Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Nov 8, 2022

Free 2022


There's something to be said about how the Las Vegas machine has everything big, bright, and in your face.

From the window of my tenth-floor room at Main Street, I can see the bright lights advertising the Main street hotel on the back of its parking garage as it faces the train tracks. But, of course, the train itself is not a passenger train, just one that lugs along with tanks, animals, and fuel. No one was there to see the bright red and orange sign that never goes off, but that's Vegas. After a failed exorcism in Hawai'i Kai, I needed a minute to step away from everything. No one died, mind you, and no one was hurt physically. Unfortunately, I was too arrogant and full of myself, and I assumed the family who needed my help didn't know what they were talking about. So, upon arriving at their stylish home near the ocean, I thought they'd been watching too many reality tv shows and would regale me with their television knowledge of the otherworldly. It's always the case when someone calls me about an exorcism. Some families are too ashamed to admit that their child or sibling has a mental illness, and rather than address the issue for what it is, it's easier to say that it's a demon. This was my mindset and attitude going in.

The decorative double doors opened, and an older Caucasian woman greeted me with as much dignity as possible. She was worn and tired, her eyes bleary and red from lack of sleep. Next to her was who I assumed was her husband, who was also in the same state of being broken down on every level. They hadn't uttered a word when what I thought was their house pet, a large dog, came running out of the front door right past them. It ran up the driveway toward Kalaniana'ole; the husband excused himself and chased the dog, calling after it, "Merla! Come back here, Merla! Now!" 

"I'm sorry," the wife apologized. Then, before she could explain anything, the large dog came running down the lane toward us with the husband behind it, screaming with futility. His voice was already hoarse and scratchy, meaning he'd been crying and yelling long before I arrived. Finally, the dog came to a halt and sat there, panting and scratching, before it walked over to a water dish and began drinking from it. Except, it wasn't a large dog. It was a fully grown adult woman wearing nothing but a vast oversized black shirt but all of its mannerisms and gait and how it sat were that of a dog. I don't recall saying anything or making any effort to communicate. Instead, I remember walking away, turning to my right, and walking up the driveway. I remember I had my car door open and being overcome with a sense of relief once I saw the cars driving by on Kalaniana'ole. Then the husband yelled, and hearing his bare feet slapping the tiled driveway as he came running up toward me, "Merla, no! No Merla! Come back here!" I turned around, and she walked toward me, upright like an average human. Then, no longer in the possessed guise of her former self just a minute ago, she said, "Going somewhere, mister ghost man? Are you gonna leave these two old people to fend off this demon alone?"

I screamed. I'm sure of it. Some kind of primal, guttural fear came over me. I screamed and got in my car and screamed as I reversed out of the driveway, locking eyes with that possessed woman who, without any effort, transitioned to her dog self, chasing my car and keeping up with it as I shot out onto the main road, threw it into drive and took off at top speed toward Port Lock. She kept up with my car at sixty and then eighty, running alongside it, not even breaking a sweat. "Help them, my poor, poor parents! Help them before I take them too!" Finally, just as I approached the entrance to Hanauma, she broke away and returned to her human stance, flipping me the finger. She won, or the thing that possessed her won. It was the worst fear I'd ever experienced. It's the kind of fear that overcomes you with hopelessness. As if the only solution was to die; otherwise, what was left? be continued

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