Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

May 27, 2022

Haʻaloʻu 2022

When my son's marriage ended, I was there for him as much as he needed me to be.

May 26, 2022

Lingered 2022

 "Oh," the psychic shuddered as he walked into the establishment. "It's THIS place. I'd completely forgotten about it."

May 25, 2022

Lingering 2022

March 1979

Her name was Jennifer, and she'd been running the Club Miranda since nineteen seventy-six.

May 24, 2022

May 23, 2022

Lost 2022

 There's no way to get lost at the Kualoa beach park, especially when you're heading out to the campgrounds.

May 22, 2022

Phillip 2022

Twenty-five cents seems like something trivial to be bullied for, but this was nineteen seventy-six.

May 21, 2022

List 2022

Strangers owe you nothing, and you, in turn, owe nothing to strangers.

May 20, 2022

May 19, 2022

Intrude 2022

They were armed to the teeth, but for some reason, with all the hardware they had, they came in with knives.

May 18, 2022

May 15, 2022

End 2022

Sunday, January 13, 2018, at 8:07 am, a false missile alert was sent out to the Hawaiian islands.

May 14, 2022

Bullied 2022

Our fourth-grade teacher was uptight, horribly classist, and racist.

May 13, 2022

Malley 2022

We had to throw his clothes away and burn them and anything else he touched, stepped or slept on.

May 12, 2022

Place 2022

 Of course, from a child's perspective, the house you grow up in can seem like a grand mansion.

May 11, 2022

Site 2022

Of all places, a fast-food choke and puke shouldn't be infested with spirits.

May 10, 2022

Trap 2022

The comic book store was packed with back-to-back nerds in all shapes and forms.

May 9, 2022

Road 2022

My connections tell me that it's because of this built-up anger after the pandemic, this at a governor who prioritizes the people who lined his pockets rather than the voters who got him into office.

May 8, 2022

Parking Lot 2022

He's on the Young Street side of the parking lot, not trying to run away but waiting for me to catch up.

May 7, 2022

Restaurant 2022

The restaurant isn't anything special, but it's the one everyone goes to after a night of clubbing and drinking or after attending a concert.

May 6, 2022

Creepy 2022

 "Pounding on the door, in the middle of the night," the woman told me after the conclusion of one of our downtown walks through an old cemetery.

May 5, 2022

Awakened 2022

 This is another one of those stories where the free spirit comes into someone's life just long enough to change their mind and heart and release them from the constraints of a humdrum existence.

May 3, 2022

Waiting 2022

 It's an old house sitting empty at the end of the road just before the Wiliwilinui hiking trail.

May 2, 2022

Kākau 2022

We bought the house in Kaimuki about three months ago, right near the fire station.

May 1, 2022

Aggressor 2022

Years ago, a fight nearly broke out at an eatery on Ke'eaumoku, particularly crowded on a late Saturday evening.

Apr 30, 2022

Sunrise 2022

 It may not seem like much because of how urbanized the Kaimuki/Wai'alae/Kahala districts have become.

Apr 28, 2022

Peter 2022

 Little feet pattered across the wooden floor and then down the hallway to the bathroom.

Apr 27, 2022

Yandy 2022

Every day, the birds flit about looking for scraps that anyone will throw at them. Yandy Kalei'iki instead throws them little diced-up

Apr 26, 2022

Apr 25, 2022

Galaxie 2022

"Thankfully, things haven't changed too much at St. Louis Drive-Inn.

Apr 24, 2022

Seizure 2022

 Many years ago, my cousin Caleb would have these seizures where his eye would roll over, turning pale and then blue.

Apr 23, 2022

Makaluku 2022

Have you ever had something happen to you that was so unexpected and traumatic that it changed you completely?

Apr 22, 2022

Hale Pule 2022

 Although I am an atheist, and I believe I have been since the time of childhood, I can't help but miss this old church.

Apr 21, 2022

Scene 2022

Uncle Kai, the former caretaker at the oldest church in downtown Honolulu, told me about many of his late at night encounters.

Apr 20, 2022

Stew 2022

Many people, like yourselves, come forward and graciously share your ghost stories and other strange experiences with me.

Apr 19, 2022

Ho'opahulu 2022

The ones that haunt this house are like wisps of smoke that manifest to an almost solid form and fade away like memories that excite your senses but are not genuinely tangible.

Apr 18, 2022

Piholo 2022

 Locate the beach in the Hawaiian islands, which have the most drownings, and you'll have curiosity seekers and wanna-be paranormal investigators swarming to that location.

Apr 17, 2022

Loo 2022

Fucking bathrooms at the mall are specifically designed for tourists with smaller body frames so they can fit in the stall.

Apr 16, 2022

Manaʻopaʻa 2022

 Manaʻopaʻa was an office on the second floor of the one twenty-five-M building on Merchant Street.

Apr 14, 2022

Hanaʻoʻoleʻa 2022

Tilling the land, the soil, and the earth to make way for a decent loʻi kalo to feed his family for the first season was necessary.

Apr 12, 2022

Mākou 2022

They donʻt hide in the shadows as weʻve expected them to, like how we see in those investigative videos on social media.

Apr 11, 2022

Disturb 2022

 My stay at the Waikiki hotel was designed for me to get away for a bit from the droll humdrum everyday nothingness of life.

Apr 9, 2022

New 2022

We got the two-acre piece of land for a steal at a hundred thousand dollars.

Apr 6, 2022

Apr 5, 2022

Apr 4, 2022

ʻĪkoi Kolu 2022

"Look, we're sorry ok? What we did was stupid, and yes, we were being disrespectful, and if there's any way to stop this, we're all for it," Corliss begged.

Apr 3, 2022

ʻĪkoi Lua 2022

"Thatʻs the purpose of this office, isnʻt it?" Aunty Rita asked, and of course, my uncles agreed, but the question was directed at me. "Isnʻt it Hanson?"

Apr 2, 2022

ʻĪkoi 2022

Two soldiers stationed at Schofield went out for an adventure one night in search of adventure.

Apr 1, 2022

Mar 31, 2022

Mar 30, 2022

Asafoetida Lima 2022

Noon already; it's been two years, and it's been casually beautiful and seamless.

Mar 29, 2022

Asafoetida Quātrus 2022

"Any previous girlfriends before me?" Jenny slightly tickled me. "I'm mean, you're not a monk, and I know you've had a life up until now,"

Mar 27, 2022

Asafoetida Deux 2022

While Jenny worked on her porterhouse, I went across the street to see Mr. Young at the crack seed shop to see if he had any of his unique lemon peel that day.

Mar 26, 2022

Mar 25, 2022

Bridge 2022

For most people, a charitable act of kindness to a stranger is not a problem, whatever the situation may be.

Mar 24, 2022

Mar 23, 2022

Anilā 2022

Weʻve understood that gloomy weather equates to ghosts and spirits for a long time.

Mar 22, 2022

Infamy 2022

We lived up in Aiea heights, way up. We could see everything, and it was so majestic, and it always made me know how small we were as human beings. A profound thought for someone who was all of six years of age. Our yard was filled with various plants, ferns, and particular kinds of trees because my parents, aside from their regular jobs, were practitioners of Lāʻau lapaʻau or Hawaiian medicine. They were also Kaula or what we would refer to today as prophets. They were good parents, and they both worked at the Pearl Harbor shipyard, and even as I speak of them today, tears well up with affection for them. I remember when my parents had to work on a Sunday.

My sister and I had to get up early, prepare our own breakfast, and then water the yard, the plants, ferns, and trees.

Mar 20, 2022

How 2022

Bruised and bloodied the night before, how did I get out of bed this morning?

Palani 2022

He was standing on the corner of Alakea and Merchant with what I first thought was a cane in his hand, but no, it was a stick, for lack of a better word because I don't know the correct term for the ones that blind people use.

Mar 19, 2022

Mar 18, 2022

Ulana 'Ehā 2022

"What about the curse I have, grandpa?" I heard myself ask on the digital recorder.

Mar 17, 2022

Ulana ʻEkolu 2022

"Pele first arrived at the island we know as Nihoa but found it was too uninhabitable for her family as no fires could be stoked with her great digging stick Paoa.

Mar 16, 2022

Mar 15, 2022

Ulana 2022

Visits to my grandparent's house required a long drive from the north shore to the back of Nu'uanu Valley, where they lived in an old southern plantation-style mansion.

Mar 14, 2022

Entity 2022

Jenny Staller, the self-proclaimed psychic-medium, alleged that this thing never had an incarnation as a human being and that, therefore, it was evil.

Mar 13, 2022

Pilikua 2022

Growing up, I recall meeting some of our other Hawaiian neighbors who were very nice people like ourselves.

Mar 11, 2022

Merla 2022

Katherine Ozaki contacted me regarding her daughter, a former student of mine.

Mar 10, 2022

Olonā 2022

On the way to hula practice at Moanalua gardens, I came across a Hawaiian woman in the parking lot wrapping cords of olonā on a spool.

Mar 9, 2022

Replace 2022

A former resident of Maunawili now living in Stockton, California, recounts a day in his youth when he and his brother were playing in the back of the Palapū stream one day.

Mar 8, 2022

Mar 7, 2022

Vili 2022

She showed up one day on the playground during recess; none of us in my class had ever seen her before. So when I asked her what her name was, she replied, "Vili."

Mar 6, 2022

Closet 2022

For the longest time, I've told my parents that there was something in my closet that watched me every night.

Mar 5, 2022

Koena 2022

Such a swank neighborhood in Hawaiʻi Kai, newly built with all the latest fixings.

Mar 4, 2022

True 2022

Are we ever prepared when true love walks into our lives with no invitation, announcement, or warning?

Mar 3, 2022

Rain 2022

Rain was my happiness, my place where I could lose myself to its sound and its atmospheric aroma.

Mar 2, 2022

Buffett 2022

We didn't meet in the classical sense of a meeting; we were part of a group of friends.

Mar 1, 2022

Feb 28, 2022

River 2022

We come here all the time; in fact, this is where we met so many years ago.

Feb 25, 2022

Lākou 2022

They were a part of the beautiful silence of Māha'ulepū before too-curious tourists began to arrive.

Feb 24, 2022

Feb 23, 2022

Story 2022

Often times when one is in the presence of a master, what they impart to you is secondary to the mana they impart with the lesson.

Feb 22, 2022

Who 2022

 Let me organize my thoughts so that I can clearly convey the matter of which I am about to transpose to paper, so to say.

Feb 20, 2022

Legend 2022

Why would you stand in front of a mirror and repeat something like bloody mary or record a video in the mirror hoping that someone else in the bathroom other than yourself would suddenly manifest?

Feb 19, 2022

Perspective 2022

Our office occupies an entire floor at the state building on Punchbowl.

Feb 18, 2022

Help 2022

Sharelle Embrocia tells me that her car ran out of gas on an unfortunate late night on that long stretch between the Waipio uka off-ramp and the one to Mililani mauka.

Feb 16, 2022

Sidi 2022

When we first moved into our home in Waipahu, our little corgi mix immediately took to resting and sleeping under our bed.

Feb 15, 2022

Jobs 2022

The old Blockbuster video had a few ghosts in it, that's for sure.

Feb 14, 2022


Bohemians from California are what they called themselves upon meeting people here on ʻOʻahu while making introductions.

Feb 11, 2022

Far 2022

No matter how far I drive, how long the road, how many hours, the length of time.

Feb 9, 2022

Sikki 2022

Nick, of all people, was entirely unaffected when Daddy Sikki passed away.

Feb 8, 2022

Doula 2022

Colon cancer didn't make me cry with self-pity or make me mad because it came at an inopportune time.

Feb 7, 2022

Make'ole 2022

He achieved immortality through kūpaku, a ceremony where someone who has died has their spirit captured and put back into their body.

Feb 6, 2022

Mood 2022

Deep, low, and brooding, the cello sonata filters through the open garden of the Mānoa mansion on an early noon Sunday. The occupants are not moving about as much as they are retrieving bottles of wine to fill their glasses and other tiny morsels of food to private places on the large property where they can sit quietly with a book or a suite of music playing on their iPods. It isn't that they are anti-social; it's because it's Sunday, a day of reflection and quiet. Others are yet asleep in their beds, having turned in late the previous evening, knowing that there were no pressing matters the following day. Yet a few more are aroused to make love while still half asleep, and even then, when they've reached their crescendo, they lay languid, slowly moving out of bed. Celia Wong sits in the atrium with the cello between her legs treating the instrument as an intimate companion, knowing the right way to press the strings to the fingerboard so that it would yield forth the cries of ecstasy that would pierce the air and cause the birds high up in the trees to weep. She came every Sunday at the prick of noon, just she and her cello, walking through the seven-acre property and through the old abandoned mansion until she reached the atrium, which connected the front part of the home to the larger, more gothic second part. The atrium had otherworldly acoustics, which made the sound of her cello fill the entirety of the space. It was as if a whole new dimension came to being. Her friends warned her not to go there because of the property's reputation for being haunted. Celia paid them no mind and went anyway. The mansion burned down with all its sleeping occupants inside; they were all asleep after a large party the night before. There was liquor, weed, harder drugs, and much debauchery. When the hour approached early noon, a fire broke out and spread quickly, killing everyone inside. The ghosts that Celicia's cello brought forth might have been the manifestation of what each person intended to do the following day. Although each occupant never lived to do it, perhaps their intentions survived their physical death? It couldn't have hurt that Celia's cello music made the process easier. Strange that those apparitional spirits never bothered Celia herself? Perhaps it was because Celia was literally the instrument they could live through, if only for the length of an early Sunday noon in Mānoa.

Feb 5, 2022

Kekela 2022

1918 was when the influenza epidemic killed more than 2,300 persons in Hawai'i.

Feb 4, 2022

Doors 2022

Short and to the point, thatʻs what this is so that you donʻt lose focus or get distracted.

Feb 3, 2022

Daphne 2022

She was remembered as someone who felt the world and everything contained with much too much feeling.

Feb 2, 2022

Plans 2022

John Teves was completely broken-hearted when his wife never came home one night after work.

Feb 1, 2022

Podcast 2022

Today I sat for a podcast that featured haunted places and people in specific locales in Hawai'i.

Jan 31, 2022

Papa 2022

Papa was the one who woke up before sunrise and made sure that he got our uncles to work on time.

Jan 30, 2022

Jan 29, 2022

Kyle 2022

 Kyle came to live with the Wong family when they found him at the humane society.

Jan 28, 2022

Corey 2022

A bottle of whiskey and sleeping tablets were found near his head while he lay on bunched-up wrinkled sheets.

Jan 27, 2022

Adele 2022

 It was the monthly meet-up at the ancient Hawaiian site where volunteers from the community came armed with weed whackers, sheers, and various other kinds of gardening tools.

Jan 25, 2022

Me 2022

 The folks never believed me, and mind you, this all began at an early age.

Jan 24, 2022

Trigger 2022

The letter must have been up in our previously unknown attic for years before it was discovered.

Jan 23, 2022

Simon 2022

During my childhood, when there were no tangible explanations for human behavior to cast a light upon someone's nefarious interactions or lack thereof, a Chinese neighbor of ours, Simon Wong, appeared friendly enough because of how he always smiled and laughed in his conversations.

Jan 22, 2022

Dallas 2022

 We were worried about Dallas because we felt that he was channeling some sort of abuse from his home life through the drawings he created during coloring time.

Jan 21, 2022

Kemp 2022

The building manager met me on the Center Street side of the building.

Jan 19, 2022

Return To The Ouija 2022

You work at your job for too long, you get comfortable, and eventually, your professionalism becomes relaxed.

Jan 17, 2022

Jan 16, 2022

Jan 15, 2022

Jan 14, 2022

Sock 2022

My brother Chad was back from his time in the military and his tour in the middle east.

Jan 13, 2022

Restroom 2022

 Shopping malls are always crowded as a standard unwritten rule or maybe by an official rule.

Jan 12, 2022

Jan 11, 2022

Metal 2022

Leather chaps, boots, and metal band shirts while you wore a cool leather jacket with long or short tassels.

Jan 10, 2022

Lord Of The Manor 2022

 We were a big family, which meant seven families in one large two-story home. In each room lived a family of three of four.

Jan 9, 2022

Signs 2022

 Lydia Maynard's Hawai'i Kai home showed all the signs of being actively occupied by spirits.

Jan 8, 2022

Bounce 2022

 The security guard at the all-girls school said that there were many nights when he heard the sound of several basketballs dribbling (bouncing) inside the school gym.

Jan 7, 2022

Pali Ghost Story 2022

It was March 1980. My friends and I decided it was the perfect time to cut school. Ted took his father's Ford Galaxy, which he used every day for school, and met Shaun Taketa and me in front of the old Diner's drive-in. Together, we went to Pearl City high school, where Ted parked down the road and basically kidnapped his girlfriend Tracy right out of her home economics class. It was then that we took out all the burgers, fries, and drinks and enjoyed our morning meal while on the way to the Pali lookout. It was eleven 'o clock when we got there. The second we parked, Ted and Tracy began making out. Shaun and I excused ourselves and went walking toward the lookout. That's when we saw the lower path, which leads further down, so we decided to follow it, just to see how far it went. The 'awapuhi plants were in full bloom at almost seven feet tall, and the fragrance filled the air. The winds were strong, and the further we walked, we were able to look over the edge and saw the road coming out of the tunnel below. We realized well after that at eleven 'o clock in the morning, the area should have been filled with loads of tourists crowding the lookout and walking down this same path, but there was no one there. That's when we heard it, the voice of a girl our age calling out Shaun's name. "Shaun? Shaun? Shaun?" Then the voice went crazy. It began shouting his name in rapid succession. "Shaunshaunshaunshaunshaunshaun!"

"Did you hear that?" We said simultaneously. 

There was dead silence all of a sudden; all the noise was gone. Then we heard the girl's voice say, "Lopaka." How did a disembodied voice know our names? Shaun football tackled me out of the way and knocked me to the ground, and took off running. I was too scared to be hurt, even though I was scraped up and bleeding. I got up and ran after him, and when I caught up to him, we got into a big fight. Ted saw it and had to come and break us up. Needless to say, on the way home, Shaun and I didn't say a word to each other. That was in 1980 March. I wouldn't speak to Shaun or see him again until March 2006, nearly twenty-six years later. I got a call one afternoon while I was at home, ironing some of my clothes. The caller ID said, "UNKNOWN." I answered it, and the voice on the other side said, "This is Shaun Taketa," It took me a second, but when I realized who it was, I said, "Dude! Where have you been? I tried contacting you years ago, but you just fell off the map! So what's up, man?"

"Take this address down," he monotoned. "Meet me tomorrow at noon," then he hung up. 

The address was for a second house on the corner of Pupukupa street in Waipahu. The original house is no longer there today; it's been replaced by one of those two-story matchbox houses with the year-round Christmas decorations. I was there the following day at the specified time, and Shaun was sitting inside an enclosed patio. I walked, and Shaun turned the interior neon lights on. He didn't bother getting up to offer me a 'hey have you been, long time no see?' Instead, he gestured to a chair not too far from where he sat. I pulled it up to get closer to him, and he didn't appear to be bothered by it. "You remember that day we went to the Pali and walked down that empty road?" He asked.

"Yes," I replied.

"Remember how we heard the voice call my name, and then it called your name?" He looked at me now for some kind of confirmation.

"Yes," I answered. "I remember."

"And I knocked you down and ran away, you remember that?" He was pressing now.

"YES!" I was irritated now with all the questions and no acknowledgment of our past as high school classmates and friends. "What is this all about, Shaun?"

"You never wondered why I knocked you down?" His tone softened.

"All the time," my tone matched his now.

"When the voice called your name, a Hawaiian girl appeared from behind you with pale skin and long black hair," he was going over the details so he wouldn't miss anything. "She didn't have any clothes on, and her hands were on your shoulder. She was looking at you like a meal. She looked at me, and her eyes rolled over black, and a black forked tongue came out of her mouth. At the moment, I thought to myself, who's life is more worthless?"

"Worthless?" That was an odd thing for him to say. "What do you mean worthless?"

"Was it you? You, with your failing grades and your father forcing you to get an after-school job? Or was it me? Was I the worthless one because of how my parents abused me and forced me to watch them do it to my younger brother? It was me, worthless and no good. So when I pushed you out of the way, the spirit of the Hawaiian girl jumped on me, and she's been with me ever since."

"What?" This was what he brought me here for? To tell me this far-fetched story?

The entire week after we went to the pali, that Hawaiian girl's spirit would appear outside my bedroom window, knocking on the glass, again and again. Every time I'd open the window, she would point at the screen. She wanted me to let her in, and I always shook my head and said no. Finally, at the end of the week, when she appeared outside my window, demanding to be let in, and I refused her again. She took her finger and rubbed it across the screen. Slowly, the hook that held the screen to the window sill came undone, and she pulled the screen back and climbed in. That's the last thing I remember. I haven't been the same since." I needed a second or more to take in everything he said. I got a really good look at Shaun, and I don't know how I missed it. If what he told me was true, this thing with the Hawaiian girl's ghost or spirit really screwed his life up. It showed on his face. "Why tell me now after all these years?" I asked him.

"Do you see how well lit this patio is?" Shaun asked me without answering my question.

"Yeah," I nodded.

"But do you see that corner behind me to the right? How it's dark even though there's a light shining on it?" He pointed his thumb in that direction.

"Yeah, that is strange," I replied. "What is that?"

"That's her," he said. "She's still with me. She never left. You see, you've changed. You're not the same person you were back in high school, especially since that day. Me? I'm still Shaun Taketa from March 1980. She won't let me be anything but that." Shaun put his head down so he could hide his face from me. I guess he didn't want me to see him crying. He waved goodbye and gestured for me to leave. I was half unsure at first, but with that dark lingering presence in the corner, I didn't want to stay any longer than I had to. Walking out on the street and heading to my car down the block, the atmosphere and the weather outside were the complete opposite of what was happening in Shaun's house. Two different worlds and measures of time existed side by side. I never heard from Shaun again. Ten years later, in 2016, I drove by the house, but it was gone. With the new house standing on top of the foundation of what was once Shaun Taketa's boyhood domicile, I couldn't help but wonder if the spirit or ghost of the Hawaiian girl from the Pali went with Shaun or if she decided to stay where she was? Hawai'i is a small community. If anything, word will get around, and we'll know either way.

Jan 6, 2022

Number #51 2022

 Mrs. Gouveia remembers when she was seventeen years old growing up in Makaha.

Jan 5, 2022

Flame 2022

 Anyone who says they don't bring their work home with them is a liar, straight up. Take me, for instance. I'm retired from the force. I've been on the job for thirty years.

Jan 4, 2022

Mrs. Curtis 2022

 The studio apartment building on 7111 Kamuela off of Kapahulu wasnʻt known for any kind of hauntings as far as anyone knew.

Jan 3, 2022

Bella 2022

Before Bellaʻs annual check-up, she came down with violent coughing fits in the few weeks previous. One evening after dinner, she had more coughing fits and spat up something dark and almost gelatinous.

Jan 2, 2022

The Jacket 2022

 It was understood in the Kelea ohana that when someone passed away, the deceased's most personal items were taken with them to the otherworld. Whether it was jewelry, woven items, or even clothing. It all went the dead.

Jan 1, 2022

A Year Of Ghost Stories. Pali Cop Story 2022

Two police officers had been dating for five years. After five years, the female officer finds out that her male counterpart was married with children. Needless to say, the female office was furious and called the male officer at home and told him that he had 15 minutes to meet her at the Pali lookout; if not, she was going to appear at the school where the wife was a teacher and tell her everything about their five-year affair.