Tales from da crypt

A group of 24 brave souls -including a MidWeek writer and photographer -set out on a mission one recent Saturday evening to search Oahu for the spirits of those who came before us.

Friday - October 26, 2007
By Kerry Miller
E-mail this story | Print this page | Archive

The orb of a ghost appears over the shoulder of Uncle Joe Espinda

recalls the story of two chiefs -one on the Leeward side and another on the Windward side. On the Leeward side, people were living in desert conditions, starving, while in Windward Oahu there was an abundance of water and food.

“These two chiefs wanted to come together in the spirit of lokahi (sharing). One chief says we want to build a place where we can worship, where we can bury our dead, a place for all times to remember us by,” Espinda says.

The people of both villages (100,000 in total) traveled along a trail to the eventual heiau site. The duty of everybody from Waianae all the way to the Windward side was to carry rocks, which would have to be passed on to others, through whole families, to keep peace.

Espinda says that whatever spirits that may have followed the group from Morgan’s Corner to this site will remain at the heiau and be dealt with by good spirits.

My fellow travelers and I are growing weary as the hour gets late, but Uncle Joe only has two more stops in store for his nighttime adventure.

At Manoa Children’s Cemetery, Espinda asks the two young girls on the tour to offer candy to the spirits of the children residing inside as a peace offering of sorts to allow the group safe passage.

He reminds the girls that the ti leaves they carry are used to ward off evil spirits, to keep spirits in the graveyard. He tells everyone that some tombstones have rocks on top of them to keep the evil spirits in.

The group hears the story of a tall tree at the cemetery. The tree is more than 150 years old and the Chinese believe it to be a portal between this life and the afterlife. The tree has been known to suddenly burst into flames, as is evidenced by its charred inside, in which you can stand.

“Sometimes you will find orbs -most of the spirits up here are pretty rested. Most orbs will be of the bright white color. We do have floating spirits float across the graveyard - usually a boy praying, sometimes a woman floating across on the top of all the headstones.You can take a good photo of Waikiki right through there. They got two-legged paranormal,” Espinda jokes.

At last the group goes in search of the legendary nightmarcher at the entrance to Manoa Falls. During the daylight hours, hikers encounter only bugs, perhaps, and warm tropical air. At night, small sounds in the woods are spooky, and Espinda lets everyone know that the warm air that is harmless during the day could mean nightmarchers are nearby.

“Nightmarchers, I don’t like to deal with. Never did, never like them. They are an evil spirit. When they died the only thing in their mind was to kill you. Please take warning, protect yourself at all times.”

Legend says that nightmarchers are the spirits of ancient warriors who roam various sections of the island, particularly those that were once battlefields.If you look a night-marcher in the eye, you could disappear and never be seen again, so Hawaiians say you should lie down and avoid face contact.

About 20 minutes go by. The group waits for a sign of the night-marchers. We spot a few orbs and Espinda repeats his Hawaiian chant to keep everyone safe.

Suddenly, someone says they smell something funny, like rotting flesh, a sign which Espinda mentioned earlier could mean the nightmarchers are around.

With the help of his “ghost meter” - a glowing, buzzing device that senses energy -Espinda says “we’re starting to get activity more than usual” and decides it is time for the group to leave.

Back to the Oahu Ghost Tour vans we went, all 24 safely intact, having survived the “Orbs of Oahu” tour. None of us looked behind as we drove away ... who knows what we would have seen?

Oahu Ghost Tours is a subsidiary of The Real Hawaii Eco-Cultural Excursions and offers tours during the day and night, both driving and walking, including the “Sacred Spirits” driving tour, “Honolulu City Haunts” walking tour and the “Orbs of Oahu” driving tour.

For more information, visit them online at www.oahughosttours.com or call 524-4944 for reservations and information.

Page 2 of 2 pages for this story  <  1 2

E-mail this story | Print this page | Archive | RSS

Get a GEICO Quote.




Wayne Thomas, Danielle Lenix, Santa, Alicia Hultin, Shannon Johnson and Emm The Elf
were spotted at the Mad Dog Saloon