Hawaii Ghost Stories & Legends

Hawaii’s culture is thick with ghost stories and legends. These stories are deeply connected to Hawaii’s unique landscape and its long history. Of the many ghost stories that are have haunted Hawaiians for centuries, here are a few of the most famous ones to send a tingle down your spine.

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• General: Educational • General: History

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Ghosts and Haunted Places
This legend is still widely believed by many multi-generational Hawaiians as the legend has been passed on. While not considered technically a ghost by conventional standards, the Nightmarchers are one of the most common spirit legends on the islands. These spirits are said to be ancient warriors, cursed to march across Hawaii for eternity. Unless they are escorting a living person into death, they only appear at night, and it is considered very bad for one to look at the marcher as they pass. In the evening, some residents have claimed to live with the marchers as the sounds of howling winds creating peculiar, noises permeating through their homes. They say that haIf of the marchers are seen, but as tradition dictates you must lie face down on the ground until they have passed. Some locals say that you must remove all of your clothes first then lie face down. Don’t let the Night Marchers see you looking at them or they will march you off to your demise.

Another ghost story often mentioned in Hawaiian culture is the Green Lady of Wahiawa Gulch. The story goes that a woman visited the gulch with her children. When one of the children was lost, she died of her own heartbreak and was damned to spend the rest of her life roaming the countryside, looking for her child.

Another place considered haunted is Pearl Harbor & USS Arizona Memorial, as the spirits of the famous attack still create a tingling sensation to visitors. When visiting, as a local about the legend of Morgan’s Corner and the Kaimuki House.

Hawaii Legends
One of the most prominent legends in Hawaii is that of the Menehune. The Menehune, also known as the “Little People of Hawaii,” are mischievous creatures that hide in the forests, away from towns and cities. Considered to be master builders, stories are often told of Hawaiians hiring Menehune to help with building temples, churches, and homes. Very shy, if interrupted, they will drop to the ground and the person who sees them will turn to stone.

Pele - The Volcano Goddess, the beautiful, hot-tempered goddess, is rumored to travel the islands, disguised as an old woman. Some who visit the Kilauea National Park report seeing an old woman wearing a red dancing or peddling for cigarettes. Once she is given one, she disappears. Others have told stories about an old woman knocking on doors in the middle of the night. She asks for something to drink, and if the family gives her tea or water, they are rewarded with good news the next day. If they refuse, they will experience a death in the family.

It is also because of Pele - The Volcano Goddess that Hawaiian people will tell you to never take pork across the Pali road, because of her ruined marriage to the boar-headed Kamapua’a.

Hawaiians have told these legends for centuries, and they have been passed on as a tradition. There are many more ghost stories that are unique to each island, but these are only a few of the many, many stories told.
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