Home / NEWS / Legends, Myths, And Folklore Of Hawaii

Legends, Myths, And Folklore Of Hawaii

We have examined in detail the legends of the Night Marchers from Hawaii previously. However, the islands have an abundance of legends and folklore to its name, some of which stretch back hundreds and thousands of years. And while this is undoubtedly a testament to the rich history and culture of the native population, there is most certainly something unique about the legends of the islands.

What’s more, as we shall examine, many of the legends are a mixture of classical hauntings with appropriate backstories to a crossover-like existence of worlds, where the gods and entities of ancient times somehow seem to maintain their presence, and indeed their influence in the modern plain of existence.

Indeed, like the Night Marchers, the island is home to a plethora of strange entities and seemingly demonic creatures. Ones that can shapeshift and appear in the form of an everyday person, as well as those that appear in order the “test” the population to ensure they are living an unselfish life. And what’s more, a great many of these encounters continue to happen today as opposed to remaining in the past.

Before we examine some of the spirits, creatures, and deities of the islands, however, we will take a look at some of the specific locations that have strange legends attached to them. From haunted houses, bizarre steps that play tricks on the mind, as well as the ghosts of those murdered in the region, there are many locations that would appear to be magnets for such activity.

Contents

The Evil Entity In The Kaimuki House

Perhaps the best place to start would be The Kaimuki House in Honolulu. It is claimed that the house is home to a particularly nasty entity named a kasha, which comes, interestingly or not, from Japanese folklore. It is claimed that these demonic creatures eat human corpses and obtain their strength from such bloody meals.

The translation of the name means “Fire Cart” and further legends of a kasha claim that they are much larger than people and are often accompanied by flames, said by some to be fire directly from Hell itself. Further legends state that the creature will only generally appear during rainstorms and what’s more, only reveal their true form during funerals, during which they “snatch” the corpse so as to feed upon it. At other times, the creature is said to usually take the form of a cat to move and live among the respective populace.

These are perhaps intriguing details of shapeshifting, as well as having connections to witchcraft and the occult.

While these evil entities are a part of Japanese folklore, it was in the early 1940s that an apparent case of a kasha was discovered in the Kaimuki House in Honolulu. And rather than simply be hearsay of the local community, the incident was documented in one of the local newspapers. It is to that account that we will turn our attention to next.

A Kasha Attacks Three Children In 1942

According to the report, local police would attend the Kaimuki House following calls of a disturbance at the property. When they arrived, they would discover a 10-year-old boy and his two sisters, aged 18 and 20, “shrieking on the sofa”. Their mother, who the report claims was “waving ti leaves and sprinkling Hawaiian salt”, claimed that the young boy had detected an evil spirit in the home, which she was not attempting to “ward off”.

Shortly after mentioning this to his mother, the apparent spirit had launched a brutal attack on the young boy before turning its attention to his two sisters. Baffled and unsure what to make of the situation, the police remained with the woman as she attempted to fight back the spirits. However, the family would ultimately leave the home, at least temporarily.

According to the report, the distressed woman, who blamed the spirit’s sudden appearance on her husband who had abandoned their marriage and the family home, would turn to one of the police officers in attendance and point out to him that his arm was “covered with goose pimples”.

What became of the family and whether they had any further incidents at the home is uncertain. However, in the early 1970s, another story appeared in the local newspapers of the area. It is a similar account, and while there is little known of the incident outside of the newspaper report, it remains of intrigue to those who research such incidents.

Similar Incident Three Decades Later

The newspaper report claims that police were sent to a house in Kaimuki following a call from “three girls sharing a house which the neighborhood considered haunted”. They had noticed several strange incidents, including strange movements around the home when there was no one else there, as well as voices that were not recognizable to them. When one of the girls felt an invisible hand on her arm, they decided to spend the night elsewhere. However, they would contact the police with a view to having them follow them to the house so they could investigate.

However, when the police officer arrived and began following the girl’s car, he witnessed it suddenly being pulled over to the side of the road. Even more bizarre, he would report that he could see one of the girls was “fighting off someone who could not be seen but was strangling her!”

The officer would jump out of his vehicle and ran toward the car in an effort to help the girl fight off her apparent invisible assailant. However, when he reached the car “a big, strong, calloused hand that could not possibly belong to a teenage girl” wrapped around his arm and twisted it. At this point, the officer, unnerved somewhat, would call for backup, claiming to the bemused officer on the other end of the line that there was “a ghost in that car”.

The situation would eventually calm down, although the three girls remained highly agitated and disturbed. The police insisted that the girl who had been attacked should ride with them in their car, while the other two should follow them. However, as soon as the girl in question positioned herself in the police vehicle, the engine suddenly died. All of their attempts to restart if failed.

Strange Activity Still Occurring Today!

Things would turn even stranger following this unnerving turn of events. The police officer would instruct the girl to return to the car she was in originally. Much to his surprise, as soon as the girl vacated the vehicle, the engine burst into life once more. Of more concern, the attack appeared to recommence as soon as the girl in question reentered the car she had originally been traveling.

As in the case from 1942, it is unclear what happened following these events. However, it would seem that a location for the house is known. According to most research, the property sits on 8th Avenue and Harding, a property that is said to have been home to a brutal murder some time in the early twentieth century when a father killed his entire family. While the bodies of his wife and son were found buried in the yard around the house, the body of his daughter remains missing. Perhaps this is why the legends of a kasha residing there began.

It is perhaps easy to dismiss such claims as nothing more than urban legend and folklore combining in the modern age, in our contemporary era, it appears the strange activity still persists. One writer, Keith Mann, would spend several months living in the property. And although by his own admission, he was a skeptic by nature, he would note some strange incidents while residing in the property.

Waking Up At “Exactly 4:33 am” To An “Ice Cold” Room!

For example, he would soon notice that he would often awake at “exactly 4:33 am” with an intense feeling that he had been “injected with adrenaline”. He would also notice that his room was always “ice cold” during these experiences. Of more concern, though, was the “gut feeling” that something was “very, very wrong”. However, before he could bring his mind together around these bizarre circumstances, every smoke alarm in the house would “beep once” simultaneously in unison.

Even more disturbing, though, was the “cold feeling” he would feel in his chest. A stabbing feeling that felt like the “life force” was being “drained out” of him. There was also the constant feeling throughout all of this, that someone – or something – was staring right at him.

He would ultimately always leap from his bed as soon as he could summon up the strength and leave the room until the strange episode would subside. Although he wouldn’t witness any physical apparitions, it was Mann’s belief that something truly sinister did live there, although he would express doubt if that something sinister was a kasha as the local legends suggest.

What was also interesting – at least to Mann – was the general disbelief of the locals that he would wish to stay in the house. As were the many tales he was told of families who had chosen to live in the property “fleeing” from it within two or three months.

Whether something supernatural does reside inside the property or whether it is a case of local legends taking on a life of their own remains open to debate. It surely is, though, one of the most intriguing locations in Hawaii.

You can check out a short piece about the Kaimuki House legends below.

The Ghosts Of Morgan’s Corner

Another location said to be haunted is one with a very real backstory to it. And a grim one at that.

The road itself is a bend in Nuuanu Pali Drive just outside Honolulu (and acts as a connected road to Kane ohe). It is said to be the site of numerous paranormal sightings, said to be the result of a murder that occurred there on 10th March 1948. On that day, two prisoners, 19-year-old James Majors, and 21-year-old John Palakiko, escaped while on work releases with a prison crew.

The following day, with no supplies, food, or money on them, they would break into the home of 68-year-old Therese Wilder, a widow who lived alone near the now famous corner. It is claimed that the two prisoners were first alerted to the potential to rob the lone woman when they smelled food cooking inside the property.

They would quickly overpower the elder lady, beating her severely enough that she suffered a broken jaw. They would then tie her up and place a gag over her mouth. While they perhaps didn’t intend to kill her, the combination of the gag and her broken jaw caused her to suffocate. Her body was discovered five days later by her gardener and maid.

Several days later, the pair were arrested and quickly charged with Wilder’s murder. They were found guilty and originally sentenced the death. However, this was changed to life in prison. Whether the apparent ghost sightings at Morgan’s corner are connected to the death of Wilder is uncertain. There are, however, other legends surrounding this mysterious bend in the road.

Before we examine those, however, the video below looks at the murders and apparent ghostly sightings that sprang up as a result.

The Girl Hanging In A Tree – Factual Account? Or Urban Myth?

According to local legend, a tree near Morgan’s Corner was the scene of the suicide of a teenage girl named Brittani Lochmann. It is said that the troubled teenager hung herself from the tree in question. Even more gruesome, the legends state that upon flinging herself toward her tragic death, her head became separated from her body. It is said that her head was not buried with her body and so, as we might imagine, the spirit of the girl haunts the area.

One particularly intriguing urban legend – although there is considerable doubt as to its authenticity – is that of a young couple who parked their car under the tree one night. They remained there for a while before deciding to return home. However, when they attempted to start the car, the engine wouldn’t respond.

They would decide that the young man would go and get help while the girl would remain locked inside the car. Several hours went by but there was no sign of the young man. She would eventually fall asleep listening to the constant tapping on the roof of the car of the tree’s branches swaying in the wind.

The next thing she knew, there was a tapping at the window and she awoke to the sight of several police officers stood outside the car. Bizarrely, to her, they would tell her to exit the vehicle but not to turn around. She began to tell them why she was there and what had happened. As she spoke, though, she could not resist the temptation to turn around. When she did, she was greeted by the sight of her boyfriend hanging upside down in the tree. There was a gaping slice in his torso and his fingertips were outstretched, touching the car’s roof.

The Green Lady Of Wahiawa

There are many other legends of strange entities within the Hawaiian Islands. Perhaps one of the most intriguing of these legends is that of The Green Lady Of Wahiawa. And, like other legends from Hawaii, the legend suggests at least a partial truth in its origin.

Although there is no date given, legend states that a woman and her children visited the Wahiawa Gulch and Wahiawa Botanical Garden. However, during the visit, one of the children went missing, thought to be lost in the forest. What’s more, the child was never seen again.

There are some “extended” versions of the legend that go on to state that no one from the local area would assist the panicked woman in searching for her lost child and so she took her children with her and headed into the woodland. According to these versions, the woman or her children were never seen again.

It is said that the grief-stricken mother still haunts the area today, with some sightings of her even being recorded at the elementary school in the region.

According to those who have seen her, the woman is completely awash in green and has hair that is covered in seaweed. This is an interesting detail – if there is any truth to the legends did the woman in question drown? Even more disturbing are the claims that the Green Lady has “jagged teeth” and “fish-like scales”. What’s more, most who claim to have encountered the Green Lady usually notice a “rotting plant matter” aroma first.

It is claimed that she is looking for her lost child and that should any children find themselves in her presence she will attempt to snatch them away.

The short video below examines the legends of the Green Lady a little further.

The Bizarre Activity And Apparitions Of Old Pali Road

The Old Pali Road (no replaced by the newer Pali Road and which contains the famous Morgan’s Corner) is perhaps one of the most active places in Hawaii in terms of paranormal activity. This could be as hundreds of years ago before the road existed, the area was the scene of a battle that would eventually result in the unification of the islands. It was a bloody battle, however, with numerous dead on each side. Legends suggest that many of the ghosts of the soldiers and warriors can still be seen in the region today – not least, the Night Marchers as we have examined before.

Another legend features a set of lava steps. According to local legend, if you were to walk up these steps at midnight and count them, you will arrive at the number 12. However, upon stepping down them you will count 13. Many strange sightings are also said to occur there.

There are also legends that state carrying raw pork along the road will cause a person’s car to stop working, only starting again once the pork is discarded. We will return to this shortly when we examine another intriguing legend of Hawaii.

Perhaps even stranger, many adventurers and researchers who venture along the road experience “heavy vibes”. According to one account, even though the small group was buoyant and talkative moments earlier, after a minute or so of being on the road they would suddenly become sullen and anxious. The atmosphere would also become “heavy” and “oppressive”.

Whether these types of feelings and emotions are in the person’s mind or not is perhaps open to debate. However, there are other locations, perhaps the Ben Macdui in Scotland, that some people claim evokes such feelings as despair and anxiety in those who visit.

The Half-Faced Ghost Of Old Pali Road

One of the strangest legends of the Old Pali Road must surely be the ghostly apparition of a young girl, who is often seen skipping down the road. The girl, a teenager with long, black hair, is said to appear to be floating as she skips.

However, it is when witnesses get a closer look at the girl’s face when the real horror sets in. As the name might suggest, only half of the face is visible, with the cheeks, nose, and mouth just completely missing. The eyes, though, while present, appear to be bulging our the girl’s sockets.

When the backstory to the legends are examined, this would make a certain amount of morbid sense. According to the legends, the girl met her tragic end on the road when she was raped before being strangled with her skipping rope. While this would certainly explain the horrific bulging eyes, the only suggestion that might explain the missing bottom half of her face is that as she lay undiscovered for some time, wild animals and scavengers had essentially eaten the lower part of her decaying face.

How true the account might be is uncertain. There are, however, plenty of people who claim to have seen the ghost of the unfortunate girl along the stretch of road.

The Menehune (Or Nawao) – Master Builders From The Ancient World

Many countries around the world have accounts of “little people” living discreetly among humans, sometimes inside the earth itself, sometimes on a more supernatural plain. Perhaps in the western parts of Europe, for example, the legends of fairies would be an appropriate equivalent. It is indeed interesting to contemplate what the reason might be for such similar tales around the world. Might it be that it is a simple mixing of cultures and therefore their respective myths and legends? Or might there be a grain of truth in such claims – that a relatively unknown race reside covertly around the planet with us?

According to the legends of Hawaii, the Menehune are around two feet in height and do their absolute best to remain separated from the rest of civilization. They often reside in the woodlands and forests of the Hawaiian Islands.

Interestingly enough, especially when we recall the supernatural element to many claims of “little people”, the Menehune are said to have such an ability to build anything they wish. And what’s more, they can do so with alacrity. It is even said that in antiquity, Native Hawaiians would hire these apparent master craftsmen to design and build homes, temples, and palaces. It is said, however, that they would only work at night and away from prying eyes.

What’s more, if anyone should happen upon them while they are in the middle of such a building project, the Menehune would simply vanish and never return to complete the respective building. Of more concern to the person who might stumble upon them, though, is that they will be turned to stone at the same time.

The short video below examines the legends of the Menehune a little further.

The Mujina – The “Faceless Woman” Of Hawaii

Very similar to the Green Lady legends and those of the Half-Faced Girl, the legends of the Mujina – or the Faceless Woman – are perhaps more urban legend than fact, but are fascinating, nonetheless. And what’s more, several accounts are on record in the (relatively) modern era from people who claim to have encountered this terrifying entity.

The origins of the Mujina stretch back to the legends and myths of Japan, which claim it is a faceless creature with the power to manifest into human form. In fact, it is thought that the legend arrived in Hawaii with Japanese immigrants.

Whether that is true or not, an account in 1959 is of particular interest to us here when a local woman in Kahala claimed to have witnessed just such a creature at a drive-in movie theatre (we should note, some sources claim the incident occurred in the 1980s).

According to the account, the lady in question had gone to use the bathroom at the drive-in. Upon entering the bathroom she could see a girl combing her long, red hair facing the mirror. However, when the young girl turned around, there was nothing but a black space where the face should have been. The account states that the woman – quite understandably – became hysterical and began screaming uncontrollably. When other movie watchers and the theatre staff came to see what the matter was, the woman was simply laying on the floor in a severe state of distress.

She would be taken to hospital and would even receive psychiatric treatment due to her strained state of mind. Whether the woman really did see the faceless woman or whether her mind somehow played a cruel trick on her is perhaps up for debate. However, the backstory of the drive-in theatre is itself intriguing.

Clues In The Location?

According to further local legend, the drive-in movie theatre was built right next door to the old cemetery in Kahala. Furthermore, whether any kind of desecration unintentionally took place or not, locals believe that the spirit was awakened and attached itself to the movie theatre, appearing as a Mujina.

In the late-1980s, the movie theater was demolished. In its place was a shopping mall and housing complex was built. However, rather than putting an end to the sightings of the Faceless Woman, they would simply continue. Many people would claim to witness the disturbing entity on the streets of the housing complex, as well as at the mall itself.

In an even further twist, the woman from the encounter at the movie theatre would contact a radio station who were discussing the incident in 1981 (this is probably where the confusion over dates comes from). She would speak with the host of the show, Glen Grant, and reiterate the details and insist that the incident was very real and not something she had imagined.

Needless to say, the legends are some of the most fascinating and chilling in equal measure, and sightings of the Faceless Woman continue in the region.

The Legends Of Pele – The Goddess Of The Hawaiian Islands

Pele – Pelehonuamea, or “she who shaped the sacred land” – is just one of the many deities of the Hawaiian Islands. What is perhaps particularly intriguing is that rather than being an entity of antiquity only, she maintains a significant presence in the contemporary era. Whether this is merely through the worship and respect of the local population or whether she truly does somehow walk among the Hawaiian population is a topic for discussion.

The lava goddess, along with her lover, Kamapua’a (himself only a demigod) is also at the heart of one of the strangest and most intriguing urban legends of the islands. And what’s more, it connects back to the legends of not carrying raw pork over the Old Pali Road.

According to the legend, Kamapua’a was the product of an affair and so grew up without the acceptance of his stepfather (his mother’s husband and his own father’s brother). He would eventually flee the land after tattooing his face and wearing a boar’s face mask (a reference to the name, Hog Face, which his stepfather used t address him).

It was when Kamapua’a arrived in Hawaii that he heard of the beautiful woman, Pele. He would eventually meet her. And while she at first was unimpressed by his advances, and indeed repulsed by his tattooed face, she eventually fell in love with him and the pair were married.

In a twist, because of the love shown toward him, Kamapua’a changed to his initial handsome appearance. However, rather than embrace him, Pele became untrusting of her new husband and moved away from him. While she lived on the side of the island with volcanoes and flowing lava, he remained in the rich green land of the north of the island. They would never meet again.

Pele’s Different Forms And Testing Of The Population

It is from these seemingly tragic events of lost love, that Pele is said to descend on anyone carrying pork across the Old Pali Road (which separated and connects the island). Further legend suggests that this is seen by Pele as an attempt by Kamapua’a to infiltrate her side of the island. Furthermore, she may appear in several different forms. Some legends state she will appear as a white dog who will remain by the individual until the get rid of the meat in question, while other legends state she appears as an old woman.

This last manifestation is interesting as other legends of Pele speak of such a woman appearing on the Old Pali Road. While most reports speak of Pele as being beautiful, attractive, and kind, there is, it would seem, another more volatile side to the lava goddess.

Some accounts, for example, speak of Pele appearing as a demonic woman in red, or as an elderly woman who requires a cane to walk. And what’s more, when she appears in this form, it is said that she intends to “test” the members of the population she reveals herself to. What is perhaps interesting here is that there is an element of the “tempter” gods of the ancient world, including the Devil himself.

Perhaps interestingly, many of the sightings of the deity are at the Kilauea National Park – said to be the place she once called home. Many people, for example, had claimed to see a strange woman, dressed all in red, dancing.

Those who witness Pele in the form of the old woman often claim that she asks them for a cigarette. Bizarrely, after handing one over to her, she is said to light it by snapping her finger before completely disappearing.

The Kind Are Rewarded And The Selfish Are Punished

There are even more disturbing accounts of Pele under the guise of an old woman. Ones that are potentially deadlier than the encounters of her asking for a cigarette.

Some accounts speak of her knocking on a person’s door in the middle of the night asking for water, or even a cup of tea. It is claimed that if the person fetches the old lady a drink, she will drink it and then simply vanish. However, as a reward for her kindness, they will receive good fortune in the days following.

If they refuse to help, though, the reverse can be expected, with bad news reaching the family. In some cases, the person even dies.

There are many similar accounts of the lava goddess testing the population of Hawaii in an effort for them to live spiritual and decent lives. And in all, the good are rewarded while the selfish are punished.

While the accounts could be mere morality tales told from generation to generation, the fact that many people still claim to have seen the deity “in the flesh” certainly makes them a little more intriguing.

Might there really be something to the notion that a goddess from antiquity still has an influence over the land she once resided in our contemporary era? If so, is this the same in other places around the world or is there truly something special and unique about the Hawaiian Islands?

The short video below examines the legends of Pele, the lava goddess, a little further.

What Should We Make Of Such Fascinating Legends?

There is no doubt all places around the world have a rich history of legends and myths. And Hawaii is no different. Their legends, though, are extremely interesting, and almost suggest – in terms of the Night Marchers and the legends surrounding the goddess Pele – that there is still a discreet existence of these ancient deities and characters from antiquity.

Might this be a consequence of the colonization of the Hawaiian Islands? Might the remnants of the native people of the islands remain perhaps as a result of this takeover?

There are, of course, plenty of urban legends that permeate life in Hawaii also. Those surrounding Morgan’s Corner, for example, or the apparent haunting of the Kaimuki House. Perhaps the mixture of cultures over the last couple of hundred years has played a part in the rich offering of such legends.

One thing is certain. As well as being one of the most beautiful and culturally rich places in the world, it is also one of the most intriguing and enigmatic. Almost as if – like in the legends of the Night Marchers – there is a discreet crossover between the modern world and the time of “the gods” and other entities from another plateau of existence. Is there something that might cause this merging of worlds, plateaus, or even different moments in time? Might it be the genuine belief from some of the population that keeps such legends, not just alive, but palpable?

It will undoubtedly remain a place of interest to researchers into the strange and unexplained for the foreseeable future.

Check out the video below. It looks at the fascinating legends and myths from the serene location that is Hawaii in a little more detail.

Disclaimer

The stories, accounts, and discussion in this article are not always based on proven facts and may go against currently accepted science and common beliefs. The details included in the article are based on the reports and accounts available to us as provided by witnesses and documentation.

By publishing these accounts, UFO Insight does not take responsibility for the integrity of them.  You should read this article with an open mind and come to a conclusion yourself.

Copyright & Republishing Policy

The entire article and the contents within are published by, wholly-owned and copyright of UFO Insight.  The author does not own the rights to this content. 

You may republish short quotes from this article with a reference back to the original UFO Insight article here as the source. You may not republish the article in its entirety.

About Ngan Thoi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.