Stories about my first trip to Molokai when I was a kid and I swore there were people — or spirits — swarming around me. Stories about seeing Pele dancing in the spewing lava on a geology trip to the Big Island. Stories about dead cats clawing at my legs, voices in my ears, shadows in my windows, scratch marks that I can’t explain and a dress hanging in my doorway.
Who needs haunted houses!
For most of my life, I’ve come to understand, I’ve been plagued by spirits. I would see people no one could see, smell things no one else could smell. It’s hard to explain.
One of my visitors was turned into a character in Lois Ann Yamanaka’s book, “Behold the Many: A Novel.” (She thanks me in the acknowledgements for letting her borrow him for this story.)
I don’t like to talk about this, this, whatever it is, a gift, an affliction. I’d rather keep the doors shut so nothing gets in. People who know understand what I mean.
But the more I share these stories, the more I realize how many people have their own personal stories. About dead grandparents visiting them. About unexplainable messages left on dollar bills or in books. About hearing things — usually crying babies or laughing women — in public restrooms around Hawaii.
These stories send shivers up my own spine, too.
So in the spirit — no pun intended — of Halloween, I thought it would be cool to share our stories.
I want to know what’s your scariest personal ghost story. Where were you? What happened? And what do you make of it now?