Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 25, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #6

 My 'ohana was particular about our personal effects.

For this reason, we never loaned things out to anyone if they were not immediate family, especially clothing, but more specifically, underwear or footwear. The kupuna believed that someone intent on cursing you who is so vile as to pretend to be your friend to gain your trust would need you to let your guard down; only then could the machinations of their evil begin. However, in particular circumstances, it might be a member of your own family, who is the culprit of the sorcery.



My sister became deathly sick for no apparent reason that the doctors could find. The affliction hit her overnight, and since the following morning, she became bedridden and could not move. Over the next few days, she slowly withered in form and spirit. My mother and stepfather consulted a priest from their church for help. He came to our home and attended my sister with the rosary, but it did not work. My stepfather suggested that a Kahuna be called, but my mother refused. "We believe in God, not savages."

After the priest left, our mother and stepfather left the house as well for grocery shopping. I visited my sister's room and sat with her for a while. She was pale and had grown thin in such a short time; she was no longer the robust older sister I knew, cuffing me on the back of the head when I hovered around too much and irritated her with loud questions and personal noises from parts of my body. I was genuinely afraid for her and broken-hearted by the possibility, I didn't want to think about it. I supposed she sensed my presence because her eyes opened, and she managed a weak smile when she realized it was me. Her pale, frail hand slid out from under her covers and grabbed mine. Her skin was cold, and her hand was dry to the touch. "Poki-boy," she smiled just from the corners of her mouth.

"Pehea 'oe sis?" I asked. "How are you?"

"Nui nā uluna," she managed to reply haltingly. "Too many pillows."

"Ua ʻeha ia?" I was concerned now. "Does it hurt?"

"Lawe hoʻokahi," she nodded very slightly. "Moe ma luna."

"Take one," she said. "Sleep on it."

Dutifully I removed the one where her head rested but ever so gently. She fell back into her deep sleep after. That evening as the house was dark and one could only hear the muffled sound of my parent's television show coming from behind their closed door, I lay my head on my sisterʻs pillow and fell asleep. I soon had such a strange dream, in it, I was Lehua, my sister laying on her bed as she is laying on it now. My mother and stepfather were standing at the foot of the bed, arguing that my mother had tucked a tapa cloth puʻolo under the foot of Lehuaʻs blanket. In the pūʻolo, something moved and writhed back and forth. "Merlie," my stepfather begged my mother. "You canʻt do this; sheʻs your own daughter!"

"MY daughter, who you happened to have naked pictures of on your phone Allan!"

"Yes," he pleaded. "On MY phone, pictures that I took without Lehua knowing! Itʻs not her fault, itʻs my fault! Stop this!"

In the dream, my mother would not relent. She chanted in Hawaiian while the curse ran itʻs course.


The Following Day when my mother and stepfather entered Lehuaʻs room, they were stunned to see her sitting up in bed. She was the very picture of health. I sat on the chair opposite her, propped up against the wall. It was funny to see them standing there, nervously fumbling for words, the undulating pūʻolo in my motherʻs hands. My sister stretched her hands out toward the two, "Hoʻi a ʻai i kou Kahu!"

The pūʻolo exploded in my motherʻs hands, and the remnants of it burrowed into the pores of her skin; Allan got the rest of it seeping into his tear ducts first and then under his fingernails. There was no time for them to scream in pain; they fell dead to the floor. My poor sister was faultless in this curse rendered by our mother. We had no clue as to her insecurity and the desperate need for one manʻs love that she was willing to take the life of her daughter for it. In the dead of night, I left my room after having that dream. I called a Kahuna who lived in the valley not too far from us and asked him for his help. He was able to partly cure Lehua, only lessening the effects of the curse; the rest of it would have to run its course. However, she was healthy enough to follow the Kahunaʻs instructions by saying, "Return and destroy the one who sent you."

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