Kawaihae Home Hawaiian Islands Home Pacific Worlds Home



The Sea

The Land





‘Aumakua |  Night Marchers  |  Ghosts  |  Akualele |  Burials  |  Language |  Sources & Links




“My Dad always used to say, on the darkest night you will find uhane, the spirit, it travels,” Pua says. “And you’ll hear music, like it’s coming down a wire. Beautiful, beautiful Hawaiian music and it’s only meant for the person who they want to hear it. And that always happened to my Mom. She always used to say, ‘Oh Daddy, you hear the beautiful Hawaiian music?’ They conversed to each other in Hawaiian—because we didn’t understand Hawaiian, very little—and she’d go, ‘Here, Daddy, listen, coming from up here, beautiful Hawaiian music,’ and he’d go, ‘Mama, you okay?’ And she’d say, ‘Yea, beautiful Hawaiian music, Daddy.’ He’d say, “Tcha!, go to sleep. You tired, go to sleep.’ But you know, she’d tell the story that how this beautiful music used to play and it’s only meant for one person."



“Well, that’s what my Mom used to say. And it wasn’t ‘wire’; she used a Hawaiian word, but that’s the only way I can put it. She always used to say, ‘Daddy, Daddy, up here, up here, by the wire.’ And he’d go, ‘Mama, I no hear.’ She said, ‘Yea, nice Hawaiian music.’ She could hear it. And she’d go with the music.”

‘Ilima associates this music with the Night Marchers: “You would hear lovely music that you never hear. You never heard any Hawaiian group play such lovely Hawaiian music. And the thing is about Hawaiian marchers and even when they are singing, if you’re listening, you won’t hear them, if you are purposely listening. Because you hear this nice music. It’s like in your subconscious, if you’re aware.”



Hawaiian pahu (drum).



“Several times, not only in Kawaihae but here in Kohala,” ‘Ilima continues, “my husband would go down to the beach and get some crabs, and all of a sudden his flashlight wouldn’t work. And then he would smell something, and everything would be dark. And you'd know that there is a presence there.

"And if, while you are fishing or doing whatever you do at the beach, all of a sudden you may have been catching fish, and all of a sudden you don’t catch, it’s time to go home. There is somebody there.

“Sometimes you can see the light going to and fro, and you know that there is nobody else there. But you see the light on the water, coming this way. And my husband says, ‘It’s time for us to go home, because there is somebody there.’ If they went crabbing, usually what they do is they throw the crab, or throw whatever you caught, just get rid of it, because they say that they want it, and then as soon as you do, your light goes back on, your car can start and you go can home. It’s happened to several people that I know of."



“Once on the way to Kawaihae from Kohala, with my husband, his brother and a brother-in-law, they had to stay there until the morning. Their car wouldn’t start because they refused to give the crab. But as soon as the sun came up, they started the car and they went. A lot of people, whatever they had, they would just throw it: ‘Here you can have it.’ Or some people, Hawaiian people would be so brave, they say, ‘Go catch your own.’ Yes, it happened."

"The old Hawaiians believed that when you travel at night," Pua states, "or any time during the day and you have pork or you have fish, or you have something and you’re traveling to go home, and all of a sudden your car stops, it doesn’t go no more. And my Dad used to get out of the car and he used to go around, and sometimes we get scared because he said that somebody wanted what we had in our car. They wanted our fish, or they wanted whatever, and he said, he not giving it them. He’d talk in Hawaiian to them, he’d go make shishi outside by the tire."



"I mean, it’s weird. And we used to be so scared, but that’s how you stop that. And then you get in the truck and off we go. So these would be like evil spirits following and they would want what we have and he'd say NO. He’d swear and he’d talk all in Hawaiian, telling them in Hawaiian, ‘No, no, no, no. You like? You go get your own. This is mine, for my family.’ But that’s how it was.

“Today it’s so modern, but my children believed in this, because I taught them that. My youngest son, he doesn’t travel with any kind of food at night. He will not take anything that I give him. He says, ‘Ma, I don’t go far up the road and I get stuck.’ I said, ‘You know what, that’s old stuff. Today is modern.’ During my days, my parents believed in all of these things and as long as you believe in them it’s going to work."


Mountain Road

Kohala Mountain road, heading towards Waimea from Kohala.


Mountain Road

Ironwoods lining the upper reaches of the Kohala Mountain road.


"Down the mountain road, Kawaihae Uka," Pua's husband Louie recalls, "well, I worked on a dredge, and I used to come from Kohala. And they have this road, this mauka road come down to Kawaihae. This one time I went up, I worked the swing shift, up ‘till 12:00 o’clock in the night. I was driving back, and coming around the turn I see this small dog, small dog with a short chain, running on the road. Right in front of the car on the road. And the chain would spark on the road.

"As the dog would go further, the dog would get bigger. And still the chain gets longer and sparks. Go further on down, it came about the size of a St. Bernard, with a long chain. I turned the car around, I went back about two miles and I slept on the side of the road until the next day, and I went home. I don’t believe it. I don’t believe in things like that, but I’ve seen it. I don’t believe it."



“Certain time of the year," Pua continues, "you can hear people walking in my home. You can hear the door open and you can hear the door close. And that is not a lie. That is the God’s truth. Sometimes I’m in my room at night and I’m watching TV, and I hear this pitter-patter pitter-patter pitter-patter and I try to look and see if I can see anything, but no.

"I would get up and I’d peep out of the door, ‘Oh, what happened.’ Or I’ll call, I say ‘Alika!’ But he’s sound asleep. So I said, ‘Ah, that’s O.K. go, go, go, go, go, go.’ Or some time, my kitchen door opens and I go, ‘Oh,’ and Louie, he looks at me and it’s so strange, I say, ‘Ah, it’s my Mom and Dad. Come Mom, come eat, come eat breakfast.’

"And I go, ‘If you can open the door, try close them, so I don’t have to get up and close the door.’"


Pua's house

Pua's sometimes-haunted house.



Houses in the Hawaiian Homestead lots—probably not the one discussed here.


"And sometimes we’re eating out here, camping like this, sound like thunder in our house, because somebody is fighting. And I witnessed that for myself. And I’m not lying, that is the God’s truth.

“We have this couple, they’re trying to build a house. But the carpenters who were building the home said that they could hear people talking in that house. The boss was thinking that maybe it’s one of his guys, but when he goes to check, ‘What were you saying?’ and they go, ‘Why, we’re not talking to anyone.’ But he said, ‘I heard people talking in this house.’ So they left. The homeowners know that there is some talking going on around here. And I don’t think they moved in yet.”

“Guys working in the yard, they hear somebody talking, nobody around, daytime,” Louie adds.

"I always felt that it’s an old area," Ku‘ulei says. "And my auntie next door, she tells me that Kawaihae is an old place. There are lots of things here. You could see the spirits here. But I always feel like my family’s still here. You always feel that on Kawaihae."



"If you look at types of ‘ana’ana (sorcery)," Mel says, "Hawaiians were very good at that. My Great-Grandfather—my paternal great-grandfather in Kahalu‘u, O‘ahu—was somewhat of a Lua master. There is a step that is not taught. He can hit you dead by touching you. Very few Hawaiians had this innate power. He was able to say the words and you would die. This happened to a couple in the family who stole some gold coins from him. Both husband and wife died, leaving a family without parents. My mother wrote it down and she told us how it happened. My oldest brother was the youngest baby of the parents who died. My father made him hanai (adopted him) to our family.

"He would lie down and the ‘uhane (spirit) would leave his body. When the ‘uhane returned, my Grandpa’s toes would wiggle and we would know that the ‘uhane had reentered his body. He would share with my Dad and Mother where he went and who he saw."

A different type of Hawaiian sorcery also occurred at Kawaihae. The older residents discuss the phenomenon of akualele.



‘Aumakua |  Night Marchers  |  Ghosts  |  Akualele |  Burials  |  Language |  Sources & Links
Arrival |  A Native Place |  The Sea |  The Land |  Footprints |  Visitors |  Memories |  Onwards
Kawaihae Home |  Map Library |  Site Map |  Hawaiian Islands Home |  Pacific Worlds Home