Who Ya Gonna Call?

Oahu's own ghost busters investigate claims of hauntings.

Team meeting among members of the Hawaiian Island Ghost Hunters

Photo: courtesy Hawaiian Island Ghost Hunters

When Blaise Atabay first moved into his Wahiawa home—where his wife’s grandparents had lived—he felt they weren’t alone. Of course, they shared the house with his wife’s sister and her family. But there was something— or someone—else, he felt, moving from room to room.

“You’d see something in the corner of your eye,” says Atabay, an investigator for the medical examiner’s office.

Blaise taking EMF readings at Pacific Isle Mortgage.

Photo: Courtesy of Hawaiian Island Ghost Hunters

Inspired by their experience, Atabay and his brother-in-law, Preston Galera, earlier this year started Hawaiian Island Ghost Hunters, a team of about six investigators who—for free—help prove or disprove a haunting. The response has been so great, they’re putting in full-time hours to work on cases.

 “We’re not in it for the fame,” says Atabay. “We’re in this to help people.”

Using camcorders, cameras, digital voice recorders, digital thermometers and electromagnetic field meters, the crew tries to come up with logical explanations for flickering lights, phantom shadows or detached voices.

At one site, a recreation center, they determined that the wind was causing the door to rattle. But the footsteps they heard on the wooden bleachers in the empty gym, well, that was different.

“We split up, and it happened to both of our teams,” says Galera. “That validated the claim. We all heard it.”

But they’re not like the guys in Ghostbusters, who will remove specters.

Don’t even expect a blessing.

“We’re not priests. We’re investigators,” Galera says. “We just provide you with proof.”

Hawaiian Island Ghost Hunters, 377-6503, or www.hawaiianislandghosthunters.com.