Thursday, November 24, 2011


VOLUNTEER this Sunday Nov. 27, 10 am – 2 pm at Haiku Valley, meet 9:30 at HPU's Hawai'i Loa Campus shuttle stop. Bring water, wear comfortable clothing, shoes, hats, and gloves; for ground clean up. STAY SPOOKY!


From Mālama mea hō‘ike mo‘olelo

Monday, October 17, 2011

CAMP KOKOKAHI - PART 2

AS EXPERIENCED BY: Wesley
LOCATION: Camp Kokokahi / Kāne‘ohe / O‘ahu / Hawai‘i
DATE: 1973


“Who’s next?”

We all looked at David Kamaka. David looked uncomfortable. “Why me?” he asked.

“Because,” slurred Dason, “you Hawaiian. You must get good ghost stories.”

David hesitated. “Nah, not really.”

Manuel passed the bottle of wine to David. “Come on, you scared or what?”

David shook his head. "No."

"So what then?" I asked. I handed him a cigarette.

David stared at the bottle of wine in one hand and the cigarette in the other. "My tutu said that. . ."

"Her grandson is a wuss?" finished Dason, punching David in the arm.

David didn't even flinch. "No, she said that when you talk about bad things, you invite them into your life."

"So you are scared," teased Karen. "You're worried your little story will evoke bad spirits."

Everyone laughed. Then we started to chant, "David! David!"

David took one last drag on the cigarette and extinguished it on the wooden plank, staring off into the distance. He stood up slowly, and proceeded to drink the entire bottle of wine without taking a breath. David roughly tossed the bottle to Dason.

“Fine,” he said. “I got a story.”

"Yeah!" Everyone cheered.

"This is a true story. It happened way before I was born, when my mom was just a keiki. One night, my tutu had finished putting my mom to bed and was in the living room watching television when she heard a scream. It wasn’t the normal cry from a baby who was hungry or needed a diaper change. My tutu said it was the most terrifying scream she'd ever heard. So she rushed into my mom's room and saw. . ."

David paused. Everyone seemed to lean forward, waiting for him to continue.

"Well?" asked Karen. "What did she see?"

"It still haunts my tutu til this day. And she's one tough lady. It was a menehune."

There was a sigh of relief and some people laughed.

"A menehune?" Dason asked. "I thought you were gonna say was one monster or something."

"Yeah," Karen said, "aren't they like cute little elves? Don't they build stuff?"

David shook his head, his jaw clenched. "Not this menehune."

"Okay, sorry," I said, seeing how agitated David had become because we weren't taking him seriously. "So what about your tutu?"

"My tutu saw this menehune with dark green skin like a reptile and reddish-orange hair. It was hunched over the cradle, its gnarled fingers around the baby’s neck, choking it. The baby's screams had stopped. 'Eh!' my tutu shouted. The green menehune continued to suffocate the baby but turned to look at my tutu, its sinister red eyes staring at her. It pointed at my tutu and laughed, a high-pitched laugh, mocking her, revealing its teeth, some decaying, some viciously sharp. She remembered stories her kupuna told her about evil menehune. The only way to get rid of them was to swear. So she swore at the menehune at the top of her lungs. She let out her anger and fear with the worst words she knew.

"Green Menehune"
By Gabriel Del Aragon

"The green menehune flinched and released my mom, who started to cry again. My tutu was relived that the baby was okay but she continued to swear. The green menehune cowered to a corner of the room, still laughing and pointing. My tutu intensified her swearing and walked towards the green menehune until it jumped out of a nearby window, its reddish-orange hair flowing behind it. My tutu rushed to comfort my mom and found the impression of a handprint where the green menehune had tried to squeeze the life out of her daughter. To this day, more than 40 years later, my mom still has that handprint on her neck."
Manuel walked over to David and sat down next to him. "I remember seeing your mom and wondering if that was a birthmark."

David shook his head. "It's not."

"She's lucky to be alive," I said, patting David on the back. "Good story, man."

Everyone clapped and Dason slurred, "I thought menehune were good."

"Not that green one with reddish-orange hair." David said.

Suddenly, without warning, the wind picked up and began blowing wildly. Empty bottles of wine fell over and rolled into the bay. Karen struggled to keep her hair out of her face and her skirt from flying up. We tried gathering our belongings but it had gotten so dark that we could barely see a thing. I looked up towards the moon and saw its light hidden behind a bunch of clouds, moving furiously, almost like mist. I couldn't believe my eyes as I watched the clouds part to reveal a ghostly white figure illuminated within the full moon's glow. The figure resembled an woman, with long white hair billowing wildly around her hunched body. Her bony arms reached forward as if longing for an embrace.

"What the?" Dason asked. He was looking up as well. "Am I that drunk?"

By this point everyone was staring at the moon, the womanly figure still there, beckoning.

"No, I see it, too," I said, shivering from the chilly torrent of wind.

"What do we do?" screamed Karen.

"We need to leave," David said, pointing to the other side of the pier. "Now!"

We all hurried as fast as we could down the pier, even though we were drunk, terrified and the wind threatened to blow us into the bay at any second. But we all got back to camp safely. No one said a word. The wind had died down and right before I entered my cabin, I forced myself to look up at the moon. The woman had disappeared.


EPILOGUE

That night at Camp Kokokahi was the first time I'd heard of the green menehune, but it wouldn't be the last.

About a year later, my friends and I were at a party in Wahiawa. Cute girls from Leilehua High School were there and we wanted to impress them. Dason started telling them spooky kine stories, hoping they would squeal and jump into our arms. He tried to tell them David’s story about the green menehune that we'd heard the year before at Camp Kokokahi. But he was so drunk that he forgot to describe what the menehune looked like. I rolled my eyes and continued to drink my beer.

Summer, a cute hapa girl, took a long drink from her red plastic cup and said, "Actually, something really strange happened to me recently."

"Yeah?" I asked, moving closer to her. "Tell us."

Summer hesitated. "You'll think I'm crazy."

"Or drunk!" shouted Dason, clinking his beer bottle on Summer's cup.

Summer snicked. "Well," she said, "one night, I arrived home late when I realized I forgot my house key. But I knew the backdoor would be open."

"Good to know!" Dason said, laughing.

“Shut up," I told my idiot friend. I put my hand on Summer's shoulder. "Go on."

“I opened the back door, which leads into the kitchen, as quietly as I could. I heard a rustling sound coming from inside. I figured it must have been my mom or sister. But when I walked into the kitchen, I saw. . .it was a. . ." She cringed. "I feel so stupid, you're gonna laugh."

I patted her shoulder, trying to comfort her. "What did you see?"

Summer bit her lip. "There was a green menehune sitting on one of the kitchen table chairs. I was so shocked, I yelled, "Holy, s**t!" I think I startled it because it looked up with these creepy red eyes then ran right past me, out of the house. I thought I was losing my mind."

"You're lucky it didn't kill you," I said. "Dason forgot to mention it, but that evil menehune he was talking about was green, too. Green with red eyes. It tried to choke our friend's mom to death when she was a baby."

"No," Summer said. "It probably wasn't the same thing."

"What else do you remember about it?" I asked. I wasn't even trying to scare her anymore. I just had to know.

"Well," Summer said,. "Its hair. As it ran past me, I noticed its reddish-orange hair flowing behind it."


WRITTEN BY: Courtney Kunimura
for Spooky Kine Investigations
SKI.ckunimura@gmail.com

ARTWORK BY: Gabriel Del Aragon
for Spooky Kine Investigations
SKI.gdelaragon@gmail.com

Friday, September 16, 2011

WHISTLING SAINT OF MOLOKAI‘I


November 02, 2010

SKI investigators Gabe and Wayne had been invited to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace to take a tour of Hawai‘i’s first Roman Catholic church. They were greeted by their knowledgeable guide who showed them around the church’s interior and shared with them stories about its history. They were pleasantly surprised to learn that the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace was the church at which Saint Damien had been ordained into the priesthood on May 21, 1864.





In one of the corners of the church stands a beautiful wooden display case made of Koa. Within this display case sits a small wooden box, which their guide said contains one of Saint Damien’s heel bones. Wayne asked the guide if they would allow him to take a few pictures of the amazing display. Their guide encouraged it, and Wayne walked over to the display case. Gabe stood about 10 feet away on Wayne's left taking pictures of the church’s front altar when Gabe began hearing some very unusual sounds. The following is an audio recording that they had been taking during that moment...



Monday, August 29, 2011

MYNAH HEALING


SKI REPORT #20091106-03
AS EXPERIENCED BY: Gabe
LOCATION: Kaimuki / O‘ahu / Hawai‘i
DATE: ?


I’ve noticed that whenever my wife travels and I’m alone in the house, strange things tend to happen. It’s as if the “coast is clear” for odd or creepy occurrences. Whenever my wife is around, bizarre incidents cease for some reason, or if something weird does happen, at least she’s there to validate that I hadn’t been imagining things and tell me, “Babe, you’re not crazy.” I deeply appreciate my wife’s unconditional love and reassurance.
One Wednesday evening in March, she left to compete with her hālau in the Merry Monarch Festival, a popular hula competition on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. The first night she was gone, I swear I felt something watching me. Watching me as I watched TV. Watching me as I brushed my teeth. Watching me as I got ready for bed.

There always seemed to be a strange presence in the room, like an uncomfortable pressure. All night I tossed and turned and as a result, didn’t get more than three hours of sleep. The following morning, Thursday, I felt like I was coming down with a cold. My sinuses were stuffed up and there was a tickle in my throat I couldn’t get rid of.

By Friday, I woke up completely nauseated and tired, with my stomach in knots. My head throbbed so painfully I could barely focus on anything else. I had a monthly meeting I had to go to that I never missed. I felt so sick I was thinking of canceling.

At that moment, my wife called to check on me. I told her how awful I felt and she asked if I was still going to the meeting, as she knew how important the meetings were to me. I was about to tell her that I wasn’t going, when I realized that if it were her, she would fight through her illness. So I sucked it up and told her I was going to the meeting. After she wished me well, I splashed some cold water on my face and pulled myself together as best I could and hopped in the car.

I managed the 15-minute drive without passing out and parked a couple of blocks from our meeting place. I sat in the driver’s seat, dreading the walk to the building. It wasn’t a particularly long walk, I was just worried I might faint on the street or do something equally as emasculating and embarrassing.

I hoisted myself out of the car when suddenly I heard a high-pitched chuckle. Startled, I looked around and saw a mynah bird staring at me from the telephone wire above my car. I hoped it would fly away and find somewhere else besides my car to do its business.

I started walking and turned at an intersection, when a shadow swooped past my head. It was that same mynah bird. It flew up onto the street sign in front of me, still staring.

Ignoring the pesky bird I continued on my way. But once again, the mynah flew past my head and perched upon a nearby fence. Annoyed, I clicked my tongue at the bird, but it wasn’t phased. I sighed and crossed the street onto the next block. As I continued my walk, the mynah stayed with me, repeating its pattern of swooping past me and landing a few yards in front of me. Fence to wire, wire to sign, sign to post. It kept pace with me all the way to the back entrance of the office building where our
meeting was being held.

As I approached the back gate, the mynah jumped onto the railing right next to me. Since the bird seemed so bold, out of curiosity I held out my hand towards it, it didn’t even flinch. I took out my cell phone from my pocket and snapped a photo of it next to my hand. The mynah unnervingly stared right into my eyes. “I'm going now, goodbye!”

Had I really just talked to a bird? I shook my head and walked into the courtyard heading toward the building stairwell. I took a deep breath and tried to clear my head, as the last thing I needed was to lose my balance and topple down the stairs. As I stepped onto the first stair, I felt a scratching upon my backpack.

I turned to see the mynah scurrying up my backpack! It climbed onto my shoulder and perched. Again, it stared into my eyes. “What? You wanna come with me?” The mynah didn’t move. It just sat there so I climbed up three flights of stairs feeling like some kind of crazy pirate with a bird on my shoulder. When I got to the meeting room I asked, “Are you coming to the meeting?” The fearless mynah didn’t move and continued to stare at me. I opened the door and entered the room.

As soon as the people present at the meeting saw my new friend, it flew out of the room. One of the ladies exclaimed, “What the heck was that?”

I told her it was a mynah bird and explained to everyone there what had happened. Another lady, Sherry, rolled her eyes and said, “Yeah, right!” But when she opened the door, we found that the had mynah had merely relocated to the outside railing.

“Quick, give me your cell phone,” Sherry said, “so I can take a picture of you and your new buddy.” I went to stand next to the mynah but as soon as Sherry raised the phone, the bird began to walk away.

“Move closer to it!” Sherry instructed, waving me closer to the bird.

I scooted towards the bird and Sherry pulled the phone up again. The mynah started moving away again so she quickly snapped the picture. She inspected it and said, “You need to get closer, the bird looks like it's hanging out in the background or something.”

Sherry stepped outside through the doorway and the bird flew away. But as it left, I realized that my stomachache had subsided and my head felt a lot better. The nausea was also gone and for the first time since my wife had left, I felt calm.

What makes this experience so unique is that Hawai‘i’s mynah birds are wild. They typically do not interact with people. However, this mynah bird was different. It actually consistently maintained eye contact and felt comfortable enough to perch upon my shoulder. Had the mynah somehow relieved me of my illness? I know it sounds crazy, but after it flew away, I felt better than normal, at peace. I believe in family animal protectors, or ‘aumakua, but my family’s ‘aumakua is the shark, not the mynah bird.

By no means am I unappreciative of the healing the mynah provided me that day. It just surprised me, and pleasantly so. The mynahs gentle feet upon my shoulder felt similar to that of a reassuring hand, letting me know that everything was going to be just fine.


WRITTEN BY: Gabriel Del Aragon
for Spooky Kine Investigations
SKI.gdelaragon@gmail.com

EDITED BY: Courtney Kunimura
for Spooky Kine Investigations
SKI.ckunimura@gmail.com

Saturday, August 20, 2011

THE ROAD TO KAILUA-KONA


Dusk was approaching quickly as Harry and Shige sped along Saddle Road heading home to Kailua-Kona.

Once the last bits of light vanished from the sky, they would be traveling along what was considered to be one of the most hazardous roads in the state of Hawai‘i. It wasn’t so much the dark of night that made Harry nervous, but rather the number of drinks he and Shige had consumed at a friend’s house in Hilo before heading home for the evening.

Suddenly, there was a loud pop and Harry’s car began jerking up and down along the rear driver’s side, feeling as if it had sprained an ankle and was now hobbling along to support its injured foot.

Thunka, thunka ,thunka, thunka, thunka...

Harry groaned as he pulled the car off to the side of the road and brought it to a stop. He threw on the hazard lights and turned to shake awake Shige, who had fallen asleep only two minutes into the ride home.

“Eh, Shige, wake up. I tink we get one flat tire. Help me change um.”

Shige’s glazed eyes opened slowly as he turned to look at his friend.

“We go,” Harry said, getting out of the car. “Stay dark already.”

Harry pulled open the  trunk and removed the carjack and spare tire as Shige slowly climbed out from the passenger seat. They slipped the jack beneath the car and began cranking.

In a few minutes, they changed the tire and were on their way. But less than a mile had passed when in the distance Shige spotted a white figure just barely illuminated by the car headlights.

“Harry, you see dat?”

“What?” Harry asked as he peered through the windshield.

“Ova dea, on da right. I think das one wahine waving at us. How come she out hea by herself in da dark? Eh Harry, we bettah make sure she okay.”

Harry nodded in agreement and once again pulled the car to the side of the road as Shige leaned out the window and called to the woman. The woman put her hand down, smiled, and walked over to the car.

“You okay o wat?” Shige asked.

As the woman, who was dressed in white slowly approached the car, they could see that she was carrying a small woven basket.

“ Yes, I’m fine. Thank you for stopping for me.” she replied

As she moved closer, Harry and Shige were both taken aback by the woman's striking beauty. Her skin was smooth and tanned, long ‘ehu hair flowed down past her shoulders, and her smile seemed to beam as brightly as the white dress she wore.

“How come you stay out hea by yourself?” asked Shige.

“I came here to pick ‘ohelo berries but I lost track of time. Before I knew it, the sun had set and I was out here walking down this road. In the dark.”

“Good ting we came by den.” said Shige. He elbowed Harry.

“Uh, you like one ride?” Harry asked.

“Thank you, that’s very kind.”

Harry jumped out of the car and opened the back door. The woman smiled and gracefully settled into the backseat.

They conversed as they traveled along Saddle Road. The woman explained to the guys that she was excited to return home to make delicious jam out of the ‘ohelo berries she had picked.

“Hooo dat sounds good!” Shige exclaimed, smacking his lips.

“Would either of you two care to try one?” the woman asked as she reached into her small woven basket and produced two of the reddest, most ripest berries that they had ever seen.

“No need ask us twice.” Harry took the berry from the woman, thanked her, and bit down on it.

The tart berry juice exploded with flavor and suddenly Harry found himself back in his childhood, to summers past when his grandmother would spread homemade ‘ohelo berry jam and liliko‘i butter on toast for his afternoon snack. It seemed as if it had been decades since he last experienced the taste.

Harry quickly snapped out of his dream-like state when he realized that they were quickly approaching the end of Saddle Road.

“Miss, you like me turn right or left on Belt Road?”

There was no answer.

Harry looked into his rear view mirror to find that the beautiful woman they had picked up along the roadside was gone.

WRITTEN BY: Wayne Takabayashi
for Spooky Kine Investigations
SKI.wtakabayashi@gmail.com

Saturday, July 16, 2011

CAMP KOKOKAHI - PART 1

S.K.I. REPORT #20090828-02
CAMP KOKOKAHI - PART 1

AS EXPERIENCED BY: Wesley
LOCATION: Camp Kokokahi / Kāne‘ohe / O‘ahu / Hawai‘i
DATE: 1973


While I was a high school student back in the 1970’s, I was a part of the Concert Wind Assembly (CWA). Every year without fail, the CWA would visit one of the neighboring islands for a retreat, an end-of-the-year reward for us students. During my senior year, we must not have deserved it because instead of going to Maui or the Big Island, we spent three nights on the other side of the Ko‘olau Mountains, at Camp Kokokahi.

When the students complained, our band director, Mr. Elton Chong, reassured us that it was a great place. He said that Kokokahi was founded during a time when most people only associated with other members of their own ethnicity, and it was supposed to be a place of diversity where people would gather in harmony and share their culture and heritage and crap like that. It was only when Elton mentioned that Camp Kokokahi had the longest wooden pier in the state, neary three hundred yards long, did the place suddenly seem appealing. I envisioned us sneaking off to “explore” the pier after lights out and having some fun.

Camp Kokokahi Pier
Photo courtesy of the Crick Family.








And that’s exactly what happened our first night there. A handful of us, armed with smokes and bottles of wine, set out by the light of the moon to traverse the long wooden pier. Even though the moon seemed brighter on this side of the island, it was still pretty damn dark. And there were missing planks here and there, making the journey much more perilous than we had expected.

By the time we reached the end of the pier, we were all thirsty and ready to party. We settled down, opened a couple bottles of wine and lit up some homemade cigarettes to help us relax. I took a long drag on a cigarette my friend passed me and watched the moon’s reflection gently bouncing off the rolling waves of Kāne‘ohe Bay. The cool breeze, carrying the distinct scent of salty seawater, was refreshing and welcome.

“What now?” Manuel Bautista asked.

“Truth or dare!” Karen Harrison, a boisterous haole girl suggested.

“Nah,” I said, looking up at the twinkling stars above, “that’s old.”

“I know,” said my friend, Dason Takaki, who was sitting next to me. “Let’s tell ghost stories.”

I thought that was a great idea, and so did everyone else. I mean, here we were, a bunch of teenagers sitting in the dark, in the middle of Kāne‘ohe Bay, on a creepy wooden pier. There couldn’t be a better setting.

“So who first?” I asked.

Before anyone could volunteer, Karen said, “To make it interesting, the story has to be from your own ethnicity.”

I’d told ghost stories before, but none of them really had to do with my own Japanese ancestry. Very interesting.

Manuel took a swig from one of the wine bottles and burped loudly. “I’ll go first,” he said, standing up. The wooden pier beneath him creaked and everyone laughed.

“Careful,” I said. If that guy fell in, I knew I didn’t want to jump in after him.

“Anyone heard of the Aswang?” asked Manuel, rubbing his palms together.

We all looked at each other and shrugged.

“It’s the Filipino vampire,” Manuel explained. When someone snickered he quickly turned to face them. “It’s not funny,” he said. “The Aswang is the most terrifying creature in the Philippines.”

“Yeah? Why?” I asked, as someone handed me a nearly empty bottle of wine. I finished it off.

“Because,” Manuel said, “by day it looks like a normal person. But at night, it transforms into an evil creature with an insatiable appetite. They're known to perch in those giant, twisted banyan trees. From its mouth comes a long, tubular tongue that's shaped like a banyan root, so when its unsuspecting prey walks beneath it, the poor sucker has no idea .”

I shuddered and couldn't help picturing a large, bat-like creature with red, glowing eyes, blue sinewy skin, lurking in a tree, patiently awaiting its next meal.

“Picture this,” Manuel continued, encouraged by the uneasy looks of his classmates, “you’re walking home late one night, minding your own business. You pass beneath the same banyan tree you always pass. Then, without warning, you feel the Aswang’s long, pointy tongue, wrapping around your body. Tighter and tighter, like an anaconda squeezing the life out of you. When you open your mouth to scream, you’ve done exactly what the Aswang wanted. It plunges its tongue into down your throat, slithering its way through your body until it finds your bowels.”

"Aswang"
By Gabriel Del Aragon

“Gross, stop!” cried Karen, who obviously couldn’t handle her liquor or scary stories. She hid her face in her jacket.

“Keep going,” I urged.

“Once the Aswang finds your bowels, you’re screwed,” said Manuel, getting more and more worked up. “Because then it starts sucking through its tongue harder and harder until your insides are on the outside and you’re dead.”

Everyone was silent, trying hard not to picture such a horrific image. What a way to go.

“Is there any way you can tell if a person is actually an Aswang?” asked one girl.

Manuel shrugged. “My lolo told me the when they’re in human form, Aswang usually have blood-shot eyes. ‘Cause they stay up all night hunting for prey.”

I laughed. “So maybe half the stoners at our school aren’t really smoking out, they’re Filipino vampires.” I uncorked a new bottle of wine and handed it to Manuel. “Great story, man.”

Manuel took a bow and sat down with the newly opened bottle of wine.

“Who’s next?”

We all looked at David Kamaka. David looked uncomfortable. “Why me?” he asked.

“Because,” slurred Dason, “you Hawaiian. You must get good ghost stories.”

David hesitated. “Nah, not really.”

Manuel passed the bottle of wine to David. “Come on, you scared or what?”

David shook his head. "No."

"So what then?" I asked. I handed him a cigarette.

David stared at the bottle of wine in one hand and the cigarette in the other. "My tutu said that. . ."

"Her grandson is a wuss?" finished Dason, punching David in the arm.

David didn't even flinch. "No, she said that when you talk about bad things, you invite them into your life."

"So you are scared," teased Karen. "You're worried your little story will evoke bad spirits."

Everyone laughed. Then we started to chant, "David! David!"

David took one last drag on the cigarette and extinguished it on the wooden plank, staring off into the distance. He stood up slowly, and proceeded to drink the entire bottle of wine without taking a breath. David roughly tossed the bottle to Dason.

“Fine,” he said. “I got a story.”

"Yeah!" Everyone cheered.

"This is a true story. It happened way before I was born, when my mom was just a keiki. One day, my mom was taking a nap. My tutu was in the living room watching television when she heard a scream. It wasn’t the normal cry from a baby who was hungry or needed a diaper change. My tutu said it was the most terrifying scream she'd ever heard.”

To be continued. . .


WRITTEN BY: Courtney Kunimura
for Spooky Kine Investigations
SKI.ckunimura@gmail.com

ARTWORK BY: Gabriel Del Aragon
for Spooky Kine Investigations
SKI.gdelaragon@gmail.com

WORKS CITED

1) "Aswang." Wikipedia. N.p., 02 Jun 2011. Web. 16 Jun 2011. .

2) "Kokokahi History." YWCA. YWCA of O‘ahu, 2008. Web. 13 Jun 2011.    .