Scary Ghost Stories from Hawai‘i’s “Haunted” Plantation Village

We met with Hawai‘i Plantation Village executive director Jeffrey Higa, who shared some chilling ghost stories from Waipahu’s historic sugar plantation.


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This story originally appeared online in 2014.


From 1850 to 1950, Hawai‘i’s Plantation Village housed Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, Puerto Rican, Filipino and Hawaiian sugar plantation laborers. Today, local guides give hour-long tours to tourists and school groups visiting the 50-acre village to learn about immigrant life back then. 


Of the 25 plantation houses, about half of them are reputedly haunted. The Portuguese family house is said to be haunted by a ghostly young girl from the plantation’s past. At the Puerto Rican house, there are reports that the Japanese doll mysteriously appears outside of its case. One worker claimed a choking ghost from the Okinawan home followed him home. The Sy-fy Channel’s Ghost Hunters team once visited the village to investigate the reports of paranormal sightings.


Hawai‘i’s Plantation Village executive director Jeffrey Higa admits he didn’t believe in ghosts or spirits when he first started working at the village in 2006. That changed after Higa was forced to deal with numerous supernatural reports from visitors, tour guides, workers and even haunted-house actors, he says. People aren’t allowed to work alone in the houses; as a safety precaution, they work in pairs. 


Higa doesn’t even visit the village alone either. He usually brings his 55-pound Collie to work. 


“He’s a Collie, he never barks,” Higa says. “But, all of a sudden, he’ll stop and he’ll bark at something and there’s nothing there. And I go, ‘Ugh, I don’t want to turn that corner.’” 


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Honolulu Magazine March 2018
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