5 Haunted Downtown Honolulu Hotspots
Get into the Halloween spirit with these five ghost stories from downtown Honolulu.
This story originally appeared online in October 2015.
Photo: Diane Lee
Honolulu is full of history, which means plenty of stories of poltergeists in paradise. These ghost stories have been passed down from generation to generation. We rounded up five haunted downtown Honolulu hotspots.
Post Office on Merchant Street
A postal worker who worked at the Merchant Street post office for many years allegedly walked to Kapi‘olani Park from his house in Waikīkī, found a tree and hanged himself from it. The next day, the supervisor at the post office received the news and relayed the information to his employees that their co-worker had killed himself the night before. After hearing the news, the employees became very upset, as if their supervisor had played a cruel joke on them. After much confusion, the employees finally told him that they saw their co-worker come into work that morning, sorting mail like he always does. The supervisor confirmed the report of their co-worker hanging from a tree in Kapi‘olani Park the night before–indeed, it turns out that everyone that morning had seen his ghost. –As told by Lopaka Kapanui of Mysteries of Hawai‘i
Hawai‘i State Capitol
Former State Senator Eloise Tungpalan use to bring her daughter to her office at the State Capitol, where her daughter would wait until Tungpalan was done with work. One day, Tungpalan noticed that her daughter was talking to someone. She also saw her playing with a ball and bouncing it around as if she were playing with another person. Tungpalan asked her daughter who she was playing with, and her daughter said it was a nice Hawaiian lady. Tungpalan thought nothing of it. The next morning, the statue of Queen Lili‘uokalani that stands in front of the State Capitol was unveiled, and her daughter said, “Mom, that’s the lady who played with me at the office.” –As told by Lopaka Kapanui
The Blaisdell Hotel
This building was built in the 1930s and is one of the oldest hotels in Hawai‘i. It’s no longer a hotel, but serves as a place for businesses and the Hawai‘i Pacific University Sea Warrior Center. In its heyday, though, the hotel was a place for sailors to stay when they came to Hawai‘i during WWII, and some people claim the ghost of a Navy man lurking on the third floor of the building. Javier Fombellida, an elevator operator at the Blaisdell Hotel, says, “I don’t see anything, but I heard that a hotel guest jumped out of the window of her room.” Fombellida says some of the tenants claim to see a little girl or a Hawaiian man in the halls. There are also reports of a former owner who hanged himself in the basement of the building. Fombellida took us there, claiming that the rope was still intact. We didn’t see it, but that doesn’t mean we don’t believe it.
In 1810, the largest site for human sacrifices, Pākākā Heiau, was located where Fort Street Mall is today. Pākākā was owned by Kamehameha V’s mother, Kīnaʻu. The walls of Pākākā were decorated with the heads of men offered in sacrifice. Some say that a headless ghost still walks around the area late at night.
Opium Dens in Downtown Honolulu
It’s no surprise that Chinatown has a gritty and dark past. WWII service men needed a place for entertainment, and Chinatown was near their shipyard. Drugs, sex and alcohol ruled the 1940s era, but if you dare to dig 40 years earlier to the 1900s, there was a grimier past. Below Nu‘uanu Avenue were underground tunnels that led to opium dens. In fact, the now closed Indigo restaurant had a section called the Green Room and Opium Den. People claim that the tunnels are haunted, and it was rumored that an entire horse and carriage were found in the dens.