Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 21, 2023

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2023. #91. Hole Hole Bushi.

  Channeling Rockford Ota, a plantation worker from the late 1800s'.

He was twenty-five when he died in an unfortunate accident when he cut his leg with a cane knife and bled out. By the time help arrived, it was too late. Through channeling, he told me that the new house that I bought recently was built on the very spot where he died. He was angry and wanted me to leave, but I told him it was impossible. My entire saving was spent on the house, and I had no plans to leave. He promised to make my life miserable if I did not. My sister recorded this with the help of her daughter, my niece. Watching myself on video, speaking in a voice that was not my own, with mannerisms that I don't usually affect, was unnerving. It was my body, but not me. Rockford kept his promise and made my life miserable by harassing my sister and niece by visiting them with horrible nightmares of being hacked to death with a cane knife by some faceless shadow. Or the feeling of the both of them being groped by some invisible thing. 

"I could actually feel an erection on my leg," Marla told me. 

Her mother's account was even more horrendous, "A hand grabbed me down there like it knew what it wanted," Shar cried. I felt helpless; I didn't know what to do for my sister. I went to the local Hongwanji to look for someone who knew about these things, but no one could help. One evening after returning from work, I walked into the living room to see Marla and Shar using digging hoes to shred the carpet. Their eyes looked strange as if they belonged to other people. The two were singing a weird song in Japanese, 

"Ame ga ori hajimete iru, u~osshu ga nurete kimashita, 

kodomo wa hahaoya no senaka de naite imasu, 

soshite gohan wa kogeta bakari.."

"It's starting to rain,

The wash is getting wet,

The child is crying upon the mother's back,

And the rice just burnt.."

For the first time since I moved in, I saw Rockford's spirit standing near the foyer to the kitchen. Before this, I only saw him in my dreams and only knew of him when I channeled him because he left his perspiration smell all over me. "I remember this: my mother and the other women singing this song while they slaved in the hot sun in the canefields. No one should build in a place like this; the fact that they lived and died here makes this sacred ground. It may not be Hawaiian sacred ground, but still, there should be something here to honor them."

Rockford was right. I understood now that he was not a malevolent spirit, just someone who didn't want the work he and others like him did during the plantation era to be forgotten. So, against the advice of the neighborhood board, I got a plaque placed on the sidewalk in front of my home that said, "In honor of Rockford Ota and his mother, who lay the foundation for the future, this plaque is to honor your sincere efforts."

The plaque stayed. The neighborhood board did nothing to remove it.

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