists. Loud, boisterous, and very drunk.

Aug 11, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #81

 



1972

 My mother needed to return home in order to nurse her niece back to health. I called her aunty sally because that's what you do here in Hawai'i, its a sign of respect.

Aug 10, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #82

 ....continued


The first day of counting each feather on the cloak only brought distractions. Persons who were either volunteers or curators of some sort continuously wandered into the room and feigned interesting observations for a second. Soon, they asked questions. None of which were pertinent to her task at hand.

Aug 9, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #83

 She had been called to the museum to count the feathers on a unique cape, one that radiated kapu. She was a feather maker, so she knew the intricacies of the craft.

Aug 8, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #84

 Some cases are frustrating and confusing and very hard to understand. Take, for instance, the single thirty-year-old female professor from U.H. who bought a house in Kapolei. She was quiet and kept to herself; at the most, she was cordial to her neighbors but did not make the extra effort to socialize. She occupied her home for less than a year until one quiet Sunday afternoon, one of the neighbors saw her body hanging from the branch of a tree in her backyard.

Aug 7, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #85

In the Filipino camp on Hawaii island, the single men occupied a barracks where they were berthed for the time being of their labor contracts. Although they came from different provinces in the Philippines, they generally got along. There were normal disagreements regarding personal space and the habits and quirks of one man who raised the ire of another. Those issues were always resolved without one man resorting to fisticuffs or worse.

Aug 6, 2020

Aug 5, 2020

Aug 3, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #89

In some legends, Nānaue, the shark man, resides in Waipio valley for a time until his depredations become his undoing, and he is found out to be one part human and part shark.

Aug 2, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #90

Chickadee was a hand full for her parents, so they sent her to live with the old Hawaiian man up the road. It could not have been easy for Chickadee residing in a home that had not seen the bottom of a broom or mop as the ancient Hawaiian man himself was hardly around. There was dirt for a yard, and we could hear the two yelling back and forth, but for all the contention, Chickadee put her nose to the grindstone and spruced up the house first. Then she began tilling the dirt and raising plants, grass, and a couple of tangerine trees. Before long, the old Hawaiian manʻs house had a new lease on life. If he was happy about it or not, no one knew.

One afternoon, Chickadee got off the bus from school just as I turned the corner to walk down Maipalaoa road. She struck up a conversation while we walked, asking me about school and what I did for fun? I told her that I wanted to learn Kung Fu like Bruce Lee. She laughed and said, maybe one day. A car came by, and one of the older guys from her school pulled up, and he asked Chickadee if she wanted to learn how to drive? It was a 1968 Mercury Cougar, all brand new and right off the lot. Chickadee said good-bye, and she hopped in the car.

I hurried home to do my chores and finish my homework. Around dinner time, there was a frantic pounding on the front door, my father answered and found the guy who drove the Cougar standing on our porch soaking wet. He told my father that while he was teaching Chikadee how to drive, she lost control of the car and drove it into the canal. She got stuck behind the wheel. My father and the guy ran the length of our vast back yard, which lead out to the channel. It was high tide, and my father got there just in time as the car was sinking.

The vehicle was a total loss, and from what I heard later, Chickadee punched the guy in the face for leaving her in the car, rather than helping her out. Two days later, there was another knock on our door. It was the old Hawaiian man. He asked my father very nicely if he would follow him to his house; there was something he needed to show him. I went along.

The old Hawaiian man disappeared into the darkness of his garage, where he pulled a string hanging overhead. At the same moment, a light came when the old Hawaiian man poured out the last contents from a big lauhala basket. Piled on the table in front of him was a variety of fish, crustaceans, and sea urchins. My father's eyes were wide with wonder, but before he could say anything, the old Hawaiian man interrupted.

"I donʻt have too much money, but everything I caught today, I give to you,"

"For what?" My father asked.

"You saved my Chickadee; she's the only family I have. If she dies, I'm alone, you see?" An expression of gratitude and thanks replaced his usual scowl. "My name is Henry."

"Thank you, Henry," my father shook his hand.

From that day, the old Hawaiian man, Henry, always made sure that he filled our table with half of whatever he caught from fishing. He and my father became terrific friends. We finally moved out of Maili a few years later and settled in Waipahu. One day, out of the blue, Chickadee called to let us know that her uncle had passed in his sleep and that the services would take place on Maui. My father and I attended Henry Akinaʻs services, where a beautiful painting hung over his casket. It was Henry, emptying a large basket of yet another abundant catch. For some reason, the artwork gave me chicken skin. My father introduced us to everyone. They were cordial and made small talk and went about their business. A few asked us where we were from. One woman in particular not only asked us where we were from, but she also asked us if we were close to Henry Akina?

"He was our neighbor for a long time," my father began. "We lost touch after we moved out."

"Oh?" The woman was genuinely surprised. "How did you find out about my brothers passing?"

"His niece, Chickadee called us to let us know," my father replied."How is she doing, by the way? Is she here?"

"My daughter passed away last year," the woman looked thoughtfully at the two of us. "Her husband was the jealous type, he always accused of seeing someone."

The woman never finished her sentence, she kept her head down, and the tears came effortlessly. The silence between the three of us was awkward, I was scared out of my mind after what she said, so was my father, but he carefully made an effort to apologize.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make you upset, but I swear it was Chickadee, who called. I'd know her voice anywhere,"

"No, don't apologize. It makes sense that Chickadee would call you. She was very close to my brother, but I remember her talking about a family in Maili that she was close to as well. Now I know it was you, folks." The woman wept not only out of sadness but also from a realization that death is not the end and that her daughter's spirit was still with us.

The following morning we met with Chickadee's mother, Mona, who took my father and me to visit Chickadee's headstone. It was sobering to see her gray and black granite edifice. Her full name was Mara C. Akina. It made me worry that my friend from my childhood would continue to haunt me. Mona must have read my mind. "There's no need to be afraid, Chickadee was your friend. She loved you like her brother, she won't harm you."

After that, Mona took us to the old shop where Guri Guri was served. I had a cup to myself while my father and Mona had their conversation. I wasn't paying attention, I was caught up with the sight of the people milling about in the parking lot, and the different kinds of cars driving through around. Maui was just like Oahu in that there were houses and cars as we had. Families walked by the shop, some too busy with life concerns while others peered in the window, deciding if they were going to come in or not. One family crowded the window for a second and then dispersed. All that was left was one young Hawaiian girl who was naturally beautiful and full of verve and zest. Her eyes were bright, and the dimples in her cheeks became very prominent once her smile brought them to life.

It was Chickadee.

She waved and blew me a kiss and waved again. I waved back and smiled. A smattering of people walked by, and she was gone. It was pointless to try and get my father and Mona's attention, they were still caught up in their conversation. I put my cup down and went outside the shop and looked around, hoping to catch a glance of my friend, but no luck. I went back into the shop and resumed work on my Guri Guri. "I miss you, Chickadee," I whispered to myself. "I miss you."









Aug 1, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #91

'Umi, the king of the island of Hawaii heard rumors of a wonderous Leho (cowry shell) which contained the magic to catch squid without fail. He sent for the owner of the Leho to come before him that he may see it.