Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Mar 22, 2024

Jamba 2014

 You can tell I’ve had a hard night on one of my ghost excursions because you’ll find me the following morning at Jamba Juice having a power-sized “Mango-a-go-go” with no boost.

Let me emphasize that I go to the ocean to cleanse or Pikai (Pee-Kah-Eye) after an evening journey, which becomes rather heavy, but a morning mix of blended mango and orange always hits the spot. So there I was with my head still spinning from the night before. Usually, the memories of a tour on the following day are like the haze of a hangover, and it takes a minute or two for the details to kick in, but this wasn’t it. The details from the previous evening still remained bright and clear as if it had just happened five minutes ago, and for some reason, the taste of that Jamba Juice coursing through my system made…………even now as I write this a year later, it still takes my breath away and gives me pause.

Where’s that sip of Jamba Juice now?
It was a private tour with six other people from Kalihi and me. They were all in their mid to late twenties and had been on other ghost tours before, but now they were looking for something different than taking pictures in dark places. My suggestion was the Wai’anae coast. In my nearly twenty years of doing what I do, I have personally come to know that Wai’anae, in and of itself, is alive and well and ready to communicate with anyone who can receive the signal. Our adventure took us to Poka’i Bay, where the atmosphere was thick and uncomfortably still, and we couldn’t help but feel that we were not alone. The few pictures that were taken there revealed nothing in particular, but a few group members noted that they thought there might have been an extra person with us. When I asked them to describe what they thought the additional person might have looked like, they all agreed that collectively, they never saw that person straight on but out of the corner of their eyes.
The same was true when we next stopped at Keawa’ula.
Nothing out of the ordinary took place, but the group again swore an extra person was with us. However, I never noticed anyone tagging along except for the six people in our group. The same was true for Kaneana cave, although it was dark and musty, it was quiet and everyone’s picture revealed nothing. As I finished the last story at the bottom of the cave, we all prepared to leave, and at the same time, everyone’s flashlight clicked on simultaneously. Now, our flashlights illuminated that lower portion of the cave entirely, and the screams broke the silence of the dark night in Makua.
We found our extra person.
Standing next to a small boulder was the shadowy figure of a small child. It lacked form or physical detail, hair, features, or flesh. It was just a shadow, and none of the light that filled the cave seemed to penetrate the dark silhouette; it appeared to be entirely independent of any illumination in general. A freezing chill struck me from head to toe and back again, and as the screams continued, all I could do was turn and leave with everyone else. I had to ensure that no one fell down and hurt himself or herself by tripping over any of the sharp rocks protruding from the earth. With one last glance back, I could see that the shadow was still there.
“Take me with you,” It said. I could hear a child’s voice in my head. “Take me with you. Don’t leave me here.”
I had to focus on getting everyone out of there safe and sound. I had to ensure the driver was calm enough to get us all back to town in one piece. Everyone had a lot to say, and by the time we returned to our starting point, I kept the goodbyes short and left. The image of what I saw shook me to the core, I headed out to cleanse, but it didn’t seem to relieve me of the child’s voice in my head that never stopped pleading with me,
“Take me with you, don’t leave me here.”
I couldn’t turn it off like I used to. It didn’t go away when I told it I was off the clock. That statement always worked, but not this time. It even took me back to the cave in my sleep just so that it could beg me again and again not to leave it there. The child.
The “Mango-a-Go-Go” coursed through my body, and the sweet chill of the drink itself made the musty smell of the cave that seemed to permeate the air around me go away, sip by sip. I went through three power-sized drinks before I could smell the fresh morning air, hear the sound of traffic, and hear the chatter of conversation around me. I ordered another one just for good measure.
Now and again, someone will call or text me to say, “Eh, bra, I saw you sitting outside Jamba Juice one time! It was early Sunday morning! What bra? Are da ghosts keeping you awake?”
If they only knew.

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