Hawaiian Ghosts





Hawaii has its "haunts" and "spooks," just as do some countries that

do not believe in such things. One of the spectres troubles a steep

slope near Lihue, Kauai. An obese and lazy chief ordered one of his

retainers to carry him to the top of the slope on his shoulders. It

was a toilsome climb, the day was hot, hence it is no wonder that

just before he gained the summit the man staggered, fell, and sent

his dignified and indignant lord sprawling on the rocks. This was a

fatal misstep, for the chief ran the poor fellow through with his

spear. And the ghost possibly laments because it did not drop its

burden sooner and with more emphasis.



Another place that the natives avoid is the Sugar Loaf on Wailua

River, Kauai. Hungry robbers broke a taboo and ate some bananas that

had been consecrated to a local god, Kamalau. Missing the fruit,

the deity turned himself into the rock known as the Sugar Loaf, which

is sixty feet high, that he might watch his plantation without being

identified. The thieves noticed the rock, however, could not recall

that it had been there on the day before, and suspecting something kept

away. The sister of the god, believing him to be lost, leaped into

the river and became a stone herself. And so, having rid themselves

of the flesh, these two are free to wander in the spirit.



Another deity that is occasionally seen is Kamehameha's large war god,

from his temple in Hawaii, that even in his lifetime would leave its

pedestal and thrash among the trees like a lost comet.



At Honuapo, Hawaii, is the rock Kaverohea, jutting into the sea, where

at night a murdered wife calls to her jealous husband, assuring him

of her love and innocence. The voice is oftenest heard when a great

disaster is at hand: war, storm, earthquake, the death of a chief,

or a season of famine.





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