Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jun 27, 2017

" The Hair of The Dog...."

“With eyes shining burnin’ red, dreams of you all through my head...”

 The subject of this article first surfaces in the late 1930’s on the island of Kaua’i, and later resurfaces again before World War II. There was a prevalent illness on the garden isle at that time known as the ‘Inu-gami sawarimono’ or the use of a dog spirit to possess and bring harm to others.


In 1994 a fictionalized account of an Inugami possession is written in a book called, “Obake: Ghost Stories In Hawai’i” which is authored by the late historian, Glen Grant. In the story, we meet a young local Japanese girl by the name of Dawn who has fallen off the social grid and has begun to exhibit strange characteristics which mirror that of a dog. As the story takes its course, we slowly realize that the girl in question is possessed by the Inugami, and by the end of the story, with canines bared and fingernails torn out and claws growing in its place, she attacks and mauls the author.
Twelve years later she would return again but would be unrecognizable to the author at first, except in the single instance when she removed her sunglasses during a lunch meeting. The author nearly fell backward out of his chair, by the end of the story she would attempt to kill him again but not through being possessed, but with a sharp pair of scissors. Glen would write that instant when he was overcome by a retaliatory rage, which caused him to strike back, he’d become momentarily possessed by the Inugami.

Or so he believed.

In his early years as a ten-year-old boy growing up near Culver City, Glen Grant had been attacked by a team of dogs who were the stunt doubles for the Rin Tin Tin movie series. In his own words, he shared that as a result of the incident, he had developed a healthy fear of dogs.

In Japan, the Inugami would fall under the category of tsukimono or a possession spirit which is known to possess the kind of people of which I often refer to on my ghost tours; those who are psychologically and emotionally damaged. One could say that Inugami belief, practice, and tradition was and or still is clannish. There were families who were Inugami moichi, they were those who hid the mummified head of a dog in their keep so as to send its demonic madness to possess an innocent victim or family. The practice itself was deemed illegal and in some cases would result in banishment and perhaps death.  It’s interesting to note that the Inugami does not possess its victims independently but only by a curse. The process of how all of this takes place can be found in Glen Grant’s first book and in his Obake Files Casebook.

In the 1978 book called, “Kodomo No Tame Ni” authored by Dennis Ogawa and Glen Grant, we come across an interesting chapter entitled, “Inugami: The Spirit Of The Dog.” It is an account of the recollections of the late Senator Spark Matsunaga as related by his daughter Diane. In it, we learn that Senator Matsunaga’s father is an Ikibotoke or living saint and that in the late 1930’s on the island of Kaua’i there was a sickness which was known as the Inugami sawarimono or an illness caused by the use of a dog spirit. Senator Matsunaga’s father cured many of the local Japanese who were victims of dog spirit possession and knew very well who the family was that sent the dog spirit to do people harm. They were from Hiroshima one of the places in western Japan that were well known for Inugami possession. In later years, Senator Matsunaga remarked to Glen Grant who was on a visit in Washington D.C. that he was going to publish a book based on his eyewitness accounts of his father’s ability to extricate Japanese dog demons from the people who would come to him for help. Unfortunately, Senator Matsunaga would pass away before the book could ever be published.

It is said that one of the ways in which the Inugami can take possession of you is by entering through your ears, but only under the circumstance that you are psychologically and emotionally unstable. Perhaps as personal issues begin to intensify and accumulate their presence in your everyday life, ear plugs may be a good remedy to employ while asleep in the comfort of your own bed?

In our own Hawaiian legends we find that dogs are Kupua or demi-gods are who meant to aid us in a time of need. We also have Cannibal kupua such as Kaupe who never attacked or injured the family of a high chief or the ruler of ‘O’ahu. Yet, he possessed a cannibalistic appetite and in his dog form killed and ate many people. Kaupe would eventually be killed himself per the instructions of the great Mo’o Kahuna Kahilona, but Westervelt writes that Kaupe became a ghost-god after his demise and thus is the long cloud-like shadow which casts itself over the valley in Nu’uanu. Our ‘Ilio Kaulana or most famous dog hero was Puapualenalena. In King David Kalakaua’s oral traditions or what would become The Legends and Myths of Hawai’i per his publisher’s instructions is the more realistic tale of this most marvelous animal who by his nature was as wise as a kahuna. It was this very same dog who by his master's orders, was employed to find and return the stolen conch shell Clarion which belonged to the Chief Kiha.
The dog was successful in his task and rested the sacred conch shell from a band of miscreant ‘e’epa and was able to return the Kiha Pu to its rightful owner. In my limited experience, I have never personally come across any sort of information regarding a Hawaiian or local person being possessed by a Kupua or ‘aumakua of a dog spirit. Although some ‘ohana can claim an ‘Ilio as a personal family ‘aumakua, I have not yet heard of a possession such as that of the Inugami. We are aware of Noho, where a chosen person of a family who is the Haka or the designated medium has a deceased family member or guardian sit (noho) on their shoulders in order to communicate messages to the living.
 It would be safe to say at this juncture until a case of another kind presents itself, that Inugami possession is limited to the realm of its own culture and it’s own people. However, we must not forget that most of us today are the product of a plantation culture born of immigrants who arrived here from different parts of the world who worked the cane fields and sugar mills in order to make a new and better life for themselves. Eventually, that culture would share everything among one another, religion, culture, marriage, superstitions, and possessions. Personal or otherwise.

Jun 26, 2017

"A Word By Any Other Name..."

Since we are fast approaching the official season of Obon or Bon as it may be, I thought it would be fun to broach the subject of one of our most famous ghosts in Hawai’i, the Nopperabo, or the name for which it is commonly known, the Mujina.
The literal translation of the name Mujina, is that of a Badger which possesses shape-shifting qualities. In its natural form, the creature is said to live in mountainous areas which are far removed from human society. When taking the form of the Nopperabo, it is only for the purpose of scaring hapless human beings away from their territory, although they have taken the shape of the faceless specter, they are not Nopperabo themselves. The true Nopperabo have a talent for blending into human society but are known to ply their trade in lonely places, traditionally appearing first as a person in distress. Our island version of the Nopperabo first made its advent on a Saturday evening on May 17, 1958. The story of what was about to transpire would make the papers a year later in 1959, the reporter was a young Bob Krauss. There was a double feature playing at the old Wai’alae Drive-Inn that evening, ‘Monolith Monsters’ and ‘Love Slaves of The Amazon’ somewhere within that time frame, a young woman went to use the bathroom and noticed another female dressed in a white kimono, brushing her long black hair. The second the woman got close enough, the female in white pulled her hair back only to reveal that she had no face, only a blank orb of flesh. The scream that followed and the stories that came thereafter would propel this faceless encounter into local legend. Now, she is said to haunt a well-known shopping mall since her home was finally demolished in 1994.
Years later, I would be pleasantly surprised when Bob Krauss himself stopped by my job to bring me a copy of that very same article that he’d written all those years ago, it was quite an honor. Since we’re in the mood now, let’s also talk about a few other terms that have been thrown into our local stew of terminologies where one word has become a supernatural blanket word to represent all things ghostly. No doubt, the word we are about to discuss is more than likely derived from a ‘Chanko Nabe’ of words which originated during the plantation era here in our Archipelago.
The word is, ‘Yokai’ but we’ve come to know the word in its more watered down incarnation as, ‘Obake.’
Within the pantheon of Japanese ghosts, monsters, and demons, the Yokai is known as one that has various functions under one name, and various names which take different forms. If we are only speaking in terms of shape-shifting then this particular Yokai function would come under the category of ‘Bakemono,’ or ‘Obake.’
A Bakemono’s true form can be found within its animal incarnation such as a Kitsune, Mujina or Tanuki. Obake is commonly known to take on the forms of household objects. It was funny to come across that bit of information a few years ago, as I recalled living in a house in Waimalu as a child. The house itself although modern for its time in the 70’s, had an interior that was intrinsically Japanese. It would turn out that in less than a year, many of the household objects began to take on a life of their own. The standing lamp would spin on its bottom pedestal, the screen on the shoji doors would poke holes in themselves, and more often than not, the flute of which I was learning to play in school would play on its own, but the sound that came from it was like a Shakuhachi.

Over the decades, the word Obake has become the encompassing word in our island society to mean ghost or apparition as far Japanese supernatural terms go. However, if we are thinking of Obake in specific reference to ghosts of the Japanese culture, then the term Yurei would be more fitting. Though some of you may not be familiar with the word Yurei as you see it written now, you have certainly seen its incarnation in films and on YouTube. They are often the spectral shadows of women dressed in a white burial robe with their long black hair let down around their shoulders and face. They are bound to haunt one particular location and are resigned to said location because of unfinished business. Only when the matter in life that bound them to this earthly plane is resolved, can they pass on, at least one would hope.
This brings us back to the matter of our faceless friend who still haunts the Wai’alae, Kahala area dressed in a white kimono with long black hair. Was her appearance at the old drive-in way back in 1958 a publicity stunt that was meant to attract more clientele to the outdoor theater in order to boost revenue? Or was her appearance just a story started by a few employees who did not expect the tall tale to spread like wildfire for years to come? Think about it, we’ve just now discovered that the Yurei’s costume consists of a white burial kimono and the person wearing the outfit sports long, black, disheveled hair. The Nopperabo in its element is known to blend in with human society but only makes its presence known on dark lonely roads. Could the two beliefs have been mixed up, or did the Nopperabo simply adapt to its surroundings and suddenly decide to make its home in the women’s bathroom of an outdoor drive-in theater?
No true answer to that questions exists, neither does the old Wai’ale Drive-Inn Theater, but a nearby shopping mall does.

Jun 22, 2017

Po Kane

My cousin Keone hosted a small group of Maori's who he invited on the ghost tour out to Wai'anae. It escapes me at this moment as to what part of Aotearoa they were from, by that I mean what territory. They were a lively group and armed with a guitar, they shared their mele and haka with the guests during the dinner break. When the sun finally set that evening just at the tip of Kaena point, we piled our guests into our car and drove them out to Keawaula while Glen gathered everyone on the bus. Upon arriving, we pulled our car over just across from the parking lot of the first bathroom. The sun was setting early and I recall as we shared conversations regarding the similarities and the differences of our Hawaiian culture and that of the Maori culture. We happened to notice that a flashlight was on in the back seat of the car because it was shining directly on the window. I opened the front door and put the key in the ignition and turned the car on so that I could roll the back window down. It turns out that there wasn't a flashlight in the back seat, at that moment one of the women in the group exclaimed, "What do you suppose that is?"

We turned around to see that she pointed out toward the ocean; there skimming just above the surface of the water was a perfect round ball of light that moved ever so slowly with a tail at the end. What we had seen was its reflection on the rear window of our car, not at all a flashlight beam from the back seat. We all stood there silently as it became the only light in the pitch black of the westernmost point of 'O'ahu when suddenly it separated into small white sparks and shot directly toward the satellite tracking station up on the ridge. It dissipated the higher it got until it was completely gone. There was no noise and no wind, everything was deathly still until the reverent silence was broken by the sound of the yellow school bus, squeaking and creaking as it appeared around the corner with its blinding headlights. Glen was off the bus first and Keone followed directly behind him, they both stood to one side as the rest of the people emptied themselves out of the giant vehicle. Keone led the group to the big grassy area where he began to talk about night marchers. The Maori's took the opportunity to grab Glen and explained what we had all just witnessed. I was still standing at the car with my hula brother so I did not hear what the exchange was, but by Glen's wide-eyed facial expression, it was obvious that he was astounded. 

With the stories done at Keawaula, the next and final stop was the cave, arriving there in our vehicle we again waited for the bus to empty out. Walking across the street to cave, Keone asked me, "What happened now?'

"Akualele," I said.

"Who was it for ?" He asked.

"Not any of us," I replied. "It was just checking us out."

"Tonight is Po Kane," he said."We better finish early."

I couldn't have agreed more, we were done in less than twenty minutes and on our way. Our guests were taken back to their hotel room in Waikiki and along the way, we had merry conversations and lots of laughter. When we parted company, the eldest male in our group shook my hand and said, "If you ever get to Aotearoa, look us up. What we saw tonight was nothing compared to what I can show you in our home territory. Things will walk right up to you and give you an introduction!"

That was fifteen years ago and I never got the chance to take that gentleman up on his offer, but on those rare nights when we are taking a ghost tour out to the Wai'anae Coast, I remember that man and I remember the night that we saw a living orb as it observed us from the ocean and took off in a burst of sparkling light. Do I hope to see it again anytime soon? I'm in no rush, really I'm not.

Jun 13, 2017

The Urban Legend and Fact of Morgan's Corner

During the month of early June in 1999, Glen Grant drove me along the route of the old Ghost Hunters Bus Tour in his red Nissan Pathfinder. The route concluded just at the front of a tall gate that sectioned off an abandoned road called, “Kiona’ole”
Glen intimated to me that it was a location of which teenagers hung out and that they decided to call it, ‘Morgan’s Corner’
That raised my eye brow quickly because he and I knew very well where the real Morgan’s Corner was located. He agreed and said that the actual location isn’t a very safe place to let people off the bus to walk around. The hairpin turn on the Nu’uanu Pali Drive was also a blind turn and that there was a higher chance of liability with cars racing by all the time. And so, Kiona’ole road was the stop for the duration of the time that I did the old Ghost Hunters Bus Tour. The stories associated with the Kiona’ole road location were very compelling, it was the perfect haunted place even in broad daylight. The trees were so tall and overgrown that their branches formed a natural canopy over the road and practically muted out the sunlight.

I stopped going there once I realized that a new ghost tour began to utilize the locations in my second book, ‘The Legend of Morgan’s Corner’ and began taking people to that location and others that I had written about. In fact, one of the tour guides from the other ghost tour company mentioned that very fact to me, absentmindedly believing that I’d be happy about it.
But I digress, first let’s talk about the infamous urban legend that’s been associated with Morgan’s Corner for so long. It’s the story of the boy and girl who are parked in a car very late one night at the aforementioned spot. It’s late, and the girlfriend wants to leave, the boyfriend begrudgingly agrees and puts the key in the ignition and turns the engine over but the car won’t start. After several attempts and a peak under the hood, the young man grabs a flashlight and utters that all too familiar phrase, “You stay here, I’m going to get help. I’ll be back.”

The girl rolls up the windows and makes herself comfortable, she dozes off she is periodically awakened throughout the night by an alternate scraping and tapping sound that petrifies her. Eventually, she falls asleep but when she finally wakes up it’s because of a police officer knocking on her window motioning for her to open the door. The officer escorts her away from the car, but the girl continues to ask, “Where is my boyfriend?”
As she is about the be placed in the squad car, she catches a glimpse of a body hanging upside down from a branch of the tree under which they were parked. The body is slowly swinging back and forth and blood is dripping from its throat.

She realizes that the scrapping sound were the fingernails of the body, scraping up against the roof of the car as it slowly swung back and forth. Scrape, scrape, scrape.
The dripping sound? It was the blood coming from the slit throat of the body, cut from ear to ear. Drip, drip, drip.
It’s the boyfriend, he ventured off into the night going to look for help but never found it. Whoever killed him, brutalized his body and hung him from his feet right above the car where the girlfriend waited.

This urban legend somehow found its way to our archipelago and into the psyche of our teenage population, it's had a long shelf life since then and will be around for a while. You’ll find almost the same story in nearly every state of the union, some may vary here and there but the context of the story is always the same. Girlfriend waits, boyfriend dies. The man who used to do the ghost walk in San Francisco’s Mission district was on my tour once and told me the boyfriend and girlfriend urban legend was started in the lower bible belt area of the United States in the late 40’s and early 50’s in order to prevent young people from going out late at night and parking in dark places and as a result, having unwanted teen pregnancies. “But it could have been around longer than that,” he said.

The infamous Morgan’s Corner murder actually happened at 3939 Nu’uanu Pali Road, the former home of Mrs. Therese Wilder. The old home no longer exists and has since been replaced by a private gated community called, “Ilana Wai”
Dr. James Morgan’s house was/is located in a cul de sac on Poli Hiwa Place, just a stone's throw away from the old Wilder residence on the opposite corner. My wife and I were fortunate to have run into a woman at the ‘Iolani Palace three years ago who claimed to be the great-granddaughter of Dr. Morgan, she said that more often than not, he would grab his doctors bag and walk over to check up on Mrs. Wilder from time to time.
Unfortunately, the fate of Mrs. Therese Wilder is not a pleasant one. In 1948 the sixty-eight-year-old widow was bound and gagged in her own home by two escaped prisoners named, James Majors and John Palakiko. She died as a result of suffocation from a broken jaw and from being gagged too tightly around the neck.

Thus, throughout the decades' fact and urban legend commingled and gave way to one of the most infamously haunted locations that aren't really haunted. Well, maybe by rank amateur paranormal investigators and spur of the moment ghost hunters, but not by anything that we can truly discern as an apparition. Sure people have shared pictures that they have taken in that area and some are interesting while most are very explainable. Others have shared the disembodied voices that they have captured on their digital recorders, most are murmurings that could be anything while other alleged spirit voices turn out to be the owner of the digital recorder.

What really haunts Morgan’s Corner is people, people who are out on a thrill seeking dare with their friends, people who are searching for answers outside of themselves, people who hope that a picture or a recording or a ghost radar app will give them the proof they need for validation. I know this because the ghosts have told me.

Jun 11, 2017

The Leader of The Band

All my father knew was the struggle and a hard life, so did his parents. On the plantation everyone worked, everyone; men, women, and children. Even some of the female Japanese migrant workers tied their children to their backs while toiling in the fields day in and day out. Dad only managed to get to the tenth grade and that was it, after that it was working in the cane field, driving a truck and hoping for a good, simple life and nothing beyond that. He kept an article from a Hilo newspaper in his wallet, it was old and yellow by the time I was old enough to see it. It was about how he sunk a forty foot shot from half court in a local league basketball game. It was a glorious moment that he would relive again and again whenever a shot of Seagram 7 would loosen him up. He was also a Golden Gloves boxer in his youth and did quite well as part of the plantation league. For everything that life had given him, there was only one tool which he’d never possessed, and that was love. Of course, he loved all kinds of sports and bowling, he loved to eat Pimentos with his Portuguese bean soup and he also loved Betty Grable. However, when it came to showing love and affection to me or my brothers, there seemed to be a disconnect. There was never praise, a hug, a pat on the head or even congratulations.
Even in those moments when we did something notable in our sports events or in Karate like myself, he would always note something negative instead. This was something that kept my older brothers at a distance, but my middle brother, it made him go out of his way to gain our father’s approval.

I was never sure if he ever got that nod and kind gesture that he was looking for. My father and I were complete opposites, fire, and ice, sun and rain, oil and water. I recall when he first coached little league and how it became more important to him than anything else, at least that’s the way I saw it at my young age. Rather than concern myself with baseball, I was more concerned about my friends and being part of a high school theater group.

Our only interaction came when I got a job during my senior year in high school, It wasn’t the greatest job but I got enough out of it to go and have pizza after school or to go see a movie. All of that was short lived of course when he told me that I would have to hand over my paycheck to him every two weeks. According to him, we were struggling and so out of the three hundred some odd dollars I made, only sixty of it ended up being mine. 

Three hundred dollars was a big deal back in 1980.

 There was a real resentment that was festering for a while, and the reason for that it is because I was adopted and he made it a point to remind me about it every chance he had. Stuff like that does a helluva lot for your self-esteem and your self-confidence.


 The nurse walks in at this point and checks his IV and his heart monitor. She’s young, lively and bubbly and talks a bit too much for my taste. She asks innocuous questions and I only reply with yes or no answers. I’m too busy living inside of my head at this moment and I don’t have any desire to engage, so I excuse myself to the hallway which is not too distant from the cafeteria. I become sidetracked by a snack machine that offers Sugar Daddys and Milky Ways, my two favorite candies. I grab a 10-ounce bottle of Coke from the adjacent machine so that I can wash down sugar with sugar. 

Not the healthiest snack, it will probably ruin my complexion or kick my ass when I crash from this triple rush. I pick up a magazine left on a smaller table near the elevator and bring it back with me to my father’s room. 
I stand there at the entrance and look him, all the tubes that are simultaneously plugged into him and plugged into a monitor show that the old man has a few worthy vital signs that are keeping him on this side for now. He’s burned bridges with my older brothers, they won’t come to see him but they text every hour to check up on how he’s doing.

“Barely,” I tell them.

“Keep us posted,” they reply.

I finally dozed off at 1:13 in the morning and I immediately had a weird dream that I was eight years old and that I was dressed in a favorite blue aloha shirt of mine with khaki shorts and black shoes and gray socks. We were at the cemetery just outside of Hilo and we were standing at the foot of my grandparents grave. My father stood beside me crying, I remember looking around for my mother but she wasn’t there, it was just he and I. I remember telling him as my younger self that it was alright and that he shouldn’t be sad. At that point, he immediately knelt down next to me and took me in his arms.

“I can’t remember any time that I spent with you, I wasn’t a good father, I wasn’t...” he was sobbing and it was awkward for me. I didn’t know what to do except try to get out if his embrace and step away.

“Stop,” I remember telling him.

“It’s what I deserve, it’s okay,” he cried.

He turned and walked toward a VW station wagon that was parked just a few feet away, he got in and he drove off. I was suddenly jolted out of my dream by the young nurse, her voice was down to a whisper but her tone was urgent.

“Mr. De Coito, your father just passed in his sleep,” she said.

My mind was still groggy and the information hadn’t quite taken yet. 

“Passed away, like died? Is that what you’re saying? You’re saying he just died? When? What time?”

“He stopped breathing at 1:13 am,”


It was hard for my brothers to reconcile anything at the services, they knew they had the right to sit up front but they chose not to. They felt that it would be hypocritical. There were lots of well-wishers and a lot of his old bowling buddies and friends from his old job. Family flew in from Maui and the mainland. He chose to be cremated and his request was that his ashes be spread in the backyard of his old home. 

Our uncle Wallace gave the eulogy and our aunt Lucille hosted the reception at her home, she had prepared more food than we were prepared to eat, but it was good and it brought back a lot of old memories. My oldest brother Howard came over and asked me if I would sing a song for everyone and I asked him which one? “Whatever you feel like singing,” he said.

I was a bit rusty on the guitar and I’d spent a considerable amount of time tuning it until my uncles became impatient and yelled at me to hurry it up. Some things never change. I took a deep breath and did my best.

“Oh Danny Boy, the pipes the pipes are calling
From glen to glen and down the mountainside
The summer’s gone, and all the roses falling
It’s you, it’s you, must go and I must bide
But come ye back when summer’s in the meadow
Or when the valley’s hushed and white with snow
I’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so”

My brothers came up and gave me a hug and held on to me as we all began to tear up. It was a beautiful moment where we were all able to give one another what we so desperately wanted from our father. Maybe he was there too, maybe he watched, maybe he took in a long sigh of relief that we weren’t so much like him after all. At least, that’s the way I see it.

Jun 10, 2017


Let’s talk about curses and let’s be forthright and upfront about it.

Jun 6, 2017

The Mythical Truth of The Kasha of Kaimuki

In ancient Japan, the literal translation of the name, “Kasha” is “Fire cart.” It is a creature who frequented populated areas where it’s dietary sustenance consisted of fresh human corpses. These creatures are a type of Bake-Neko living among human beings under the guise of a common house cat or stray. They are bipedal and larger than most people, and they are accompanied by flames from hell where they make their advent in the evening during rainy or stormy weather. It is only during funerals that their true forms are revealed and as a result, they are known to snatch corpses and spirit them to hell for punishment. Most times a Kasha will animate a corpse as a puppet or simply eat it as a meal. More often than not, a Kasha is known to indulge in the latter.

In 1942 an article appeared in our local newspaper regarding a Hawaiian mother who told police that her 10-year-old son detected the odor of a ghost in their Kaimuki home. Subsequently, the ghost retaliated and attacked the boy and then his two sisters, ages 18 and 20 after being found out. The mother then blamed the incident on her husband who left her; after a struggle that lasted for a good hour and a half, the police yielded the troubled home to a Kahuna and took the woman to her sister's home for safety. The Hawaiian woman’s earlier use of Ti leaf, water, and salt to ward off the harmful spirit proved to be fruitless as she now pointed out to the one police officer's arm, “Look, you’re covered with goose pimples!”

Fast forward to a 1970’s newspaper article that documents a call to HPD regarding a haunted house. Whether it’s the same house from the previous story from 1942 is unknown, what is known is that the urgent call comes from three girls who are sharing a house in a neighborhood that has a reputation for being haunted. The girls heard strange noises in the house and felt unusual physical sensations, consequently, their call to HPD involved a request for the officers to follow them (the three girls) to Papakolea where one of the girls lived. The HPD officers obliged until the girls pulled their car into the parking lot of the old Oasis Inn on Wai’alae. According to the report that the police officer would later file, the girl sitting in the middle of the front seat began fighting off something that was strangling her, however, there was nothing there.

The officer left his car and reached into the girls’ car to assist, but said that he was grabbed by a big calloused hand that was not there. It was completely invisible but it twisted his arm; that’s when he ran back to his squad car and radioed for assistance. The officer then put the hysterical girl in his car and urged her friends to follow him but the squad car wouldn’t start. The second he placed the girl back in her own car, she was attacked again. 

Fast forward to 1994 when a book about Obake and ghost stories in Hawai’i is written and published by a professor of American history at Tokai International College in Honolulu.

The book is a story about a fictional character named, “Mc Dougal” who is a hardened private eye with the Honolulu International Detective Agency. The tale is written in the old pulp novel style with a no-nonsense edge to it; through his partner Kats Oyama, the unwitting detective becomes involved in a world of sex, betrayal and the supernatural. Without going through the entire account, (because you should read it yourself) I will tell you that Mc Dougal becomes an eyewitness to the horrific deeds of the Kasha. In this tale at least, the Kasha tears people limb from limb until there are literally only pieces left. At one point in the story, Mc Dougal himself is nearly killed twice by the Kasha. There seem to be two different versions here of what the function of the Kasha is supposed to be. Is it a collector and consumer of dead corpses or is it a super poltergeist-like being that is conjured by a Japanese curse like Sutra to tear its victim's limb from limb? In the actual real-life cases, it is a 10-year-old boy who smells the presence of a ghost that ends up harassing his sisters. Later, three teenage girls are assaulted by a ghost in a Kaimuki house. With both instances, it is indeed a clear cut case of a Poltergeist who uses the 10-year-old boy as a human agent with which to interact physically with whoever is present. Remember also, that at the time of the 1942 article, the Hawaiian woman is under adverse circumstances because she states that her husband has abandoned her and the children. So too are one of the teenage girls in the second story an agent of a poltergeist because it also assaults the very police officer who is trying to help them. Hardly is it a formless fog of black smoke who tore anyone apart. As per the location of the actual Kaimuki home? If you take careful note of the Kasha story in Glen Grant's book, the exact location of the house is never mentioned. Neither is it mentioned in the two newspaper articles which were printed thirty years apart from one another. Where then, is the real Harding Avenue house that has become a real estate nightmare?  A consensus will tell you that it was the house on 8th and Harding. There was indeed a documented case of a murder that took place in that house, but does that make it the actual haunted house in Kaimuki? There are many other homes in the Kaimuki track where even more horrendous murders have taken place, but does it make those homes the Kasha house?

Personally, I can tell you that on a Saturday back in 1999 when Glen Grant drove me along the route of the old Ghosthunters Bus Tour, he pointed to the second to the last house on the left of 2nd Avenue and Harding. He briefly mentioned that there might have been a headstone in the back of that house where the ghost of the mother-in-law in the infamous Kasha story was buried. That house according to Glen  Grant was THE Kasha house of Kaimuki.

It was said in an article that from either one of the haunted houses in question, one had a direct view of Pu’u ‘O Kaimuki and Diamond Head. If you think about it, it’s a very general description because years ago you could have witnessed the same view from most places in Kaimuki. My conclusion by that description is that in the years past when houses in Kaimuki were condemned to make room for what is now the freeway, the Kasha house may have been one of those condemned homes that fell victim to progress. Therefore, the house may no longer exist except in online blogs that will reincarnate this story time and time again, thanks to the account of a fictional detective from a bygone era. Today, the homes on 2nd Avenue as well as the house on 8th Avenue are like old memories that are fished out of boxes filled with archaic photographs depicting times, places, and people who are no longer with us. Those houses are gone, replaced by duplex styled condominiums. Even the stories that made them famous are like shadows that dissipate as the light appears in the east. 

To conclude, I must emphasize that the story regarding the Kasha of Kaimuki is a fictional account as is Mc Dougal himself. Glen Grant so much as says so in his preface in ‘Obake Ghost Stories In Hawai’i’ and in all of his following books. Yes, it is said that in every story of fiction there is a morsel of truth. The truth is that the Kasha sometimes took on the form of a “Bake-Neko” which is a common house cat or a stray. Did anyone happen to notice several stray cats that populate the Kaimuki area?