Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

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.

They hadnʻt been there for more than five minutes or so when they noticed seven Hawaiian warriors coming toward them in the stream. The gentleman said that he and his brother knew right off that these were ghosts, and they made every effort to run out of the stream, take off, and head back to the spot where theyʻd left their bikes. However, some unseen force rooted them to the place where they stood. In the ankle-deep water, they couldnʻt move. The ghosts of the seven Hawaiian warriors drew closer; they were deathly pale but furious by their expressions. The brothers tried screaming for help, but nothing came out of their mouths; the gentlemen said heʻd determined that he would keep screaming until the last. It wasnʻt until an old rotting branch from high up suddenly broke off and came crashing through the canopy that the ghostly warriors broke their focus on the man and his brother. The two were finally released from the force which held them in place. The colossal branch landed right on top of the ghosts of the seven Hawaiian warriors, and they were gone. The man said he recalls he and his brother running until they couldnʻt run anymore. Even when the two got back to the spot where they left their bikes, they just grabbed it and kept running until they finally decided to mount their wheeled modes of transportation all the way home. "I remember we said nothing to my mother or my dad when we got home. We were too afraid that if we even spoke about the ghosts of the seven Hawaiian warriors, they would show up at our house and get us," he said over the phone. "We never ventured near any of the streams in Maunawili after that."

"What made you decide to talk about it now?" I asked. "And to me, of all people? You could have passed this on to your kids; that seems more appropriate."

"My kids live in Maunawili," he laughed. "I canʻt do that to them. Iʻm calling because my brother died yesterday, and I thought that this would be the right time to talk about it, and you seem to be the right person considering what it is that you do."

"Well, thank you for considering me," I replied. "I appreciate it."

"What or who do you think those seven warriors were?" Perhaps my answer would give him some kind of closure since he and his brother never spoke about it for forty years.

"Those warriors are looking for replacements so they can move on," I said.

"Lucky coincidence, that big old branch falling on them, huh?" He wandered out loud with a new freshness after all this time. This must have been one of many questions heʻd spent a lifetime asking himself, never knowing the answer.

"No coincidence," I reassured him. "Someone was looking out for you and your brother."

"Iʻm flying home to take care of all the arrangements," he began. "I was planning on going back to that stream, for old times sake, you know? Iʻd feel safer if you wouldnʻt mind coming along with me? "

"I wouldnʻt recommend it," I said. "There are just particular things that shouldnʻt be drudged up, and besides, youʻd hate to go back there only to see that your brother has become a replacement for one of the seven."

"Yeah," he agreed. "That would suck."


Although Gerald Basham made and took care of the funeral arrangements for his brother George, no one saw him at the wake or the burial. He just fell off the face of the earth. After the required time had passed, his search was called off for him. His rent-a-car was parked in front of the old house, and his suitcase and personal effects were in his old back room, but there was no Gerald. He was gone. Perhaps he went to join his brother, George. 

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