Haunted Honolulu

Photo courtesy of The Obake Hunter taken at the Mission Houses Museum

It’s that time of year, when ghost stories from around Oahu are re-told to get people into the spirit of Halloween (October 31) and the Mexican Día de los Muertos (November 1 and 2), also known as the Day of the Dead.

You’ve probably heard the same tales of haunted spots time and again: The Kasha of Kaimuki, the Kakaako fire station, the old Waialae Drive-In, the barracks at Barber’s Point. Have you heard of some of these other stories? These are just a few that I’ve collected from friends and acquaintances:

Ricky L.’s friends lived in the Moana Pacific condominium and would see handprints on the glass outside, but figured it was from the window washers. They sometimes saw a shadow in their unit, but hoped it was their imagination. The last straw in a series of incidents happened one night, when their baby was crying, the wife went to the room to check on it, and saw a shadow standing over the baby, clearly a local guy, trying to calm it down. They moved out the next day.

Amy H. lived in an apartment called Wilder House (on Wilder Ave., of course) and noted that appliances would often turn on by themselves. Her neighbor across the hall reported the same thing. Did it have anything to do with the fact that her one big picture window had a panoramic view of the cemetery across the street?

Kris S. and the women in her family have a gift for seeing spirits. Her cousin lived in a house near the old Aiea Sugar Mill, and one night went to the bathroom to take a shower. She screamed when she found a little old Japanese man in the bathroom with her! Upon further research, the family discovered that the man—now dead—had previously lived in the house and worked at the sugar mill. The precise time that she saw him in the bathroom was after he finished his usual shift, and he had come home to take a shower as he normally did when he was alive.

Lisa K. says she had a woman in her unit at Kukui Plaza: “We had things flying off walls and shelves, channels changing, timers turning on and off, rattling items, doors opening, and an actual sighting.

“We were told to put a pile of salt on a white piece of paper; we also messed around with a seance but that made her more active,” Lisa says. “It didn't do anything because shortly thereafter, my two roommates and I saw her in person, at the same time. All white, wearing a dress.”

Phil, who is known as “The Obake Hunter,” says that the Kakaako condo Honuakaha has had its share of unexplained incidents. In one case, a woman reported that when the elevator doors opened one day, three large Hawaiian men were standing in it. She didn’t think anything of it until she stepped inside, and realized none of them had any feet. She caught the elevator door before it closed, exited the elevator, and has used the stairs ever since.

As I walked around the Mission Houses on Saturday night with the guys from Spooky Kine Investigations—the local version of Ghost Hunters—we found blips of energy using their special equipment and sensors.

I asked Gabe Delaragon and Matt Terada if these were true indicators of paranormal activity. “Not always,” Terada says, as the scientist of the group. “If there is wiring in the wall, that can cause the sensors to go off. Electromagnetic fields can make people feel strange, paranoid, even fill them with dread.”

Is that what we experienced, or did that spirit in Levi Chamberlain’s home office really want us to leave? Click here for a related blog and video—wait till the end!

Do you have any first hand experience with ghosts? Share your stories, here!