Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jan 18, 2020

ASHES TO ASHES - What not to do in Hawaii

Once in a while, you will see a pile of ashes at a heiau, along a hiking trail and at other sacred and perhaps not so sacred sites throughout Hawaii. Interestingly, a few have mistaken these piles of ashes as the remains of actual Hawaiian people. As silly as that may seem here, there are those who believe it.

However, Hawaiians never left their loved ones' ashes out for all to see. There were burial rituals to ensure that the remains of a family member were cared for respectfully. The common practice was to bury the bones so as not to allow another person to take the mana of their loved ones. To leave the bones out for all to see was the ultimate sign of disrespect.

Primarily, what you are seeing in this photo are the leftovers of a person's incense offering. It is becoming much more common these days for other cultures to use incense to pray and pay their respects to their gods, and perhaps our Hawaiian deities as well in these sacred places. Please know that this is not an acceptable practice to do at heiau and other sacred sites in Hawaii. To leave burning incense at a heiau is not only inappropriate, changing anything about such a sacred place damages the integrity of the site. And to leave a pile of incense burning on a hiking trail is just irresponsible and dangerous as there are numerous accounts of incense being the cause of damaging fires.

As I often repeat, practice "Leave No Trace" principles when visiting the many historical sites of our islands and, if you feel compelled to offer something, the greatest gifts are your respect and Aloha.

Nov 2, 2019

Never over it, but putting it to rest

I want to thank all of you for being kind enough to listen to this story I shared on Snap Judgement Presents: Spooked. My wife was important to this process in that she was there when I needed to talk about how this recording affected me both psychologically and emotionally.

Oct 31, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #1



She'd done everything for me; some of it served me well, most of it crippled me in the way that I grew up not knowing how to do the common everyday basic things for myself. She did teach me about the value of prayer and faith. As a child, when I was close to death on many occasions, she was a constant presence at my bedside. Her prayers never ceased until I was better. It would have a long-reaching effect well into my adult years. Overall, I survived.

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #2



It was 1972 that much I remember.  We were living in Waimalu, and it was Halloween. A bunch of us gathered in front of Robbie Ralston's house, all dressed in our costumes. Armed with paper bags, rice sacks, and plastic fishing buckets, we excitedly trick or treated as many houses as we could for as much candy that we could get.

Oct 30, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #3



It was precisely where she said it would be, and I prayed the whole way over that she was wrong, but she wasnʻt. The body was buried in a hole dug six feet in depth and facing due east.

Oct 29, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #4



I had an uncle that no one liked, not even my father, and they were brothers. However, we were all forced to be kind to him because he was the uncle that had money, and most of the adults did not.

Oct 28, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #5




The empty parking lot at what used to be the K-Mart in Kapolei was the pick-up spot. That's where the big yellow school bus gathered up the fifty-five people who paid for their spooky bus ride to a haunted house in the area.