Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 19, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #12

 We were doing bus tours again in the dream, but the meeting place is a new one. What I mean is that we're familiar with the site; we've just never used it as a pick-up point for our ghost tours.

It's a gray-colored building next to the Subaru dealership on Wai'alae; we pass by it all the time. The entire second floor converted to a library, and that's where we were meeting the group to clarify things before we start the tour. Once that's done, everyone heads downstairs to board the bus. I stopped by the librarian's desk and asked them if they've seen my iPad? They said they have it but that I have to sign out for it. Unusual, but that's how dreams go. The next thing I know, I'm walking toward the bus, and my ex-brother in law is standing there with a doctor who tells me, "He's terminal, and he doesn't have much time. His last request was to come on your ghost tour."

I gesture to the open door, and my ex-brother in law gets on. Suddenly, my hand feels lite, and when I look at it, my iPad is gone. I rush back upstairs to the library, and I see Scott and Stephanie are having a workshop with Salem's witches. The room is packed from wall to wall, and the energy is so thick, you can hear it buzzing. Scott is pointing to a blue Halloween bucket on the table filled with ice water. The water in the bucket is slowly disappearing, and Scott says that this is an ancient Egyptian method and that everyone has to be careful. I pick the bucket up, and the ice water slowly rises until it's overflowing. "Scott, what is this? What is this?" I'm asking. He starts to panic, "Oh my god, oh my god!"

I go dizzy, and I feel myself slowly falling backward. Stephanie catches me, and my wife instructs her to remove all of the rings from my fingers. Scott is still oh my god-ing. When I come to, I'm lying on a carpeted floor in a living room surrounded by people sitting on couches dressed in all white. One West African woman performs voodoo prayers, but my wife tells everyone to do Buddhist prayers instead. "He had two things he couldn't let go of; that's how they got him." 

I guess in the dream; I was possessed. Since I've been awake, I have this feeling that I need to increase my prayers and specify my goals. As I write this now, I can see the rain outside my window falling at an angle like water from a spray bottle floating and frozen in time. The overcast gray sky is reflective of the gray building in my dream. It's one that you walk and drive past in your neighborhood every day, but you never entirely take notice of it. It's part of your cerebral scenery, a micro-fiche of a memory that isn't important in the overall scheme of your memories, but it's there none the less.



In the gray reality of my day, a strange e-mail that was off-putting showed up on my inbox without a sound. The subject matter read, "The Gray Lady," the context began somewhat abruptly. "If you are who you claim to be, then please, let your supposed 'Gift' speak for itself. Come to the Ala Wai Vista apartments and rid the building of the Gray Lady." My initial reaction was to reply first with an expletive e-mail telling its sender where to go and how to get there with my foot stuck up his or her hindquarter. My second reaction was to return an e-mail laced with words too complicated for the sender to comprehend, but that would be like fighting a battle of wits with an unarmed man. Hardly fair. My last reaction, the one I went with, was not to reply at all, which I did not. Infuriated, the phantom sender rendered another e-mail. "I suppose your non-reply means that you are not who you say you are and that your 'Gift' is a myth, much like the stories you tell, how pitiful. I'll give the task to someone who isn't as fake as you are." Again, no reply from me; suffice it to say that I began to wonder about the origins of the Gray Lady of Ala Wai Vista apartments? Oh well, not meant to be, I suppose. Several days later, while shopping at Foodland, I was approached in the dairy section by an agitated man for some reason. "Didn't you get my e-mails? It's insulting when you don't reply, you know?"

"Your e-mails?"

"About the Gray Lady at the Ala Wai Vista!" He practically screamed at me. "I sent you two e-mails already!"

"Oh," I replied. "So, you're asking for help in those e-mails? I thought you said you that you'd find someone else?"

"No!" He replied. "That was just to make you feel bad!"

"You have a strange way of asking for help," I took a step closer, and then I walked away. He grabbed me by the arm and spun me around. In turn, I stepped on his left foot with my right and put my left leg between his to keep him off balance. "Say please," I told him.  "All I have to do is nudge you, and you'll fall back and hit the back of your head on the floor. You'll split your skull open with no time to break your fall."

"No, don't," the agitated man begged me. "Don't, please."

"Then fucking say please," I growled through my teeth.



According to my agitated friend, the ghost of the gray lady haunted the entire apartment complex. She moved about of her own free will, with no one to stop her. He claimed that the owners often met to discuss methods to appease the gray lady or perhaps have someone to bless the building and take the ghost away entirely. He said that many healers, kahuna, new age practitioners, ministers, pastors, and fathers were called to bless the complex, but nothing worked. When I saw the Vista, I realized that I had driven past it many times, like the gray building in my dream. Among all the high rise condominiums within the residential section of Waikīkī, the Ala Wai Vista is an oasis and a godsend if one needs a place to live in with readily available parking. Itʻs a place where a few live until they can afford a house or a larger space. Some who are perhaps single stay for the long term, especially if youʻre the residential manager. Others will come and go with time, but overall, until a new zoning law changes everything, the Ala Wai Vista will remain the same. As for my agitated friend? Letʻs say that no gray ghost lady was haunting the building and that it was haunting my friend. His name was Elwherd Alcomber; he worked on the lower tier of a construction company that unearthed Hawaiian remains on the island's west side. The work stopped; the archeologist was not notified. The police were not called to learn from the medical examiner if the bones were from homicide or ancient because neither was a medical examiner called as well. The crew of which Elwherd was a member, filled their lunch boxes with as many remains as they could fit and then deposited it in a newly dug hole which was then covered with concrete. Whoever it was whose bones Elwherd handled with his bare hands and then re-buried, began to haunt him incessantly. She was an older woman in a tattered gray dress who first appeared at his bedside and then in front of him when he sat on the toilet and then wherever he ventured. The mana of her bones is attached to him; heʻll never be rid of her. I wonder if the old gray lady who now possesses Elwherd is of caustic personality? Maybe that would explain his rude behavior and people's penchant to want to beat him up? Whatever the case may be, the Ala Wai Vista is spirit free. As for Elwherd Alcomber? If you see him, youʻll see he has a bit of a gray shadow following closely behind him.

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