Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

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.

There was nothing for the property manager or owners renting out the units to report. Everything was normal. Johnny Pauoa, as we will now refer to him because he wanted to keep his true identity a secret, was coming out of a bad marriage. He found the studio rental on a craigslist ad, and within two days, he was able to move in. The place had the bare basics, a kitchen, stove, bathroom, shower, and a sizeable living room. Thatʻs all he needed. In the forthcoming month, Johnny kept to himself and didnʻt make any effort to communicate with friends or family. He felt that whoever really cared about the situation would reach out to make sure he was alright.

One afternoon, on his day off from work, he sat in his studio enjoying the quiet and solitude of having an early brunch by himself. Rice, scrambled eggs, and hot dog slices. He had just polished off a giant energy drink when the can suddenly flipped over and bounced off the table. It didnʻt fall to the floor so much as it floated down and came to a silent rest as if some invisible hand had placed it there. Johnny wasnʻt shocked at all; in fact, he found it to be rather amusing. Without thinking, he urged the inanimate object to repeat what it had just done, and it did. It shot across the space like it was hit with a golf club, except much faster. It traveled with such alarming speed that it embedded itself into the wall above the floorboards. "Whoa," Johnny gasped. Things were quiet for the next few days after that. Johnny went to work in the mornings, came home in the afternoons, and went to his swimming club or to get a bite to eat. Then, one evening, Johnny and two of his friends were walking up to his unit when they saw the front door wide open. The lights were on, and the three men could hear jazz music playing. Not on Bluetooth, but live, like there were people in the studio having a jam session. When Johnny and his friends stood in front of the open door, the lights slowly dimmed. Once it was pitched dark, the music stopped abruptly. Johnny flicked on the light switch, and no one was in the studio. The three men shrugged and sat down for a few drinks and snacks. The rest of the evening was uneventful until it was time to leave. Thatʻs when a knock was heard on the door, three purposeful hard knocks. Johnny got up, looked through the peephole, and saw his next-door neighbor Mrs. Curtis standing there. It was strange for the old woman to be up so late as she was an early riser. Pulling back, the portal revealed nothing and no one standing there. Johnny jumped and screamed when his doorbell rang on its own, not once, but twice, and then three times and then a fourth. That concluded the evening. While Johnny waited for his landlord to return his call the following day, he saw Mrs. Curtis pass by his door. He inquired if she had come to see him last night? "No," she replied. "I was already asleep; why do you ask?"

"Well, I had some friends over, and then there was some knocking on my door. So I looked through the peephole and saw you there, but when I opened the door, you were gone," Johnny said.

Mrs. Curtisʻs face suddenly became very dire, "Did anything else happen?"

Johnny told her everything, about the door being open, the music and the knocks and the doorbell. He also mentioned the incident with the can of the energy drink. "Oh no," she shook her head. "You communicated with it! You should not have done that!"

"Why?"Johnny asked.

"Because you acknowledged it, now itʻs acknowledging you," she moaned.

"Should I have my place blessed?" Johnny asked.

"No!" The old woman scolded him. "Itʻs too late now; anything you do to try and get rid of it from now on will only piss it off!"

"Well shit then," Johnny replied. "How do I get rid of it?"

"Listen," Mrs. Curtis lowered her voice. "Even us old-timers who have lived here all of our lives donʻt know how this whole thing started. We think this building is sitting on some kind of ancient sacred ground, and whatever it is thatʻs here, it is mainly concentrated in your studio. Iʻm afraid that even your landlord canʻt tell you what it is."

"So, there is no way to stop it?" Johnny shrieked.

"There is," Mrs. Curtis held her finger up to Johnny. "You buy it from your landlord, and then you sell it to someone else. You see? You CANʻT get rid of it; you just have to pass it on."

"I donʻt have the kind of money to buy my place," Johnny countered.

"Believe me," Mrs. Curtis chuckled. "You offer your landlord to buy it even for a dollar, and heʻll sell it to you, no problem."


"That studio has changed fifteen more times since I sold it," Johnny told me while we sat at a Korean eatery on Keʻeaumoku for lunch. 

"I think that whatever it is, it absorbed the energy and impressions of all the people who have ever lived there and will ever live there," I replied. "Thatʻs just my two cents."

"Well, hereʻs the kicker," Johnny said in a serious tone. "After I bought that studio from my landlord for a steal? He asked me how I knew that heʻd been wanting to sell it? I told him that Mrs. Curtis had told me about it. He looked at me dumbfounded and said, "There's no Mrs. Curtis in that building."