Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Dec 29, 2020

Head Over Heels

 The night was quiet while Sharon Acasio slept in the bedroom of her plantation home in Kunia; it was late when her husband Manolo Acasio returned home from working in the pineapple field.

As was often his habit when he came home, Manolo would wake his wife with gentle kisses on her cheek and then slowly down to her neck and then behind her ear. Sharon returned her husband's affections by reaching out to hold him closer; only this time, she found that there was nothing there. Her eyes flew open wide, and under the light of the moon shining through the bedroom window, Sharon screamed with horrified insanity at the sight of Manolo's floating head as it continued to lay kisses on her neck and shoulders. The high, shrill screams of the young Filipino wife pierced the night air and woke Sharon's parents from their slumber. They quickly rushed to her room and found her thrashing about in her bed as if she were fending off something that wasn't there. Her father grabbed her by her shoulders and shook her until her eyes opened and she woke up.

Looking around the room and seeing nothing there, Sharon realized that it was just a nightmare; there was no floating head that belonged to her husband. She may have dreamt it all, but the feeling of the dream was still there and still tangible. When she explained to her parents what happened, they eased her mind by assuring her that it was nothing, her Manolo was okay, and she would see for herself once he returned home. 

But he never returned, and, each night, the apparition of his floating head would return to share affectionate kisses on his wife's neck and ears until she awoke and re-lived the whole horrible experience time after time. It became too much to bear for her, so she began to sleep in her parents' bedroom. However, when Manolo's floating head appeared in their now-empty bedroom, the floating head would call out to her, "Shah-rohn! Shah-rohn! Shah-rohn!"

The poor young woman could hear her husband's voice in her head crying out first in utter despair and then in furious anger, "Shah-rohn! Shah-rohn! Shah-rohn!"

Sharon's parents first called for an exorcist from the Catholic Church, but they knew it would take a while before the ceremony could be approved. Instead, the mother asked a few of the older Filipino ladies if they knew of an albularyo, a kind of witch-doctor, who might help them talk to the spirit of their daughter's dead husband to find out what happened to him and then ask his wraith to leave the house.

After much searching, they finally found who they were in search of. It was a very old Filipino woman aged a hundred years. Sharon's parents brought her from the Waialua plantation to their humble home in Kunia.  On that day, she slowly emerged from the car's back seat; from her bag, she removed a small jar of coconut oil. Slowly, she began to unscrew the lid with her gnarled hands as she walked toward Sharon's home. Suddenly, she stopped dead in her tracks and tightened the cover again. She then turned around and whispered something in Sharon's father's ear. Sharon could only see her father nod and then watched his shoulders slump as if the air had suddenly gone out of him. The old albularyo walked back to the car, where she sat again in the back seat.

"What happened?" Sharon asked her father, "Isn't she going to bless the house and get rid of Manolo's ghost?"

"She said Manolo owes money to some men. They took him to the pineapple field where he worked and chopped off his head.  She said until we find Manolo's head and his body, he will keep haunting you."

All Sharon could do was comply with the instructions of the albularyo and carry out her orders. But, for as much as they searched with the authorities' help and eventually on their own, Manolo's headless body was never found, and no matter where Sharon and her family moved afterward, her husband's floating head always found her. One peaceful Sunday morning, as Sharon's parents left their new home in Aiea to attend church services in town, Sharon was backing Buick out of the driveway, dressed in a beautiful white wedding gown.

"So fancy!" The neighbor said, "Are you going to your wedding?"

"No," Sharon giggled like a little girl now, "I'm going to meet my husband; it's a special occasion!"

Three days later, she was found hanging by her neck from a tree just in front of the Tanada reservoir at Dole Plantation. Her wedding gown was pristine and entirely white, her satin shoes took on a brilliant shimmer, and her face was fixed in a perfect smile as if she were in the middle of enjoying something delightful. She held a skull with the rotting flesh and hair still on it; the eye sockets were black and empty. Beneath her feet lay a mangled body with no head. Manolo and Sharon were reunited once more, never to be apart again.

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