Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Dec 7, 2022

Ki'i Pēpē 2022

Here's a haunted doll story.

It's not about a doll that's been imbued with a demonic spirit meant to harm the living or whoever comes into owning it. Instead, it's about a place that used to exist near or where the present Windward Mall now stands. There was once a care home where the patients, mainly Hawaiian, Chinese, and Filipino, were ill-cared for, and many died under horrible circumstances. Lawsuits are what finally closed the place down. In the aftermath, after the big pieces of machinery came to knock the site down, one of the more unusual items uncovered was the worn and tattered pieces of hospital gowns worn by some of the patients. These were never washed or sanitized but were discarded like a bad memory.

On a Sunday when no work was being done on the devastated site, some kids from nearby were in and around the place, exploring, throwing rocks, or looking for exciting things to find. Some got bored immediately and left; others went to eat something and eventually returned. The one small enclave of three sat in one spot, with the two boys patiently digging in the dirt while the third, a girl, tore shreds of material from the discarded and previously used hospital gowns. First, she wound one part of the material into a ball. Then, taking three twigs, she tied them together widthwise with another piece of fabric and stuck it into the bottom of the ball. Next, she tied three other twigs to the middle three lengthwise and wrapped the old material around everything until it looked like a makeshift doll. This the 6-year-old girl took with her everywhere: school, home, the market, you name it. The girl and her doll were inseparable. The problem was that in a short time, at 6 years old, the girl's hair began to turn white. First little streaks here and there, but eventually, it went completely white. Second, she seemed like something other than herself. Somehow, she had gotten into her grandfather's chewing tobacco and surprised her teachers when she showed up at school, spitting out the chaw. Third, she began calling a number on her mother's cell phone while her mother was there. 

Hearing the voice on the other end say, 'Hello?' The little girl began to beg and plead like an adult, "Deannie, when you come to get me? I like to go home already, no good 'dis-place, no good!"

"Hello? Who is this? Hello?" Came the reply on the other end.

The mother took her phone from the girl and apologized to whoever it was on the other end. "I'm so sorry, that was my little girl! I don't know what's wrong with her; please forgive her!"

The fourth was when the little girl disappeared on a weekday morning very early. No one could find her, and the police were called. She was found in front of the home of the woman she kept calling on her mother's phone, knocking at the front door. "Deannie, I like to come home, Deannie! I like come home!"

The woman named Deannie was shocked to see a little girl with white hair holding onto a tattered makeshift doll, calling her by the name only her grandmother knew. Her full name was Danette. It turned out that her grandmother died in that old care home from malnutrition. Danette said that she'd only learned about the circumstances surrounding her grandmother's death after the fact. It had already closed down when they'd meant to sue the facility. The little girl recovered, and after, her parents burned the makeshift doll. Soon, a shopping mall on the windward side was built, prompting many to wonder if the spirits from the old care home would make the mall their new home.

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