Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jul 10, 2022

Kumula'e 2022

As kids, having lunch or dinner at the old Willows restaurant was a treat.

It was a magical place; my parents always hinted at the spring's healing properties and even once said that Menehune often visited the old pond. Unfortunately, I wouldn't see that place until years later as a young man while having lunch with a few friends. Again, one of the friendly waiters asked if I knew the history of the Willows restaurant, to which I shared what my parents told me as a little boy. 

"It's all true," the waiter confirmed. "And there's more, but you should talk to my bosses after."

Of course, I never did because I had somewhere to go after the luncheon. Yet, years hence and through some oral traditions and research, I discovered that the old Kumula'e pond was used to heal the body when it was brought back to life after a lengthy ceremony of kūpaku. Even princess Pauahi and Queen Liliʻuokalani had visited kumulaʻe on a few occasions to sit in its waters and experience its magic. Now, with the old restaurant no longer in service, one cannot help but wonder if the springs have been infected with modern plumbing and the invasion of underground pipes? Stories of fish who live under the streets in their dark recesses and becoming blind because of the lack of sunlight still survive. As do the tales of Kamapuaʻa himself, who was responsible for burrowing underground in pursuit of two lovely young maidens with such lustful determination that he created the caverns which Mōʻiliʻili would become known for. It makes an old ghost hunter curious as to what might be fact, and what might be a fable. There is only one sure way to find out. I'll leave that up to you, to figure out the answer.

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