29.08.2012 - 29.08.2012
"Are you okay with going to evil places?"
"Are you okay with going to a cemetery?"
With that, I signed on the dotted line and then climbed into the tour van. This was my first time going on a ghost hunting expedition, and I felt more excited and curious than anything else. What would I see with my own eyes? What sounds would I hear around me? What would I feel with my intuition? I was ready to keep an open mind and to see what would happen.
Once all of us in the tour group (approximately 15 people) were picked up from our respective hotels in Waikiki, we drove to the first of five sites in the Orbs of Oahu tour, a night-time guided exploration of Southern Oahu sites that allegedly have unexplained/paranormal activity. Each of these sites have one thing in common: At one time or another, terrible, grizzly things have happened there, resulting from historic conquests long ago, and/or just plain freaky events.
During the drive, our tour guide, Uncle Joe, told us to keep strong minds and strong hearts, that it is more mental than anything else - if you stay in your "happy place" (whatever that is for each individual person), then you will be fine and nothing will scare you. Makes a lot of sense, actually.
I forget the names of some of these sites, including the first one, but I will do my best to describe what I can remember of my surroundings. We drove on the freeway and then somewhere deep into the dark mountains of Southern Oahu where we stopped at a lookout point. On the one hand, if you looked beyond the guard rail, you could see a spectacular, awe-inspiring view of the city lights of Honolulu down below; but if you turned 180 degrees (or even just 90 degrees), the dark outline of the steep, surrounding mountains gave a mysterious feel to the area.
Though it is a little bit eery to visit such dark, remote spots at night, I actually felt pretty much fine at the first two sites. At the second location, we had to hike down an unpaved path to get to the site. Something I thought unusual about the second location: Uncle Joe told us that school kids play here in the day time and even manage a little community garden. Ahh! I hope they don't know about the stories I heard on this tour. Or maybe this site is only spooky during the nighttime.
As we left the second site, Uncle Joe told us to brace ourselves, that the third site on the tour was considered "100 percent evil". Once we reached Morgan's Corner, he asked all of us to huddle in a circle, and then, he told us the stories (yes, plural) about why this particular place is considered so ominous. Though I kept my cool at all of the locations on the tour, deep down, I knew I felt scared at this spot. Luckily, Uncle Joe thought the site (all of them, actually) seemed to have a much calmer energy than normal on this particular evening, so I took his word for it.
I think the fourth spot was somewhere near Manoa Falls. While not quite as scary as Morgan's Corner, I did feel a twinge unsettled at the fourth site. Actually, I suddenly felt very parched and a little sick to my stomach. It was a dumb move on my part to not bring a bottle of water with me - I think that's all my body was trying to tell me - that I was thirsty and starting to freak myself out a little bit.
What was the calmest spot of the whole evening? Ironically, the cemetery, which was the final stop on the tour. Yes, I actually felt much more at ease amongst the tombstones than the four previous dark, forested areas on the tour. There was an amazing view of Honolulu from the high perch of the cemetery. Uncle Joe lit some incense and the group got quiet as we paid respect to those who had passed, including special loved ones in our own lives - it was actually very moving, a great way to end the evening on a positive note.
Though there were times where we heard some scary stories and it felt a little eery to be in some of those sites, I was very impressed that the two guides on the tour were so knowledgeable about the area and the history. Uncle Joe chanted as we entered each site as a sign of respect to whatever spirits might be there, and he made sure each of us in the group was okay throughout the tour.
So, I'm sure you're wondering: Did I see any ghosts on this tour? Or other paranormal activity? And are these sites truly haunted?
In reference to the first question, I don't know. In some of my photos, there are what could appear to be orbs (balls of light), which we learned on the tour is a form that these spirits can take. Feel free to look at the photos in this blog post and decide for yourself.
What I will say for sure: These sites have a different energy about them. I do believe that people impact the environment around them (and vice versa) though we may not be able to explain why these sites "feel" different as a result. But what fun is life without a little mystery? I'm okay with some unanswered questions. As they would say on The X-Files:
I want to believe.