Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

May 16, 2022

Kara 2022

We might still have time if we hurry.

But unfortunately, we don't have time for any last-minute check-ups like phone, wallet, keys, or bathroom use. It's too late by then, you're either ready, or you're not. The house has been active for the past week. A week was all it took to convince us that something other than ourselves was living in the house with us. Something obviously not human or animal but otherworldly. On the first day, it was the odor of sulfur. It permeated the whole house. The second day was the conversations we'd hear in the living room or in the kitchen while we'd all be in the bedroom or out on the patio having an early dinner together. What we all heard were very specific, not barely audible mumblings. There was talk about what someone named Calvin said at the job or a teacher who told his students that the theory of relativity was against his personal beliefs and he would not be teaching the subject in his class. We wall gravitated toward the sound only to find an empty kitchen filled with an odd quiet as if whatever or whoever was spoken just a second before we entered the space was still there. Finally, we drove up to the house on the third day after picking the kids up from school and seeing my husband tooling around in the garage, wiping his hands on his pants, and walking into the house; the kids yelled, "Daddy is home!"

We all piled out of the van, and the kids rushed in ahead of me; a second later, they all came up to me and asked, "Where did daddy go?"

We all casually walked around the house calling for him, but he was nowhere. He wasn't inside, nor was he in the backyard. I panicked and gathered the kids around me while I called the police. I tried calling my husband after, but his phone was busy. If that wasn't Paul we saw in the garage, who was it? Did we have an intruder with us? We all stood out on the street until the police arrived and checked the house from top to bottom. They didn't find anyone or anything. Just then, Paul drove up. The kids ran crying to him; I was relieved and scared all at once; I asked him why he didn't answer his phone? He said he did, but Paul couldn't hear me because he thought I was in a bar or crowded room. After all, there were so many people talking in the background. I told him what had happened and why I had called the police. He rechecked the house, up and down with a fine-toothed comb. Nothing. We went out for dinner that night at a local pizza restaurant. We all got home, showered, and went straight to bed. On the fourth and fifth day, everything was quiet and peaceful, but for me, it felt like the calm before the storm. On Sunday, we had a pastor from the local church come by to do a blessing. Paul and I waited for him out front, but the second he drove up, he rolled the window down and said, "I'm sorry folks, I didn't realize it was this address. You'll have to find someone else to help you," with that he drove off.

"What the fuck?" I looked at Paul, struck dumb with disbelief.

"This must be some serious shit we don't know about if a pastor won't bless our house," Paul was stunned. "Kara, for the first time in my life, I don't know what to do,"

You don't realize what that did to me, knowing that my husband was not just scared but terrified, knowing that he had no answers to a problem he'd never been faced with before. It's never happened. I felt hopeless. We walked into the house, holding on to one another. We didn't know how to register what we came upon when we entered the living room. The couch hovered a foot off the ground while all the kids lay horrified on the carpet right beneath it. They were too afraid to move or make a sound. Finally, Paul ran screaming and dove into the couch, pushing it out of the way. 

"Kara! Grab the kids! Get to the car!" I gathered everyone, and we were in the garage and ready to reverse full speed down the driveway. Paul was right behind us, hollering at the top of his lungs, "Go! Go! Go! Don't wait for anything! Fucking, just go!" I was speeding out until Paul finally caught up with us and jumped in the van. "Fucking drive, Kara! Don't wait! Punch it and get us the fuck out of here!" Paul looked back to make sure that everyone was accounted for, and that's when he screamed bloody murder. The van was empty. Where the fuck was our kids? Looking back at the house, we saw them standing at our bedroom window, jumping up and down, crying hysterically. No one had to ask me anything. I made a u-turn and gassed it right back up the driveway, and plowed the van into the living room. Paul and I skipped two steps each until we kicked our bedroom door down and got the kids. We could not have gotten out of there any faster.


"I don't know what happened," Paul Kamana told the police while they took his statement. "I got home after work, and nobody was here. Not my wife, not my kids. You can do a background check on me, my wife and I had no problems, and I loved my children."

"Why do you think your wife would just up and leave suddenly then? Have you considered that she might be having an affair? It happens, you know?" The police officer said.

"No, I told you, she and those kids were my world; there'd be no reason for her to run off with someone like that," I replied.

"Alright," the officer sighed. "Give it to me again, from the beginning."

"We bought the house, Kara and the kids moved in. I wasn't scheduled to arrive until a week later, which is right now. I got here only to find the van plowed into the living room, but there was no sign of Kara or my kids anywhere."

Credit: ABC action news


17A Productions Presents

Lopaka Kapanui at Hawaii Theatre

A storytelling concert at the historic Hawaii Theatre. This master storyteller is one of Hawaii’s most popular teller of tales and has been in the business of scaring people for more than 20 years. Lopaka is terrifically skilled at provoking that sudden chill going down one’s back or causing the small hairs on your arms to stand up. Chicken skin is what we call it in Hawai‘i. Others might refer to it as chills or goosebumps. Sharing real accounts of Hawaii’s supernatural culture, Lopaka often leaves audience members questioning the darkness on their drive home and anxiously leaving the light on at bedtime.


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