Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 18, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2017! #75

You’ll Never Get To Heaven

It’s interesting how we recall things from our childhood years in a specific way and that there are things we internalize and carry with us for the remainder of our living days. There are other things we let go and don’t ever think about until a smell, a sight or a song triggers an infinitesimally small memory to reignite itself into our conscious world. Everything comes back just as it was from so long ago. For me, it was a photograph of myself at eight years of age. With all that I recalled from that one photograph while looking at my childhood self, I couldn’t help but wonder why I remembered everything with such an adult like clarity? At the same time, that photograph reminded me of how more often than not, we as grown people become absent minded in the way that we address our children, or how careless we become in our conduct or language around them. Just as I recall so much from my childhood I am sure that my children have retained much from their upbringing.
What made the most significant impression on me as a child was the restriction which was placed on us when the adults in the house were about to have a grown up discussion or when they were going to stay up much later in order to watch blue movies after they thought that we were all asleep, but that’s another conversation.

One would assume that these adult conversations would concern business, finance or who was getting a divorce or who was with child. In my house, it always had to do with ghosts and who was possessed or whose house was haunted by a restless spirit. Once I realized that the adults were going to gather later for their clandestine conversation, I would time everything perfectly so that the grown ups would be clueless as to my hidden presence beneath the kitchen table.

I remember it was a Tuesday evening, which was my father’s regular bowling night but he had to call the league president and tell him that he had family matters to attend to. Sometimes the discussions became a bit loud depending on who was telling what ghost story, because of that my parents would worry that we might be able to overhear their conversation and so they played records on the record player in order to drown out their voices. It was easy too because the record player faced toward the hallway where all of our rooms were and the sound traveled and helped to mute out the adult's voices. The album of choice that night was the Stylistics. 

That Tuesday night way back in 1970 was the last time that I would ever be able to hide underneath the table because it was the night that I would receive the worst scare of my life and it was also the night that my father would give me the most memorable beating ever. It’s funny when I think about how the events unfolded that night but you’ll understand what I mean in the next few paragraphs.

The kitchen table was tucked nicely up against the wall opposite of the sink which gave me a place to prop myself up. Being small also gave me a nice spot where no one’s feet could touch mine, the table was also draped with an over sized crochet blanket that extended to the floor. It would never occur to any of them that I was there, all I had to do was keep quiet. The first story was told by Johnny Martin Sr. He was secretly in love with my mother but my mother played dumb and goodness forbid that my father who was a golden gloves boxer in his youth ever found out, because if he did, old Johnny Martin would never have lived to tell the story which he was now sharing.

He said that his cousin Maria who was all of nineteen years old married a distant cousin from Hilo and that they were living in Kalihi on Machado street. It turned out that their home was haunted by Menehune who would trouble them nightly. The priest from the Holy Ghost Church was called to exorcize the Menehune from their new home but that only served to increase the activity, the couple were forced to leave their home and were now living with Johnny Martin.

The next story was from Aunty Ruby who said she’d been showering in the extension room next to our garage when the steam from the hot water began to take on an indefinable human shape that floated across the room and lingered just near the door. Aunty Ruby screamed but no one came to her rescue even though everyone was home. The shape pointed at her and then pointed to her stomach. A short time later, she found out she was pregnant. The reactions around the table must have been unsettling because everyone’s feet began to shift nervously.

When Kathy Medeiros began to talk about the shadow that sat in her mango tree, peering into her bedroom late at night, I noticed my niece Donna crawl in backwards and sat with her back facing me the whole time. I couldn’t say anything for fear of being caught, so I nudged her with my foot. At this point, I must say that I am not sure if any of you have ever touched an animal or a human being that was absolutely dead? It’s not something that’s cold or stiff, it’s a feeling that whether it’s human or mammal, you know that there is no soul in that body. That’s what Donna’s body felt like when I tried to get her attention by pushing her with my foot, it felt like her soul was gone. I pressed her several times but she never moved. I didn’t know what to think at that point and so I stuck out my right foot and nudged her one more time, her lifeless left hand grabbed my left foot and her head turned completely around to look at me while her body was still facing the other way. With her right hand, she reached around and tore the flesh from right above her upper lip, with her left hand still holding my left foot she yanked me toward her and stuffed that small strip of her own flesh in my mouth.

That’s when I let loose with a blood-curdling scream and scared the holy shit out of every adult who was seated at the kitchen table. After the excitement had died down and my father realized that it was me under the table, he pulled me out and beat me with his hand, his belt, his slipper, and his hand again, all on my butt of course. Usually, the other adults would intervene on my behalf but they were the very ones who handed my father the slipper and other household items to beat me with.

 Please don’t be horrified, I really did deserve it. 

It wouldn’t be until the following afternoon that I would be given the chance to explain my behavior from the night before. When I did, I did so clearly and articulately just the way that my father would always tell me to. He was not one for baby talk so he always spoke to me like an adult and I was expected to respond in kind.

After he’d heard what I had to say he expressed no sympathy, instead he said, “That's what you get for sneaking around and listening to dis kine, the ghost when come undah the table to teach you one lesson! Good for you!”

It would be a long while before I could ever listen to the Stylistics sing these lyrics on the radio, today it's no problem. But can you imagine the most beautiful music and lyrics playing in the background while you’re going through one of the most traumatic moments in your young life as an eight-year-old? It was quite the childhood.

Mother told me always to follow the golden rule, and she said it’s really a sin to be mean and cruel. So remember if you’re untrue, angels up in heaven are looking at you...

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Haunted Waikiki Trolley Tour

No plans for Saturday night?  Come check us out and listen to Lopaka weave true haunted stories with the history of Waikiki and Honolulu on our Mysteries of Hawaii's Haunted Trolley Tour!

There's something about riding the trolley at night listening to the haunted history and ghost stories of the areas as we're led around and through famous Waikiki.

Our last trolley tour in May toured several haunted spots in the Downtown area and it sold out early. This time, we'll be taking the trolley to several haunted spots in Waikiki on the famed Kalakaua Avenue AND we're featuring TWO tours so everyone who wants to come will get the chance.

We'll meet in the parking lot of the Kapiolani Park Bandstand
Saturday, August 19, 2017 - 6:30pm & 8:30pm
$55 per person

For more information, click HERE

We hope to see you this Saturday!

Aug 17, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2017! #76

To Thine Own Self Be You

“I was directed to this office by an informant of mine, he said you could help me?” The hardened police detective named Roy Wong was not much older than Boy and by his demeanor, he had seen much in regards to the ugly side of human nature. He was cordial and polite but it was obvious that somewhere within that well mannered, professional veneer was a hair trigger temper that only needed a minimum amount of coaxing in order to come to the surface. Most men from Hawai’i’s finest were built that way, but this one was a special case. He was the good cop and the bad cop rolled up into one, right now what Boy, Ivan, Tiny, and Rita were seeing was the good cop. At some point during or after the meeting, the bad cop was going to emerge but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s get back to the meeting.

“We will help you in any way we are able to Detective Wong,” Boy replied. The detective gave Boy and his staff the once over. They were almost like a throw back to the old Mah Jong parlors where you had to go to the back room to see someone about a problem or a particular kind of loan. The people seated in front of him was dressed in those same suits, ties, shiny shoes, office type dress for the lady. In the detective's experience, the dressed up people were the dirty ones. In his opinion, Boy and his cohorts were the same.

“See, we’ve been tracking this contract killer who’s been leaving a trail of bodies all over the place. Luckily, none of his escapades have made the news because of good police work if you know what I mean?” Detective Wong’s eyes were piercing and he made sure that he held Boys gaze while he spoke, but what he didn’t realize is that the three other people seated around Boy also had their eyes on him. “I see,” Boy nodded. “I take it that you haven’t been successful in tracking this person down?”

“Well, no,” Detective Wong replied. “What we do have is his calling card, which is specially made black talon bullets, and something else. This something else is what makes him unusual and we’ve had a hard time figuring that out. That is until my informant pointed me in your direction, which is why I’m here. We.…well... I...think that this guy is using a smaller form of biological or chemical poisoning and I’m hoping you’ll help me understand how it works?”

“I’m not sure I understand Detective Wong?” Boy completely understood but he was going to let the detective play out his cat and mouse game until it was time to act. 

“This thing this guy leaves is inside a Ti Leaf bundle,” Detective Wong began. “Our informant tells us that this is how you’ve done business as well, in very much the same way. The is how he does hits sometimes, he leaves the Ti leaf bundle on let's say the kitchen table. Someone will get very curious about said item and open it, that’s when the compound inside the Ti leaf bundle becomes hostile and explodes. From what I’ve seen it does horrendous damage especially if it gets under your skin, you’re pretty much done. All I need from you is to tell me what’s in the bundle?”

“I haven’t the slightest clue as to what’s inside this bundle that this person leaves, honestly,” Boy was very matter of fact but not rude, but Detective Wong was not having it. “You don’t? C’mon I mean look, I understand that you don’t want to be implicated along with this guy.……..this killer that we’re looking for, but my informant says you DO know what’s in it and that it’s very toxic and very deadly.”

“I don’t, I really don’t. I know I said we’d help you any way we could but this is something that I’ve never heard of before. I’m just as lost as you are.” Boy appeared to be clueless as to what the detective was alluding to but Wong couldn’t stand the charade anymore and he was going to give Boy one more chance to come clean. “My informant says that this is an office that puts curses on people, I mean I did some background research and it turns out that we at HPD know who you are but that we stay out of your way and in turn, you help us out when we need it. So, here I am asking for your help so help me out? Tell me what kind of chemicals are in those little Ti Leaf bundles?”

“Your informant is pulling one over you detective, we are a firm that specializes in the Hawaiian practice of conflict resolution or ho’oponopono. We don’t deal in curses, we deal in peeling away the layers of hurt and pain in our people's hearts and thereby, helping to cure the heart.” 

That’s all Detective Wong could take, now was the time for the bad detective to come out, the one who walked around with a pair of brass knuckles in his coat pocket, a 9mm in his holster and battery acid in his brains. He figured for the effect that he’d break Boys jaw in front of the three old people and make them have a cardiac, but then he decided that he’d beat the hell of the old lady first and then work his way up and save Boy for last. Detective Wong stood up from his chair and placed his hands in his coat pocket where he put his fingers through the holes of the brass knuckles he concealed. When he was fully upright his six foot five frame towered over the four people on the other side of the large koa wood desk. His height would allow him to just simply reach over the desk and take a swing at the old woman’s jaw, but he never got the chance. With blinding speed Boy blocked Detective Wong’s blow with his left-hand blade side out, with his right hand he reached up and grabbed Detective Wong by the back of his head and slammed his face into his old koa wood desk. The impact knocked the hardened detective silly and caused him to stagger back and crumple to the carpet. Boy knelt next to Detective Wong and gripped him by the back of his collar and whispered into his ear, 

“ ‘O wai ‘oe?” (Who are you?) ‘a’ole ‘oe i ‘ike, (You don’t know) ‘a’ole ‘oe i ike ‘o wai la ‘oe. “ (You don’t know who you are)


When the detective came to, he was downstairs standing outside the building where Boys office was. However, he couldn’t recall why he was there, in fact, instinct told him to remove his wallet from his pocket and to look for his driver's license. He didn’t recognize the picture in the ID even though it was him that he was looking at. Kealoha, the door man who guarded the entrance to Boys office watched the detective carefully as he wandered over to where he stood. “I’m sorry I’m having a hard time with uh.………uh.…I can’t seem to remember who I am or what I’m doing here?”

“I can help you, I was instructed to take you some place where some people can help answer your questions.” Kealoha was having a hard time adjusting to wearing a coat and tie, it felt constricting but nevertheless, he could not disobey Boys orders regarding the dress code. Detective Wong went willingly and in less than half an hour, Boys 1966 Imperial Crown pulled up in front of the Beretania station were Kealoha pointed to the front entrance. “Just go in there and show them your ID, they can help you.”

“Where is this place?” Detective Wong was still groggy, he felt like someone had rattled his brain completely loose.

“HPD headquarters,” Kealoha replied. Detective Wong hesitantly left the vehicle and made his way up the stairs and then turned into the open door. The door man removed his cell phone and sent Boy a text. “Mission accomplished.”


It was lunch time at the state office of permitting and Daryl Sahm made his way to the little break room where he quickly grabbed his Tupperware and exited the building down to Punchbowl street. From there he walked to Mililani street where he bought two cans of Pepsi from the hot dog vendor. Afterward, he found his way to the grounds of the ‘Iolani Palace where he was finally able to sit down and enjoy his breaded pork, rice and mashed potato for lunch. He was surprised to see what looked like ‘Laulau’ draped over the rice but it wasn’t steamed, it was still very green and uncooked. Untying the cotton twine string, Daryl opened the lau (leaf) and found a disgusting sight within, a tuft of black oily human hair, some finger nails and toe nails mixed with black feathers. Before he could react, the vile contents in the lau exploded and embedded itself in Daryl’s first layer of skin, then it slowly burrowed its way into the second and third layer of his flesh. It was a slow and very painful way for an informant to die. Especially one who Boy had previously helped only to be betrayed by him.


“Aunty Rita, find me this nameless killer for hire and bring him here. We need to talk face to face.” Boy asked. He never got involved in anyone’s right to earn a living no matter what, but he was curious as to where this person learned about the method of cursing someone through Pu’olo. He wanted to meet the person who Detective Wong was so desperate to find.

Aug 16, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down to Halloween 2017! #77


It goes without saying that the tattoo expo was packed to capacity with artists and fans of skin art in equal measure. Many tattooists pooled their money together and shared a booth while others were given their own singular space to work out of. Then there were those who were the featured artists that everyone came to see. Added to the spectacle were skull jewelry merchants as well as those who sold tattoo machinery, the expo was very busy. Off in a corner where there was not much foot traffic and where one would not even know this particular booth existed were it not for the hemp style shirts which were being sold, there sat a wrinkled old Filipino man on a simple straw mat with a set of antiquated hand tap wooden tools with teeth like combs lashed to the ends.

Ua ho‘omaka ku‘u mo‘olelo i Hawai‘i

Ua ho‘omaka ku‘u mo‘olelo i Hawai‘i
My story begins in Hawai‘i

Hawaii's history is passed from generation to generation through mo'olelo, storytelling. Everyone has a story, where does yours begin?

In this shameless plug, I encourage you to check out this t-shirt designed by my wife, Tanya. It makes an awesome gift, especially for our family and friends who are living far away from our beautiful island home.

Aug 15, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down to Halloween 2017! #78



Our little house on Kaukamana street hosted a small yard out front that was enclosed by a chain link fence. In it was a lime tree that was hard to climb because of the thorns that lived on its branches, and fruit that was practically inedible because of the gifts which the birds left on the lime. I remember taking a picture with my niece Donna and her brother Harry my nephew in that same yard one afternoon. In the picture also was Andy my foster brother who we were taking care of for the time, he was mentally challenged but very boisterous and affectionate.

Aug 14, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2017! #79


I stood back and watched my daughter kneel at her mother’s grave at the Hawaiian Memorial Cemetery. This made five years since her passing and it never gets easy for Jerry. No one expects their mother to die of a massive heart attack at just forty-eight years old but that’s life. I’m careful to keep that bit of philosophy to myself, I can’t ever share that with Jerry because it will just piss her off. Me and Jerry’s mom, I mean, Jerry’s mom and I went through a really bad divorce, so to say that there’s no love lost is an understatement. I’m sad for Jerry because I can see the loss that she is suffering, but I can’t feel it. I’ve got too much hate for her mother and it’s still festering, I wish that time could cauterize all wounds because that could make things a lot easier for me too. Then maybe me and Jerry, I mean, then maybe Jerry and I could come to some common understanding or something. Maybe we can start living.

Aug 13, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2017! #80


In the chant are the mindset, the knowledge, the history, the language and the intent. Depending also on the kind of chant you are offering, there is the faith that the purpose of the chant will see its result after it is given. Some chants have the 'i'i or the trilling vocal styling that gives it the ability to raise the skin of the listener. Other chants are of a sing-song variety, while still others are monotonal which is the bare basic method in which to perform a chant.