The Legend of Wai‘anae’s Haunted Mākua Cave

This underground sea cave is reportedly haunted.


This story originally appeared online in October 2015.


Makua Cave

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino


According to the Hawaiian legend, Kaneana Cave is home to the underground shark God Nanaue, the son of Kamohoali‘i or King of Sharks, the most sacred brother of the fire goddess Pele. Nanaue had an appetite for human flesh and disguised himself as a man to trick humans. It’s said that weary travelers visiting Mākua Cave at night are sometimes invited to join an old, wrinkled Hawaiian man tending to meat sizzling over a fire. As soon as the tired traveler becomes lethargic from eating the meat, the old man transforms into a shark. Nanaue kills the traveler and leaves the body to rot for three weeks, before consuming the meat. ​Mākua Cave is supposedly an active hotspot for the spirits of those who died there. This haunted Wai‘anae site has become a repository for psychic energy, says storyteller Lopaka Kapanui. 





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