Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 23, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2017! #9


The media, social and national has always fed us the idea that families consist of the mother, father and one or two children. During my time while growing up, social media was not yet a gleam in the eyes of the giants who created such a format as we know it today. With that said, the true gift of the age in which I grew up was that people spoke face to face and stood within each other's circle to exchange thoughts, feelings, energies, and ideas while within reach of one another. However, as I learned under the tutelage of my parents and their teachings, it was through meeting the people which they helped that I witnessed for myself that families were made up of different components but they were families none the less. When people appeared at the door of our house, they were in need of my parent's help for healings or blessings or to have a curse removed or sometimes to have one cast upon someone else. My father said that we were there to help people and that we were not to judge how people chose to live their life, for that had nothing to do with the service that they needed from us. My father was peerless in his example of how a man should conduct himself while abroad in the world, he was affable and kind, soft of voice and heart and spoke little. He cautioned me often to take care of the words which left my mouth for words had power, especially for the occupation that we undertook from the legacy of our ancestors who employ the method of prayers and chants, we had to be careful. This is why my father spoke so little but when he did have a point to make or a story to tell, he made certain that every word had value and that it counted for something. He was not one for idle talk or self-indulging conversations or meaningless babble. If what you said to him served no purpose he would end the verbal intercourse by either leaving or hanging up the phone, this may explain my penchant for being stoic until I feel it necessary to speak. For all the love and tremendous respect which I held for my father, the one thing which has never left me was his presence. I recall moments when my mother was in our living room counseling people who needed help, my father would enter, silent and unannounced and everyone present turned immediately in his direction. That was mana, my father possessed it as did my mother, I can only hope to have a fraction of what made my parents great people.


The ensuing years following my father's death along with the disappearance of my mother were difficult, to say the least, they were difficult years for my uncles and aunt as well. There was an incident where I'd suddenly disappeared and no one could locate my whereabouts, there were no cell phones or GPS in those days so one can imagine the measure of stress that my disappearance must have placed upon the shoulders of my aunt and uncles. I would find out later that when the normal means of finding someone were employed and failed thereafter, that my family employed the means of diving water and smoke but to no avail. An entire day passed and it was just an hour past the latter part of noon when on a hunch, Uncle Tiny drove to Hau'ula. His instincts moved him to traverse the trail to Kaliuwa'a but not before making the proper offerings before ascended the heights of that sacred locations. In the caves high above the falls is where we placed the bones of my father after we first observed the prayers, ceremonies, and rituals. Uncle Tiny would find me, sitting in one of those burial caves with the pu'olo containing my father's earthly remains in front of me, and between my legs was an Ouija board. I was mad with desperation to speak to my father, I needed his guidance and strict admonitions to guide me to the place where my mother might have disappeared to, but there were no cryptic messages forthcoming no matter how many times I tried or how many questions I asked, the planchette would not move.

When uncle Tiny came upon this scene and witnessed the act which I had committed, it would be the one and only time he would discipline me. He first cuffed me on the side of the head and then broke the Ouija board into pieces, he next picked me up with one and slapped me several times and let me crumble to the dirt floor of the cave. He admonished me for defiling the sanctified place of my ancestors by bringing the Ouija board into their presence, scolding me that my kupuna would never communicate through such methods. Hauling me to my feet, he must have truly seen me in my miserable state because there was a look of disbelief on his face, he could finally see that I was not processing the passing of my father very well. He hugged me for a long time and we both cried together; years later on when the time was right and ready, in a midnight ceremony, we transferred my father's bones to my office where it would be safe, and where he and I could communicate regularly.  Finding out the truth of my mother's disappearance would come later, and in very subtle ways and not directly, we are a people who love hidden meanings and answers that must be earned, not freely given away.

My uncle Tiny was a great man who I held in reverence from that point on, like my father he was a bull of a man who could kill you with a flick of a finger if he chose to do so, but his heart was as tender and as innocent as a child's. The humorous difference between him and my father was that he was a ladies man who loved the company of women, and it should go without saying that women loved his company. His devilishly handsome looks and charms often became his own undoing.


Tabby had not returned from school at the expected hour and there was no call to inform us of her whereabouts and there came no answer as we called her cell phone. My uncles combed the city while Aunty Rita divined Tabby's presence through the protocols of pule uahi, although I adopted Tabby as my hanai, Rita worried and doted over her more. She was mad with tears that would not cease, it was one of the rare moments when Aunty Rita was vulnerable with emotion. I waited on the street in front of our building until Kealoha brought my car around, in a short while we were on our way in accordance to the directions I had given him.



The rolling grass hills gave off a rich color under the waning afternoon sun as the adjoining mountains gave off the appearance of a finely colored painting. My car drove along the meandering lane which led through the area until Kealoha parked alongside a row of Coconut trees. There she was less than twenty feet away on a small knoll but her school clothing stood out among all the green and all the flowers which fluttered in the soft breeze. She did not look up once but sat there with her knees tucked up to her chest, except for her tears, no one would know of her emotional plight as her face remained stoic and unmoving. I sat on the grass beside Tabby, when suddenly Kealoha troubled himself to remove his coat and urged me to sit on it rather than on the finely manicured green. I assured him that it was perfectly alright and that his lapse of memory would not merit him a termination of his service, he returned to the car and waited. I shared a secret with Tabby and told her that a very wise person once told me that our kupuna don't often communicate to us in the way that we wish, rather they come to us in dreams and give us portents, symbols, and signs. Recognizing those portents, we are given validation of their presence, but I could see that she did not believe me, therefore I took the opportunity to point out a rainbow over the Ko'olau mountains and mentioned to her that the multi-colored arch was also a sign. I was curious and inquired of her as to what question she asked her father and brother while sitting at the foot of their graves?

" I asked if they were with me," she replied.

Indeed, the sudden appearance of the rainbow above the mountains where no rainclouds were present and no sunlight to create the prism, it was indeed the sign and the answer she needed. I shared more of the wisdom which I learned from the same wise person, "Our grief also prevents us from hearing the words of our ancestors, and so we feel lost because we convince ourselves that they have abandoned us, but they are no farther than you and I now are."

We sat for the remainder of the afternoon, asking questions and receiving answers from her father and brother, Tabby needed reassurance that becoming my hanai daughter would not upset her family in any way. A small unobtrusive wind carried a patch of light misty rains toward the two of us and it felt like a small caress on your cheek which only your mother could give you, that was another sign and Tabby was satisfied.


My father was named, 'Kahi'uka' after the smiting tail shark of Pu'uloa. Kahi'uka or the smiting tail is also the name of a fatal blow in the Hawaiian martial art of bone breaking or Lua. His example as my father is how I will try to raise Tabby in our world, I will give her all that my father gave me, and more. I will give her all that my mother gave me, for it was she who told me that faith is the foundation of all things, for even the prayers and incantations which we use in our work requires faith to make it palpable. The only exception, however, is that I will be here for a long while and I feel that the most important thing I could ever give to Tabby, is what my father gave me.

His presence.

Hanson Boy Napualawa

Oct 22, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2017! #10


As I have before written, the news of the world which exists outside the four sanctified walls of my office often times crosses the worn smooth surface of my koa wood desk more than I care to mention.
Such news describes a case in which a group of men traversing a popular hiking trail late one evening came across a deluge of vandalism so horrible that they felt compelled to call one of the local news stations for help. Sacred rocks and trees were spray painted in a stand out white color to such a degree as to have the color destroy the moss-covered rocks which were a part of the trail for hundreds of years. The men who found the horrible disparagement were regular patrons of the trail who conducted paranormal investigations and were more than happy to participate in the cleanup. A noble effort by all parties involved, and a feather in the cap of both groups.


Three days ago, a parcel arrived on my desk. No return address seemed to be listed except for the word, 'Anonymous' which was penned in black ink marker. Within the contents of the parcel was a cell phone with a small note attached to the screen which read, 'Play,' turning the device on and playing the video which was recorded on the phone proved to be very interesting but I was not at all  certain why it was sent to me, not until the end of the video. A similar colored note was held up to the phone's camera which contained an address on it. At the bottom of the note was another cryptic message, 'Be there at 3 am'


At precisely the hour of the three in the depths of the Hawaiian night, the leader of the paranormal investigative team and the men who helped clean the filthy graffiti from the previous location as mentioned on the news appeared at the aforementioned address. Armed with flashlights and plastic pails filled with spray paint cans, the men spread out and began to remove the covers of said spray paint cans in an attempt to deface the age-old structure which sat in the middle of the forest. The bright moon above lent ominous shadows to manifest within the confines of the entangled branches of Hao, these are the same shadows from which I emerged and approached the group. They were taken aback to see someone dressed in a coat and tie walking toward them in such a place as this one, known to be inhabited by forest spirits and night marchers. All were frozen as they stood watching my pace and waiting for the devil to do his work as it were. They eyed one another not knowing what to make of or expect from a darkly dressed anomaly of a Hawaiian man who by all accounts was out of his element, I'm certain that the scene itself was entirely disconcerting to them. I removed the cell phone from my pocket and pressed play on the video and held it up for them to see, they stepped forward and eyed the video recording very closely. Their faces turned pale and now the men appeared to be like children, caught in the act of stealing from the cookie jar.

"Heroes to the public who cleaned graffiti from sacred rocks and a tree, praised by the public for your efforts. Yet on this video, it appears that this act of vandalism was committed by yourselves, the very ones who took credit and adulation for a mess that you made," I said to them.

As expected, rather than be apologetic and asking for forgiveness, they were unrepentant and arrogant. One among them called the others to attack me so that they could not be discovered by means of the video on the cell phone which I now held. I stepped back within the confines of the structure and waited until they all surrounded me. They were in the perfect spot, without warning there was a loud chattering which took on the sound of children involved in excited conversations, it was a cacophony of eagerness and a glee and it approached closer and closer. The group of men was unsure as to what they should do, but of what use was their issue to remain undecided for along with the sound of laughter, the forest around us was now filled with little fiery glowing torch lights which now rushed forward like a flood. I stepped back, and let the thousands of little torch lights surround the men who were stricken with utter fear, for now, they saw them, little fully formed human beings holding on to torchlights, spears, and other handmade weapons. The little magical ones wore a look of deadly anger on their faces, all the while glaring at the group who created profit from misery, they were the Menehune.

I tossed the cell phone at the leader of the group and the second he caught it I walked away, leaving the Menehune to their business. The deafening chatter of the ancient magicians of the night drowned out the agonizing screams of the miscreants who deserved their fate, all I did was arrange the meeting.

Hanson Boy Napualawa

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Don't miss Mysteries of Hawaii's Ghost Hunters Midnight Tour

Saturday, October 28th, 11:45pm

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Oct 21, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2017! #11


There is hardly a one among us who is not touched in some shape or form by the insidious crime of kidnapping or hurting a child. In my work, persons gather in my office either for valid retribution or reformation. Other human frailties such as infidelity or greed are everyday occurrences which do not truly merit our services, but that is not to say that whatever transpires without the four walls of my office does not cross the smooth, worn surface of my desk.

Oct 20, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2017! #12


The rains which gather around my home are fine and misty and is often the inspiration for many a Hawaiian chant or mele. How could it not be so since the winds from the back of the valley appear to unfurl the rain as if it were a finely platted mat of Makaloa? In Hawaiian thought, rain is likened to a loved one who leaves a sheen upon your skin like a close intimate companion. Whereas as a deluge of rain may represent sadness or heartbreak. 

Oct 19, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2017! #13


My father’s name was Kahi’uka Napualawa, my mother was Victoria Ka’ehukai Napualawa but she chose to go by her English name because she was named after Princess Victoria Ka’iulani. Father was a massively large man who had the strength of ten men and could easily lift a refrigerator without effort. His hands were big and could cover and mans face and head all in one. He was truly a man among men who was feared and respected by his peers but never was there a man as gentle in nature and soft of heart and voice than my father.

Oct 18, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2017! #14


This is my story and at this point in my life, it was recommended by my friend Lopaka Kapanui that perhaps now may be a good time to begin transposing my thoughts from the proverbial pen to paper. The question is, where do I begin? It should be prudent that I start with my most recent case so that you can get a sense of who I am and what I do. In the process, you may come to like me or you may come to despise me, in whatever way you arrive at your conclusion, you will at least be able to say that I was truthful and honest.

Oct 17, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2017! #15


“Why was I given this name?” She asked her mother with tears covering her face.

“Because I liked the song, it was beautiful just like you,” her mother smiled and tried her best to reassure her.

“Didn’t you ever think to learn something about the story behind this name before giving it to me?” Her lips quivered and she cast her face down and wiped her eyes.