Ghosts at Nohili, 1912.


O Mr. Editor of the Kuokoa Newspaper, Aloha amongst us:—Please extend your patience and your kindness in inserting these words above, so that the intimates and friends will see this astonishing news that is so bewildering.

On the 8th of this past month, my fellow travellers and I were riding aboard an automobile headed for the famous Rumbling Sands of Nohili [One Kani o Nohili], it was between 10 p. m. and 11 p. m. on Sunday night mentioned above.

We went that night to go fishing at the shores around that place at night.

But when we arrived there, my travelling companions headed to the top of the Rumbling Sands of Nohili; one was a German and one was a Japanese, their names being Louis Seghorn and Kamisato; and other than the two, there was myself and my son below the hill of the Sands of Nohili.

While we sat, my son urged for us to climb on the rumbling sands, and I agreed to his idea; we went up, and while we were climbing to the middle of the hill of rumbling sands, I heard a faint voice saying, “Don’t go up.”

I stopped in the middle of that sand hill, and due to the insistence of my son that we go up, we climbed up and met up with my companions who were lying on the sand.

While we sat, the German left us, and proceeded to head toward the other side of the rumbling sands to see the conditions.

The time that he went and we sat, it was pitch dark. While he was walking, we saw him walking until he fell down; he tried calling out, but couldn’t, and we did not hear him calling; when I got there, I started massaging him until we both were there; at which point I saw ghost [uhane] coming out of the sand, and I urged that we should return to where we were sitting.

When we sat there again, that German wanted to go and see again to make sure, so we all went together. When we went to where this German first walked, and he reached a flat area, it was as if there was a magnet pulling him right up to a huge specter, and there met up face to face; at which point, he started to shrink back but was unable to; when this was happening, I didn’t see that ghost [uhane lapu].

As he was being twisted about here and there, he fell down face upwards; he saw a ghost holding his throat and two young ghosts holding down his hands, one on the left hand and one on the right; while my Japanese friend and I were overwhelmed during this dire time, being that we could no longer see nor hear our friend then, and we were thinking of a way to revive him from this second fall; the Japanese tried to pull him by his hand, but to no avail, for his hands were held fast by those ghosts.

Afterwards, I had an idea from what I heard being said by the kamaaina of this land; urine is the cure should you meet up with a ghost of that sort in the night; I started to urinate on the body of our friend who was lying down, from head to foot, without any thought to whether or not it was working; but the problem was solved.

As the two of us saw our friend shaking until it stopped, while I was urinating, I saw so many ghosts coming out of one of the hills of sand; I could not fathom the number of ghosts. Here is the awful thing: while I was carrying out this action to help our travelling companion, right behind me was something scorching like fire; I turned to look back, and there was the hand of a ghost [kanaka uhane] grabbing me; it was a fat ghost, and I besmeared myself with my leftover urine and that is when this ghost left; I immediately urged my friends that we should return at once without waiting any longer; we then went back and got on the automobile, heading for town without going fishing.

I speak truthfully of the things my eyes have witnessed from my youth until now when I am an adult, and shall have grandchildren should I live; this is the first time I’ve seen this truly amazing thing.

I am a native of this area, and the sun-snatching island of Kauai is the land of my birth.

We sincerely are the two witnesses along with the writer who saw the ghosts of the night.


Kekaha, Kauai, Sept. 16, 1912.

(Kuokoa, 9/27/1912, p. 3)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XLVIII, Helu 39, Aoao 3. Sepatemaba 27, 1912.