4 Places You Probably Didn’t Know Are Haunted in Honolulu

The stories behind these lesser-known haunts.

If you’re looking for ghosts, you might want to sign up for a ghost tour. If you want to stay away from stray spirits, then you’ll probably want to avoid these lesser-known spots on O‘ahu that are reportedly haunted. We met with Lopaka Kapanui, storyteller and founder of Mysteries of Hawai‘i ghost tours, to see what secrets he’d spill.  


1. Pu‘u‘iki Cemetery

This cemetery in Waialua might look ordinary to passersby, but upon closer inspection there’s an unusual headstone that reads: Born 1923. Died 1916. “Isn’t that strange?” Kapanui says. “It’s backward. It’s a very, very old headstone. I’ve never figured out if it’s purposeful or an accident.” Kapanui says the headstone belongs to a young girl, but the cause of her death is unknown. “It’s not an unusual thing at night to see bright green fireballs flying over the cemetery,” he says. 


2. Maunalua Bay

Maunalua Bay
Photo: Kelli Bullock 


There are some ghosts you’re never supposed to look at (hint: night marchers). During the last four nights of the Hawaiian lunar calendar, old-timers reported spotting two or three double-hulled canoes floating on the waters of Maunalua Bay. “It’s not the Hōkūleʻa,” Kapanui says. “It’s not the Hawai‘i Loa.” Kapanui says they claim to see fiery torches and hear the chilling sounds of drums. A Haha‘ione Valley resident supposedly followed the canoes on foot around Portlock and Haunama Bay until the sounds disappeared at the Makapu‘u Lighthouse. 


3. Puea Cemetery

The Puea Cemetery is next to the Ka‘ahumanu Society Cemetery in Kalihi. If you stand across the street, you’ll notice the stark difference between the two cemeteries: The Puea has fallen into disrepair, while the Ka‘ahumanu has well-manicured grass. At the Puea, you’ll find the grave of Joseph Kahahawai Jr., who was among five local men accused by socialite Thalia Massie in the infamous alleged rape trial when it ended in a hung jury. Kahahawai was kidnapped and killed by Thomas Massie and two other Navy men, who were eventually convicted of manslaughter but their 10-year sentence was commuted to just one hour in the governor’s office. Kahahawai’s gravestone reads: Born Dec. 25, 1909, Killed Jan. 8 1932. “Where Joseph is buried is the only area in that cemetery that has green growing grass,” Kapanui says. 


4. Makapu‘u Lookout

Makapuu Lookout
Image: Google Maps 


This scenic lookout is a popular hike for tourists and locals alike. Kapanui says his Waimānalo friends like to walk their dogs at the Makapu‘u Lookout parking lot late at night. “They have seen white flaming orbs shooting up into the air, but they’ve never been able to determine where they’re coming from,” Kapanui says. The displays lasted for about five to six minutes. 


Read More Stories by Diane Lee