The 13 Scariest Souls on Oahu
Halloween / Since it’s not an election year, we decided to present you with the thirteen scariest people on the island. (Usually election-year Halloweens are scary enough without any help from us.) Granted, some of these people aren’t scary-looking, but the activities they engage in are kinda spooky. Regardless, turn down the lights to enjoy what you won’t want to meet in the dark. Or maybe you do… Muahahaha.
1. The Laie Lady
The Weekly managed to score an exclusive interview with the most famous ghoul at the Haunted Lagoon, the fabulously haired Laie Lady. We try to have a conversation with the angry spirit, but she seems to have a one-track mind.
Linda Lingle just announced her run for Akaka’s soon-to-be vacant seat. Between her, Case and Hirono, any faves so far?
My favorite is WHO EVER HELPS ME FIND MY SON!
Err… Your son?
MY SON! He was my everything and someone or some…THING snatched him from me, dragging him into the darkness of the lagoon! I can still hear him calling to me at night. DO YOU HAVE MY SON?!
Sorry, I don’t have your son. But I have some candy corn here. Hey, speaking of food, do you have any favorite restaurants?
The new Gateway restaurant opening next to my lagoon has food…TO DIE FOR!
What exactly can people expect if they visit your Haunted Lagoon?
Some of the ghouls and goblins decided to build a gauntlet leading up to my lagoon this year and even I never know what will be around the corner. If you are lucky enough to make it to the canoe make sure you hold on because it will be the ride of your life or…AFTERLIFE! AND YOU BETTER NOT HAVE MY SON IN THAT CANOE WITH YOU! My husband is also looking for him and if I don’t get you, he will.
Oh, your hubby’s around too? What do you guys like to do in your spare time when you’re not scaring the bee-jeezus out of people?
Ahh, I remember the good old days when he used to go fishing and I would prepare a nice meal from his catch. We were so in love, we used to bathe in the warm sun and lay under the stars on cool Laie nights. Then it was all gone. He left me alone with nothing to remember him by other then my son, our beloved son, but he was taken from me and I will do ANYTHING TO GET HIM BACK!!!
You seem to really like kids. Have you ever run into that girl who fell down the well? Samara? I think she used to make people watch some weird-ass video on TV that ended with a…ring?
What is this video and TV you speak of? And as for Samara, SHE BETTER NOT HAVE MY SON!
Damn girl, you just too cray cray! But to wrap this up, anything else you want to let the readers out there know?
Come visit me in the Haunted Lagoon. You’ll want to visit every year. That is, if I ever let you leave.
Gosh, you’re so clingy!
2. DJ Nocturna
For my interview with the dark, goth KTUH DJ and event promoter DJ Nocturna, I decided to call her at the stroke of midnight. I mentioned that I pictured her wearing nothing but black, drinking a goblet filled with a dark, blood red substance with Sisters of Mercy, Nick Cave or Siouxie and the Banshees playing in the background.
“You’re absolutely right,” she says laughing. “I was drinking a glass of wine and I am wearing black.”
“I always enjoyed the creatures of the night, vampires and werewolves and monsters,” she says, when asked about her recent sci-fic, steampunk and Miss Vamp Hawaii events. “Vampires of course are number one.”
Would you consider yourself a goth, I ask.
“Yeah, absolutely. Many people actually are, but they don’t know it. They’re dark inside. There’s some people who don’t wear black, but they have a dark side. They just may not look exactly look like what a goth person looks like.”
And what’s a typical Nocturna night like? I ask if she ever just lounges on the couch in pink bunny slippers reading a Nicholas Sparks book.
“No,” she says. “I’ll probably be drinking red wine. On my balcony.”
Searching for prey?
She laughs but ultimately, her answer is, “Yeah.” —
3. Storyteller Lopaka Kapanui
Mentored by Glen Grant, late author of the Chicken Skin books, Lopaka Kapanui continues his friend’s legacy by weaving stories about the island we thought we knew and its spirited inhabitants. Kapanui’s tours, they say, are where the paranormal becomes normal.
What can we expect on your tour?
A lot of fun, education and fright. I don’t play games or do the obvious scare tactics that others use to create a false fear.
Do you really feel that the islands are haunted?
These islands are haunted and inhabited by people. The spirits have been here long before we have. One must remember that the native Hawaiians were living and dying here on this land hundreds of years before Western contact. This is their home. We’re the new kids on the block.
How do your guests react to native spirits?
With much respect and reverence. I get a lot of people who come on my tour expecting something like a haunted house; they’re ready to be scared, they’re waiting for a person to literally jump out of the bushes and some of my guests actually look for those things. I also get very many skeptics or flat out non-believers. Almost all of my guests come away with much more than they expected. The fear they find is very different than that of a scary movie type of tour and the skeptics usually end up not quite so skeptic anymore.
What’s the strangest or scariest thing you’ve ever seen or heard?
Seeing “something” that was not there pull a woman’s hair above her head without her even knowing it was happening.
Wow, that’s a little crazy! So is there anything new going on with your tours?
I’m working on resurrecting an old tour that my late boss and mentor, Glen Grant, used to do. I can’t give you the details yet but I can say that it was one of his most popular tours. I’ve also had a special request to do a Waianae Tales by Moonlight tour, which starts in early November. —
4. People-Eating Audrey Jr.
Okay, so maybe Audrey Jr. isn’t a scary “person” but “she” does play a large role in what promises to be the Halloween hit of the theatre season, Little Shop of Horrors.
Audrey is an exotic plant raised by a floral assistant, who develops a taste for R&B music and human blood. Later it turns out that the plant is actually a carnivorous alien hellbent on global domination. Two puppeteers will operate Audrey and we can’t wait to see her begin chomping on the cast as snacks.
The musical, written by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken of The Little Mermaid fame, keeps toes tapping with hits like the title song and “Suddenly Seymour.”
Have you heard theatre people getting together after a show to celebrate that night’s performance at a karaoke bar? Nine times out of ten, “Suddenly Seymour” is going to be drunkenly belted out over the sound system. Talk about scary. —
5. Ghostbusters Preston Galera and Blaise Atabay
Experiencing orbs of light, mysterious voices (“I see dead people!”), cold spots? Prickly things down the back of your neck? For Preston Galera, co-founder of Hawaiian Island Paranormal Research Society, spooky stuff happens everywhere. “We’ve been all over the place,” says Galera, “And we find them all over.”
Them = ghosts. Galera and co-founder Blaise Atabay are Oahu’s real-life ghostbusters, answering calls and investigating haunted spots. Kaimuki residents beware: Galera says it’s the most haunted area of the island.
Come November 5th, brothers-in-law Galera and Atabay will teach “Ghost Hunting 101: Introduction to Paranormal Investigations” at Kapiolani Community College. “One of the things we do is giving back and teaching what we do, because it’s not something normal,” says Galera, who began teaching with Atabay in 2009.
Students get the coolest final project ever: an actual investigation with the entire class. “They get to experience being in the dark. Using our equipment…and get the thrill of being on the hunt,” says Galera. Students handle different equipment including voice recorders, image sharpening devices, night-vision video recorders and energy sensing devices.
What to do when you encounter a ghost? “Call us,” announces Galera in true Ghostbusters style. “You just have to get that sense of ownership and not be afraid, but at the same time you can’t make like it’s your place. [For ghosts] in Hawaii, in their mind, it’s their land.” It’s all about respect, and these two pros know it all. (Just make sure they don’t cross the lines…) —
6. The Freek-a-Leek Lil Jon
There is nothing scarier than a guy yelling “Yeah!” in your face all day but somehow, Lil Jon has made a career of this. In songs like LMFAO’s “Shots,” Petey Pablo’s “Freek-a-Leek” and of course, Usher’s “Yeah!,” Lil Jon’s trademark raps/shouts can be heard as punctuations of loudness. But the man’s also an accomplished DJ and he’ll be hitting the island’s waterpark for this year’s edition of Haunted Wonderland. His particular brand of electronic music will be sure to send some crunk-ish chills up your spine. —
7. The Talented Mr. Shinobi
The McQueen-clad Chameleon. The Black Swan of Chinatown. The Gorey Asian Gaga. Or as he’s legally known: Caleb Shinobi. The local model/actor/dancer/creative director/event producer/stylist/photographer/socialite who wears many hats (designer only) is hard to categorize which makes his lurky-and-murky ambiguous appearance all the more intriguing. When you spot the local Lagerfeld creeping around the scene, you can’t help but ponder how in the underworld this dude with the Jack Skellington physique in a saline chic ensemble slinked in to your like, life. Because in Hawaii, a Swarovski-emblazoned eye patch never looked so au courant and sinister. That’s why.
8. Pixel-Phantoms Burlingame, Paresa and amorin
Here’s a chilling new idiom for the year 2011: The Facebook profile picture’s eyes are the browser windows to the soul. #shiver
Burlingame, Paresa and amorin comprise an untitled unceremonious collective of artists whose mingling in staged photography, performance art and social media have managed to–gasp!–make Facebook interesting.
Log onto all three profiles to browse an unformed pixilated look into online identity beyond “Liking” TV shows and music on the site. From their digital pool of species-bending portraits, we’ve already been hypnotized by levitating witches, demented pig ladies and cocaine-caked mug shots you can’t help but “Friend.” There’s also something sacrilegiously fun about three twenty-somethings simultaneously taking and not taking their profile pics so seriously. This subversio-treatment of accounts-as-canvas feels something is akin to dancing on Mark Zuckerberg’s grave and it makes you look at your own colorless profile and feel very Generation Why about it. All we can do is cross our fingers for a printed photo book in their future.
With Halloween around the corner and the net not going away any time ever, it obliquely raises a lingering question about the paranormal future of a medium whose constant and unpredictable stimulation on the daily already feels like a constant stream of Trick-or-Treating: Can the Internet be haunted? As the Internet becomes more “concrete,” will future generations talk about their Gmail accounts the same way we already question a kitchen cupboard that opens on its own? Can ghosts preoccupy a virtual space that many of us reflectively live and die on? ~*Weird vibes`~*, man. —
9. Psychic Lan Vo
For those who haven’t heard of the “Vietnamese psychic lady,” how’s that possible? Seems like everyone’s mom, uncle, bank teller and favorite makeup artist at MAC has seen the prolific Oahu psychic. Originally this was to be a play-by-play account of a recent reading, but trying to book our appointment to coincide with this printing, we couldn’t: Lan’s on vacation until the 28th. It just wasn’t in the cards!
So we turned to the crystal ball of the Internet. The one that predicts what we’ll eat on our lunch breaks and who’ll cut our hair. We peered into cloudy reliable/unreliable Yelp. And discovered that to revel in others’ personal anecdotes and stories is just as creepy, inspiring and fun.
The majority of visitors appear to swear by Lan, saying she’s able to channel their pasts and presents down to specific names and incidences without them ever piping a single word to her. Predictions that have come true run the spectrum of foretelling delayed flights and future spouses to kidney tumors and fatal car accidents.
Considering how far in advance she’s solidly booked–about two to three months out on average–there’s something to say for that kind of popularity. Whether you’re a believer or not, Lan must possess…something.
10. The Creepy-Crawly Social Climbing Class in The Descendants
In Kaui Hart Hemmings’ novel (and soon to be released Alexander Payne film adaptation) of a father reconnecting with his adolescent daughters in the wake of his wife’s near-fatal boating accident, The Descendants paints a universal portrait of family dysfunction and dynamics by approaching its Hawaiian setting with a non-sensationalized postcard prose that feels like home. That part reads like paradise. It’s some of the characters she depicts–entitled heirs, sharky realtors and developers, social climbers–on the 96816 peripheries that pass over its pages like a frigid breeze over the Kahala Resort.
Ugh, did someone’s maid leave the upstairs den’s marble windowpane open again? It’s three degrees under room temperature in here and the organic kale is getting cold. It’s these sort of out-of-touch problems that make you want to curl up on your Walmart air mattress in Sears-brand pajamas and #OccupyTheDescendants. –M.D.
11. The Grisly Edward Gorey
The late Edward Gorey was a writer and illustrator whose artwork can only be described as “macabre.” His drawings frequently mixed children with skeletal figures and his work has inspired none other than Tim Burton, our leading cinematic child of the darkness.
The University of Hawaii Art Gallery will release Looking for Edward Gorey, a 164-page catalogue produced as a companion to their Fall 2010 exhibition, Musings of Mystery and Alphabets of Agony: The Work of Edward Gorey.
There will also be a party to celebrate the book’s launch. A dead man’s party. —
12. Ghostblogger Georgette Deemer
Okay, we’re not saying Georgette Deemer, the Communications Director for the State House of Representatives, is scary. Just look at her–far from it. But what she does in her spare time that’s kind of spooky is collect ghost stories about the State Capitol and post it to the House blog.
“For this year, I have only one new story,” she says. “I got several comments from staff people in the building, both of them about the same place: the women’s bathroom on the chamber level. I got a number of people who said they weren’t surprised. Although they didn’t see anything, they always get a creepy feeling when they’re in there.”
Well… Spirits are reportedly attracted to areas with water so this explains the oddly large number of haunted restrooms on this island. Remember that faceless, hairy ghost from the old Waialae Drive-In bathroom? And how she moved to the Jolly Rancher bathroom when they knocked down the drive-in? Then she moved to the Macy’s restroom when that restaurant got demolished? And then how she re-located to the Kahala Zippy’s bathroom because it was…nicer? Never mind.
Search “Capitol ghost stories” on the blog to check out spine-tingling tales about Governor Burns’ cigar smoke, Queen Liliuokalani walking across the building’s ponds and a surprisingly heartwarming tale about the spirit of Rep. Bob Nakasone.
13. Spooky Kine Investigators
This Oahu based paranormal research group has teamed up with Mission Houses Museum to offer us Spookilau–an event that gives us a chance to see real paranormal investigations. They’ll explain the science behind paranormal research, offer never-before-heard ghost tales and lead you on a spooky downtown walking tour. The goal of the group is to also provide understanding of the paranormal through cultural techniques and modern investigative procedures.
“One of the investigations is of the 1821 Mission House,” says volunteer and tour coordinator Mike Smola. “And the other is in the Chamberlain House.” Smola says there will be ghost compositions, ghost portraits and other ghoul inspired activities. Then there’s the real Ghostbuster moment, where event-goers will get up close to professional paranormal investigation equipment.
Guests can also enjoy food from some of Honolulu’s most popular lunch trucks, a lecture on The Science of Ghosts, a tour of Hawaii’s oldest house and cemetery, and a discussion of the supernatural by storyteller Joe Punohu.