Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jul 7, 2022

Ventura 2022

70s' lore, you could call it.

That's when all the strange things happened in my young life before I was 10. During that time, my older brothers and their girlfriends were a buzz about a ghostly 1960 Pontiac Ventura that was seen on that stretch of the blacktop after Makaha beach and all the way out till the road ended at what used to be called Yokohama. Then, it only appeared at night and seemed to manifest out of nothing. You'd see the red tail lights in the distance, but the closer you got to it, you realized it was moving at a languid pace. Almost as if it were waiting for you to catch up. After that, nothing strange happens; you'd go around the vehicle, and as you pass it, you would see that no one was at the wheel. The car is completely empty as it drives along that dark open road. It goes without saying that you and the occupants of your car freak out, and all of you completely lose your mind. You speed ahead and make a U-turn going back in the opposite direction, desperate to get back to civilization. On the drive back, you pass that same 60 Pontiac Ventura, except that this time, someone is driving the car. It's yourself and whoever is in the car with you.  

"It's the last thing you see," my older brother's girlfriend Rachel lowered her voice to a whisper. "The Pontiac swerves into your lane and hits you head-on, and you all die!"

"Yeah, but," my other brother Paul said. "If everybody in the other car dies, who lives to tell the story?"

"One person did," Rachel said. "Valerie Pacheco,"

"Alright," my brother Daniel nodded his head. "Let's go talk to her."

"We can't," his girlfriend Willa protested. "She's in the state hospital."

"This is bullshit," Paul scoffed.

"Well, let's head out there right now," Daniel suggested while getting into his 55 Chevy. There was a slight pause while Paul, Rachel, and Vanda eyed one another. Then, a second later, they piled into the car and were off. I never found out what happened that night. Of course, the four came back in one piece, and my brother's Chevy was unharmed, but they never spoke to each other after that night. Daniel married Willa, but Paul cut Rachel off and refused to have anything to do with her. At one point, Rachel begged my parents for help, but when they asked Rachel about what happened, she wouldn't say. Eventually, she stopped coming around. Years later, even after they both passed within years of each other, they never reconciled, and no one ever found out why. That is until Daniel's oldest son messaged me one late night on social media just to catch up and say hello. I asked if his father ever told him about the urban legend of the 1960 Pontiac Ventura?

"Oh, that?" He laughed.

"Why?" I played along. "What'd he say?"

"He was drunk," Daniel junior replied. "He babbled on about driving past the ghostly 60' Pontiac and all four of them seeing himself driving with Rachel next to him. He was in a tuxedo and Rachel was in a wedding gown. No one else was in the car but those two. How's that for hallucinations, uncle?"

So, there it was. More than just a ghostly car, the 1960 Pontiac Ventura was also a scion of hidden truths.

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