Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

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.

But unfortunately, we have been conditioned to that kind of expectation. In this account, the two so-called investigative experts went in one night to a clearing in a forested area at the back of Nuʻuanu valley. Itʻs a place where many hikers, local and foreign, have bypassed day in and day out to get to the main trail leading up to the ridge. No one gives it a second look. However, the two experts thought of that location as a last-minute spot as they had investigated everywhere else. Because of the lack of a clear WiFi signal, they couldnʻt go on LIVE. They would have to record and edit later before posting their findings, if there were any. The last anyone saw or heard of them was when Jared Shiraishi and Blaine Mahuka recorded a LIVE video, giving their thoughts and impressions before heading up the trail. "Itʻs just an open field up to the ridge," Blaine began. "I dunno about everybody else, but Iʻm not expecting much."

"Maybe a couple of orbs?" Jared shrugged his shoulders. "What do you think?"

"At the least orbs, not even sure about EVP," Blaine added. "You never know,"

"I got some weed," Jared held the bag up to the camera.

"Fuck that," Blaine said. "Boring or not, we do this clean, not stoned!"

"You do you, brah," Jared nudged his childhood friend. "Iʻll do da doobie!"

"Thatʻs why you only work minimum wage," Blaine scoffed off camera. "Youʻre killing your brain cells."

"Anyway," Jared shakes his head and begins walking backward toward the trail. "We out! Hawaiʻi Kah-Yeeeeeee!"

And that was it; Jared and Blaine were never seen or heard from again. Blaineʻs 4Runner sat in the parking space near the water reservoir for two months before it was marked abandoned and towed away. The two were reported missing shortly after that. Still, the cameras they used for their last recorded investigation were not immediately found because of the extensive overgrowth of palai ferns in that open field. So all the authorities had to go on was the last LIVE they recorded on their social media. It was only because of that that HPD conducted a search and rescue in the open field. The two cameras belonging to Blaine and Jared were found, and the footage they recorded was still in good condition. After it was viewed by HPD, the cameras suddenly disappeared. Like the two boys, the two cameras were never seen again. The public statement was that there was too much damage to the cameras due to them being exposed to the elements. Any video footage that HPD had hoped to find was non-existent. Neither their families nor the general public would know what happened to Jared and Blaine.


At noon, I agreed to meet the off-duty detective at the underground parking at Ala Moana shopping center. I was surprised that he was driving a Jaguar and not a 4runner. No names were exchanged; all he asked was that I put on a pair of black rubber gloves before he handed me the camera. 

"The lab managed to combine the two separate recordings into one. Iʻm warning you now; the end is kinda gruesome," this told me that this person had already viewed the footage a few times. He pressed the play button and watched as I watched, knowing the kind of reaction the video would illicit. The cameras scanned the open field, which was still well lit, even though it was very close to sunset. You can hear Jared and Blaine breathing but not saying anything right until everything changes.

 "Iʻm gonna sit on my beach chair and wait, maybe up against this tree?" Itʻs Blaine.

"Me too," Jared sighs. "Might as well, considering weʻre going to be here all night."

The scenery drastically changes from a quiet open field of palai ferns up in Nuʻuanu valley to an all-out war in a split second. Hawaiian warriors and warrior kings, armed with traditional handheld weapons, muskets, and swords, fight and slaughter others who look much like themselves but are obviously on opposing sides. The brutality is overwhelming, people being run through the neck and the face with spears, shark-toothed weapons being used to disembowel others, and the unexpected cannon fire obliterating handfuls of people who were there one second and then gone the next. You can hear Jared and Blaine screaming bloody murder through the din of warfare. Jared is the first to drop his camera and run, but not before his feet are bound with a tripping cord and groups of warriors set upon him with jagged tipped spears, skewering him mercilessly. Blaine runs too but mistakenly believes that what they are encountering are night marchers, so he strips naked and lies face down with his hands behind his head. The warriors around him hold him down while one plunges what appears to be a pahi or knife made from a swordfish bill into his chest. His heart, eyes, and liver are removed and eaten by those who took them as an offering. The scenes changes back to the open field, eerily silent save for the short gusts of wind that filter through.

"Thatʻs why we never released this video," the off-duty detective said. "Mobs of people would be up at that open field, and then we would have a bigger headache. We donʻt need that."

"Then why show this to me?" I asked.

"So, you would understand what you have to do," the detective replied.

"What?" I squealed. 

"The higher-ups will have a blessing up at that field for the public, news cameras, everything. They want you to go up there privately to talk to those spirits and let them know that no harm was meant," the detective said.

"You mean the alleged harm from those two boys or the harm that public ceremony will cause?" I asked.

"However it works for, just know the higher-ups would appreciate your help," the detective clicked the unlock button on my side. "Thanks for your time."


I didnʻt go up to the open field to bless it; instead, I sat there among the ferns of palai and communed with it and all spirits therein attached. I apologize for any intrusion or fault that I may have unknowingly caused. I announced myself, my ancestors, and my intention, which was not to cleanse or to bless this place of their actions but to let them know that the war was over and that time had moved forward and that those who tread through this patch of the earth have no knowledge of what happened that day, in that place. I let them know that we are mere seedlings born from their tree and ignorant and unknowing of these things. "Mai poina ia mākou," the disembodied male voice spoke clear as day. "Mai poina ia mākou."

Credit: Johnny T. Cheng



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