Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

May 25, 2022

Lingering 2022

March 1979

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

She was brilliant because she saw the disco era explode and rode that wave. As well as regular patrons who frequented her establishment and crowded the dance floor, there were dancers she hired to dance on three elevated stages around the club and on strategic spots on the bar. She took a hint from American Bandstand and made it work in her favor. The only thing she required of her hired dancers was that they wear the clothing which she sold in a little boutique next to the bar with the club logo all over it. Of course, it didn't hurt that she was from New York and that through her connections, she was able to get all the latest records before they hit the stores and the airwaves. Especially in Hawaii, where everything arrived a week later after it premiered everywhere else. Sure, there were fights and misunderstandings as there would have been in any other club, but they didn't happen that often at the Club Miranda. Jennifer Velasco's only downfall was that for as brilliant as she was, she was also insecure about certain things, and she was lonely. One of her new hires was a dancer named Selene, who had just returned home from college after graduating with a degree in dance. The young college graduate heard about an opening for dancers at the Miranda from a friend who also danced there on the weekends. When introduced to Jennifer after her initial audition, Selene saw an opportunity. Jennifer saw the love of her life. Selene became the principal dancer at the Miranda and the toast of the town. Jennifer took her everywhere and introduced her to many of her influential friends. Soon, Selene moved in with Jennifer at the Hobron tower, where parties were had on the weekends after the Miranda closed down at four in the morning. Soon, Selene could be seen around town driving a brand new Porshe, enjoying the life that Jennifer provided for her. Selene, however, provided nothing in return.

Hugs, kisses, leaning, cuddling, but nothing else. Selene had Jennifer right where she wanted her until she met Marques at the Miranda. He was a customer, dressed in Angel's Flights and the long-sleeved buttoned-down polyester shirt. His hair was layered nicely, and Marques wore a well-tapered mustache. Selene could help but notice his chiseled features and just how much his muscles bulged through his shirt once he began to perspire and his shirt stuck to his body. She followed him by dancing from stage to stage until finally, she was dancing with him. During the night, the two disappeared and ended up at Spats in Waikīkī.

Selene never came home to the Hobron Tower, and neither did she show up at the Miranda for work. Jennifer became distraught and was sick with worry. She began to have one of her assistants run everything while she stayed at the tower, worrying and waiting. Selene never came back. Jennifer had heard that she and the man named Marques ran off and eloped to the mainland. Left behind were all the clothes, shoes, and jewelry that Jennifer brought for Selene and her brand new Porshe 928. It was May 1979 at that point. Jennifer was going through the motions of living, running the club, and paying the bills. But, really, it was her assistant managers and staff that ran the day-to-day operations. All they needed from Jennifer was her signature on all the legal paperwork. Otherwise, she was practically a ghost lurking about in her own establishment. No one knows when or how it happened, but on July 12, 1979, Jenniferʻs body was found behind the DJ booth. There was no evidence of foul play or suicide, it was almost as if she just simply laid down to sleep and never woke up. On a national level, disco died, and at home in Hawaiʻi, the discotheque known as Club Miranda died along with Jennifer. be continued


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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