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Oahu's Most Haunted Places

Some spots are more active—paranormally speaking—than others.


ILLUSTRATIONS BY EDWIN USHIRO
For the tale that inspired "The Diligent Night," visit www.mrushiro.com


For generations, spooky stories about creepy public bathrooms or hitchhiking spirits have been swapped around hibachis and water coolers. Some are rooted in Hawaiian history; others are urban legends. And still others are so deeply personal, it’s almost impossible to dismiss them.

Here’s a list of haunted haunts, some known and others not, that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
 

Old Waialae Drive-In Theater on Waialae Avenue: This outdoor theater, which closed in the 1980s, was next to an old graveyard. For years there were stories about a faceless woman who haunted the women’s bathroom, pounding on stall doors or appearing in the mirror. According to some accounts, the figure didn’t have feet, either.

The banyan tree at the start of Manoa Falls Trail: Banyan trees are said to hold lost spirits. But the one at the trailhead of Manoa Falls isn’t a peaceful holding area for these roaming souls. According to “Uncle Joe” Espinda, a tour guide on Oahu Ghost Tours, this tree is in the path of the night marchers, ghosts of ancient Hawaiian warriors. On some nights, he says, you can hear the faint sound of drumming.

 

Pacific Isle Mortgage, 379 Kamehameha Highway Suite B, in Pearl City: Workers in this two-story building reported strange, unexplained activity. One woman felt someone playing with her hair. Another heard children laughing and running through the hallways.

Wahiawa Elementary School, 1402 Glen Ave.: Sightings of the Green Lady, a scaly female creature, have been reported from Connecticut to Canterbury. And for several decades, people in Wahiawa have claimed to see the same apparition, appearing in the wooded area next to the school.

Atlas Insurance Building, 1150 S. King St.: Residents who lived on this property prior to the building’s construction say a tormented spirit haunted the area. Patrons of Karaoke Room 2, which moved out of the building a few years ago, reported feelings of uneasiness in the women’s restroom. Some claimed they’ve seen a ghost appear in the bathroom mirror.

The 16th Avenue bridge in Kaimuki: Six years ago, a little girl was killed in a hit-and-run on this bridge. Residents say her spirit still haunts the area, asking pedestrians for help home, only to disappear at the end of the bridge.

Kipapa Gulch in Mililani: This was the site of a major battle in Hawaiian history. The bridge that spans the ravine has been the site of numerous head-on accidents. The gulch is also supposedly on the path of the night marchers, who proceed with torches from the mountains to the ocean. Residents and those who work in the area have reported seeing lights move down the mountainside and into the gulch and hearing the sounds of people crying under the bridge.

Oahu Community Correctional Center, 2199 Kamehameha Highway in Kalihi: This 950-bed jail is on the site of the former Oahu Prison. The gallows, where 47 men were hanged from 1909 to 1944, was converted into an office. Guards say they have difficulty sleeping in the squad room, which is located next to the execution chamber. And prisoners have reported hearing cell doors rattle.

Hamilton Library at the University of Hawaii-Manoa: Custodians and students claim they’ve heard strange noises and seen apparitions lurking in the library aisles and in the bathrooms. One janitor reported seeing a young woman dressed in a pink muumuu walking around the mauka wing of the first floor.
 

Want to know more about Oahu’s Most Haunted Places? Writer Catherine Toth used the following sources:
 

Obake Ghost Stories in Hawaii and Obake Files, by Glen Grant.

Haunted Hawaiian Nights, by Lopaka Kapanui

Preston Galera, of the Hawaiian Island Ghost Hunters

Joe Espinda, of Oahu Ghost Tours

And various local families
 

 

HONOLULU Magazine invites you to comment on our articles and the issues they raise. Comments are moderated for offensive language, commercial messages and off-topic posts. Some comments may be chosen for inclusion in the magazine on the Feedback page, if name and city are included. Comments are moderated as time allows.

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Comments, page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 Next »
Apr 6, 2009 08:15 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Theres a haunting in Waialua. The story is that the old brick stack(when you come off the winding road going to waialua high & enter. school)someone got locked and traped in there. Now when ever people goes in it he/she wants to switch places with the person who goes in it.

Apr 18, 2009 01:33 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

In Hawaiian Island Ghost Hunters' video of their investigation of Pacific Isle Mortgage, they claimed the building to be NOT haunted.

Dec 27, 2009 04:13 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

There is a haunting legend at Morgan's Corner. According to some people, there was an old woman by the name of Theresa Wilder who lived in a small house near Dr. James Morgan's villa he built in 1948. One late night, two burglars looking for food burglarized the house and tortured the 68 year old woman and left her to die. They gagged her until she was unconscious, then hun her on a tree right outside the house. Some say that if you visit Morgan's Corner, you can hear screams from Mrs. Wilder and glowing orbs, what is believed to be spirits, can be found around the location also.

Jan 28, 2010 10:38 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

One night on assignment this couple stopped and asked me if this is the spot where such and such is filming and i said yes it is right down that road is the shooting area , we got too talking and for some reason the gentleman asked me if this place is haunted i told him i had heard some stories but hav'nt experienced anything myself after i said that his wife brought out there digital camera showed me a picture of a scenic shot that they had taken from a spot on the trail in too the right in the picture was an outline of a human figure floating above the trees this had taken place at Paradise Cove....

May 5, 2010 06:07 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Well there's a haunting in the bathroom of Old Maui High, that when you enter the last stall of the bathroom, you'll see a teenage girl bleeding to death wanting to kill you.
I haven't personally seen it myself but I may think it's true. They said try going in there at night with your flashlights, because there is no lights and it is always dark.

Sep 3, 2010 02:26 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Many say those who live on Oahu are visited by creatures throughout the house such as huge cocroaches and geckos. Some elderly locals say these are descendants who have passed away that are too attached to you so they keep coming back.

Sep 13, 2010 02:55 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

In Ewa, by Zippyz right next to the highway there is a very old graveyard. I useto live in those old ewa houses near the graveyard. And people say that the graveyard was much larger before, and some of the.houses cover up some of the graves and i believe its true because when i use to live there.. strange things happened

Sep 28, 2010 04:00 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

One night I got off of work late and walked up to the pali to wait for the 57 bus going home. While waiting at the light to cross this lady taps me on the shoulder "excuse me can i have a drink of water" She came out of no were! Mind you before she tapped me on the shoulder i was just about to open it. So handed it to her she said "Mahalo" and then she turned and said "your bus is coming bebe good thing are heading your way" and i turned to see if it was and when i turned back to say thank you....she was gone?

Who ever she was Thank you Auntie:)

Oct 31, 2010 04:10 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

doe theaters by honolulu harbor is supposed to be haunted because a school bus filled with kamehameha school children crashed and kids have died in that bus doe theaters then built there theater legend says if u go to bathroom 104 you will hear the screams and crys of the children that died on the bus and if u go to theater 104 you will see a old man sitting in the top left corner of the theater he is known to be a ghost

Nov 5, 2010 07:34 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Does anyone know if Kaimuki area is haunted? Specifically by little girl. Could there have been a death?

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