Hawaii’s Urban Legends

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In honor of Halloween, we thought it would be a spooktacular idea to share some of Hawaii’s supernatural legends.

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If you hear the sound of drums, it’s best to turn the other way and run

Legend of the Night Marchers

One of the most well-known and chilling Hawaiian legends is that of the Night Marchers. The Night Marchers are the ghosts of ancient Hawaiian warriors who roam at night and are accompanied by the beat of drums and blowing of the conch shell. If you hear these sounds and see torch lights it is suggested that you run to the nearest shelter. If you are unlucky enough to encounter the Night Marchers, do NOT look them in the eye! If you do, you will be punished with death and forced to join the Night Marchers in their procession. Legends also suggests that laying on the ground will save you from their wrath.

There are several sites in Oahu that Night Marchers are said to frequently visit including the Pali Highway, Kalihi Valley, Ka’a’awa Valley, and Kualoa Ranch. The moon phases are also said to have an effect on the Night Marchers as they are more frequently spotted on nights with full or new moons.

 

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Pele, the goddess of fire and volcanoes

Pele

Locals and visitors alike have reported many supernatural sightings of Pele, the goddess of fire and volcanoes. Pele takes on many forms: sometimes she is seen as a beautiful young woman, other times she materializes as an old and unattractive lady. She has been seen wearing a long white dress, a red muumuu, or dark and ashy clothing. Oftentimes she is accompanied by a white dog.

Many of the supernatural sightings recount Pele as an old and decrepit lady who asks for food and water or transportation. It is said that she is testing the character and aloha spirit of people. If you offer her help you will be rewarded, but if you deny her you will be cursed and punished. If you pick her up as a hitchhiker it is not unlikely for her to mysteriously vanish during the car ride.

There have also been many reports of seeing her and her white dog at Mount Kilauea, which is said to be her home and final resting place. Even more startling are the countless pictures and videos of flowing lava, steam, and eruptions at Kilauea that appear to have a woman’s face, which is no doubt Pele.

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Lava rocks: not the luckiest souvenir

Cursed Lava Rocks

Over 8 million people visit Hawaii every year and naturally these visitors want to commemorate their vacation with souvenirs and pictures. It is not uncommon for visitors to take sand, sea shells, and rocks as memoirs. However, legend says that those who take rocks or sand from the islands will suffer a curse from Pele, and receive bad luck until the items are returned.

Every year thousands of rocks are mailed back to Hawaii from visitors who have experienced bad luck and misfortune. There are even websites dedicated to safely returning lava rocks back to the Volcanoes National Park in hopes of lifting Pele’s curse and the return of good fortune. This legend receives some debate as there are those who believe a park ranger created the myth in order to deter tourists from taking rocks from the park. Whether that is true or not is for you to decide, however it is illegal to take rocks and minerals from any national park.

 

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