5 Chilling Hawaiian Ghost Stories From the Islands

Updated May 3, 2021
Hawaiian Ghost Stories

Stories of Hawaiian ghosts will keep you awake at night. These chilling tales of warrior ghosts and malevolent spirits provide a rich storytelling that comes with warnings. The paranormal activity of Hawaii is often intertwined with the culture and history of the Hawaiian people. Many of the reported Hawaiian ghost stories feature spirits from ancient lore.

Hawaiian Night Marchers

Night Marchers are the ghostly vanguard for any Hawaiian chief or king considered sacred. These warriors are fierce and rise up from their graves or the ocean to march from sunset to sunrise. The Night Marchers gravitate from one battleground site to another and to various sacred places.

The ghosts appear to march without touching the ground. They carry spears and clubs. Drummers pound out their battle march while other warriors blow conch shells to warn humans of their presence.

Traditionally, the only way to escape certain death from the Night Marchers is to lie prone, facing away from them, and never looking up at the ghostly soldiers. The only thing that can block them is a Ti shrub (Cordyline sp.). Hawaiians plant these around their homes for protection. They also avoid home layouts where the front and back doors are aligned, since this is believed to be a pathway for Night Marchers.

Pearl Harbor Charley

One famous ghost named Charley is reportedly seen quite frequently or makes his presence known. While he is not reported as being aggressive or malicious, his presence does frighten many of the personnel attached to to the Pearl Harbor military base. No one knows who Charley was when he was alive or how he became known as Charley. He's accepted as the resident ghost.

One of Charley's favorite things to do is turn on a water faucet. If that doesn't get the attention he desires, then he'll play around with a radio. Charley is known to change the radio stations rapidly and often. These antics and others, such as slamming doors, are commonplace and considered Charley's way of letting his presence be known.

blurred figure emerging from the light

White Lady

The White Lady is the goddess Pele (Pelehonuamea) of destruction and creation. She rules over fires and volcanoes. The folklore states she takes the form of a woman dressed in white. Pele always has long white hair. She may appear as an elderly woman or a young and beautiful woman. She appears to people as a way of testing their faith and reverence for her.

Many Hawaiian children are raised to always pick up a woman hitchhiker since she may be Pele testing you. To disrespect Pele by refusing to give her a ride to wherever she wishes to travel is to invite her wrath of bad luck, heartache, and misfortune. If you stop and offer her a ride, she will bestow you with good luck. It's said that Pele has a penchant for cigarettes, so keep a pack in your vehicle in case she hitches a ride and asks for a cigarette.

There are many stories of Pele wearing a red dress and appearing at the foot of a volcano. She's been described as dancing with fire around the volcano in what appears to be a sacred ritualistic dance. Other tales state if you see Pele in red, it's a warning of an impending volcanic eruption. She's often seen with a small white dog companion that has been seen playing about active volcanoes.

Choking Ghost

One of the commonly seen ghosts on the island chain is the choking ghost. This ghostly entity visits its victims late at night. It is similar to stories of a succubus. The person wakes from a restless slumber and discovers they can't move. There is a sensation that someone is pushing or sitting on their chest while choking them.

When being attacked by the choking ghost, the person is unable to scream or cry out. The victims report being paralyzed and unable to move. When the person feels they are going to die, the ghost relents and vanishes.

The person can move once more and breathe freely. This sleep paralysis event is found throughout the world cultures, and the medical community states it is a common sleep phenomenon. Those having experienced the choking ghost don't agree with this medical assessment.

Choking Ghost

Faceless Obake of Old Pali Road

The Faceless Obake (a thing that changes) of Old Pali Road is said to be that of a young girl who was raped and murdered. Her body was left along the side of the road. She supposedly wanders about the road, often seen carrying her jump rope, jumping rope, or skipping along the road with her jump rope. She travels the length of Old Pali Road on Oahu.

The little girl is seen mostly at dusk or night. When motorists stop to offer assistance, the child turns around and her scary appearance terrifies them. They quickly realize this isn't some poor lost little girl. Her face only has eyes. The rest of her face is either missing or appears blank.

Abundance of Hawaiian Ghost Stories

Hawaii has an abundance of ghostly tales and stories of restless spirits. Many Hawaiians and tourists have seen ghosts or witnessed paranormal activity along this island chain.

5 Chilling Hawaiian Ghost Stories From the Islands