Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 10, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #82


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.

"Why make feathered capes at all?" One person asked.

"Couldn't a chief been given a title without having to wear regalia?" Asked another.

"My mother was a feather maker, and my Tūtū was a court dancer for the queen." A young manʻs voice echoed through the room.

Her grandmother was a beautiful artist of featherwork, whose skill she, her granddaughter, inherited. A lack of patience for vapid and groundless comments was something sheʻd also inherited from her grandmother. "Which queen? RūPaul?"

"No," the young man stumbled. "The queen, Liliʻuokalani."

"Oh? And who was that?" She asked pointedly.

"Itʻs been so long I forget," he remarked.

She turned and looked at him from above the rim of her glasses, "You are how old? Twenty-three, twenty-four?"

"Twenty-three, yes," he replied as if she were asking him a dumb question.

"Even at your age, you should remember your grandmotherʻs name," she smirked.

"Itʻs a complicated long name in Hawaiian," he now knew heʻd been found out, but he did not know how to stop talking.

"Yet, you can recall that she was a court dancer, but you donʻt know her name? Do you at least know your motherʻs name, the feather maker?"

"Marion Meyer," he replied.

"Marion was a student of my grandmother. I know her very well," she over-smiled.

The young man quickly excused himself and left. "Oh, Lani," she whispered to herself, "when will you ever learn?"

She stood up from her chair and walked over to the large double doors and closed them shut. Applying the lock and returning to her station where the short yellow and red feathered cape lay on the large table, she saw several Hawaiian men standing just outside a part of the room that was well lit. They lingered just beyond the light, dressed in brilliant colored feathered capes of differing lengths and styles. They wore feathered helmets as well; some carried weapons while others did not. Each chiefly apparition stepped forward, announced their name, bowed, and retreat to join the line. Lani lost track of time, but when it was all over, she did not bother returning to her station. Instead, she went home.


The following morning, the curator received a text from Lani.

To whom it may concern,

The total sum of what you asked is three thousand. Please send the check to my address, which is with the paperwork that you and I had previously arranged.



Upon receiving the text message, the curator called Lani immediately. It took several attempts before Lani finally answered. "Hello,"

"Lani, this is Klara! How exciting! So, you counted three thousand feathers in that cape?" The curator could not contain herself.

"Three thousand is my fee, Iʻve stopped counting the feathers altogether, but you will pay me for time." Lani was straightforward.

"I donʻt understand," Klara began. "What happened?"

"In each bundle of feathers in that cape, are strands of human hair," Lani took a breath. "This particular cape must not have been worn for long because whoever wore it, probably fell ill and died. I suggest you store that cape away, and never NEVER bring it out for display." There was a silence from the curatorʻs side of the phone. "How soon can I expect my check?"


In reality, there was no curse on the ahuʻula; it was perfectly fine. Indeed, there were strands of human hair wrapped in the bundled feathers. They were included to represent each generational aliʻi from that particular family. Their apparitions appeared to her and made themselves known. Upon that meeting, Lani knew that those ghostly chiefs trusted her and owed them to honor their request to be left undisturbed. Thus began the rumor of the cursed ʻahuʻula.

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