Walk in the footsteps of the Hawaiian Monarchy
Walk the palm-lined streets named after the ghosts that haunt them as Honolulu Haunts takes you through the historic downtown district of Hawaii. Hear the gripping stories of the past, as well as the confirmed local legends, eyewitness accounts of ghost sightings, and unexplained supernatural activity, all while being steeped in the culture and events that created Hawaii as we know it today.
Hawaii is an island chain with a violent past. Formed from deadly lava that rose explosively from the seas, cooled and welcome lush, verdant life and eventually migrant peoples from across the Pacific. Hawaii’s human history is filled with restless spirits. The constant tribal warfare, ancient ritual and human sacrifices mean that Honolulu is no stranger to the passions of people who struggle for power, and constant changes in rulers is the hallmark of the island’s history.
The culture clash of modern and ancient Hawaii has caused eruptions of pain and passion, which have left their marks on Honolulu’s buildings and streets. This also means the ghosts here are different, with different cultural traditions, different systems of belief. The same causes of hauntings remain universal, unfinished business, and extreme pain and anguish, but here they leave a supernatural legacy that is as unique as the lush vegetation.
The ghosts of Honolulu have a gathering place, one special intersection, built on an ancient crossroads where, under special circumstances, the spirits of the dead wander down the street. Are you hearing drums? Those could be the night marchers, dead guardians of high chiefs and priestesses, their torches and conch shells also announce their coming, and a curse falls on anyone who looks them in the eye. They are sometimes seen, like a trail of glowing fire ants, far off in the lush hills out to the East of Honolulu, above Pearl Harbor.
Most people know Hawaii for the bombing of Pearl Harbor, a surprise attack that resulted in the tragic deaths of 2,403 Americans and sent shockwaves through the nation. This attack was the spark of aggression that ignited America’s involvement in World War Two. Hawaii was a key strategic location in the Pacific theatre of war, because of its special location.
Hawaii’s chain of eight islands is the most isolated place in the world. Sitting 2,390 miles from the US and 4,000 miles from Japan, Hawaii is surrounded by deep blue ocean waters that, for years, protected these islands from most of the changes that infected the rest of the world. That was until Captain James Cook arrived in 1778 and tried to name the islands he chanced upon, the Sandwich Islands, after the Earl of Sandwich, who had sponsored his voyage. We are all glad that it didn’t stick!
Why is Hawaii Haunted?
Cook and those who came after him, brought foreign disease, change and the modern world. Traces of Hawaii’s unique past remain visible though, including the ghosts of many who died before their time and are tied to the lands here. From unmarked graves to human sacrifice, executions, and deadly disease, Hawaii has a past much darker than the Aloha spirit suggests. Many of the ghosts that roam the sacred grounds near the palace look to protect their land and watch over their people. Some are merely looking for their final resting place.
The ghosts of Kings and Queens
Ancient Hawaii was divided into multiple classes, warring chiefdoms competed for limited resources. Frequent wars over influence, territory and resources caused near-constant conflicts, deaths and ritual burials. In 1795 King Kamehameha, of the island of Hawai’i united the separate islands of Hawai’i, O’ahu, and Maui, Moloka’i, and Lana’i into one kingdom following 15 years of bloody battles. He was helped by modern guns traded with the British from their base in Vancouver. All of the islands became wholly united in 1810 when Kaua’i and Ni’ihau joined the kingdom voluntarily to avoid further bloodshed.
This unification began the transformation of Hawaiian class systems and society. It would eventually lead to the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy 80 years later. There are many ghosts from these bloody battles, the ancient Chiefs and Chiefesses, and the royal bloodline that roam Hawaii today. The ancient Hawaii culture suffered under early American rule and saw increased racism against the native and immigrant populations. These tensions created yet more ghosts that roam the streets today.
Death, disease and unsolved mysteries
The Native Hawaiians of the past are not the only ghosts seen in the historic district of Honolulu. After the United States gently overthrew the Hawaii monarchy, but long before the wide paved streets and smooth sidewalks of today, there were settler burial grounds and unmarked graves. There was also a vicious outbreak of Bubonic Plague in the 1900s that resulted in the intentional burning of sections of Chinatown. There were judicially ordered hangings and unsolved mysteries that still haunt the spooky courthouse.
With changing class systems and culture, many local people could not afford private burials and graves. As such, there were shared burial plots and headstones with no names. Once disturbed, the spirits remained restless.
When contractors were digging the foundations of a new multipurpose room for the Kawaiaha’o Church, they unearthed over 600 unmarked remains. It was discovered that the church’s whole border was ringed in unmarked graves. These disturbed graves explain the many reports of ghostly activity in the churchyard. One includes sightings of the high priestess Hao. Her ghostly vision comes yearly to bathe in an ancient spring on the site of the church. The church is also where a beast with glowing red eyes was seen by two security guards, hear their bizarre tale on your tour with Honolulu Haunts.
Ancient Gods and Island Curses
Many believe the islands of Hawaii were created in a battle between Pele, goddess of fire, and her older sister, Namaka, goddess of the sea. Is it any wonder that an island chain created in battle holds many legends and beings that defy mainland expectations? From Mo’ o water guardians to industrious mythological dwarf people, the Menehune, Hawaii is filled with supernatural creatures that go beyond the narrow vision of western beliefs. There are gods and goddesses of the land here in Hawaii and legends of flora and fauna, beasts that protect, and terrify. Knowing is half the battle. Knowing where to go, where to avoid, and how to escape seeing these creatures unscathed is part of Hawaii’s everyday life.
Book your tour today to take a guided your through the dark forests of Hawaii’s history, go into the stories behind the ghosts of Hawaii; see for yourself the haunted places steeped in history. Join the tour today to see historic Honolulu in all its ghostly glory.