Tag Archives: Hawaii

254 – Hawaii Paracon: Ancient Wisdom Meets Parapsychology

Last July at the inaugural Hawaii ParaCon, I felt an unmistakable spark, sadly lacking at most conventions of this kind. Oahu’s annual and only paranormal conference returns July 19-21, 2019 to offer a fresh, cross-cultural approach. This year the conference has expanded to include an exploration of the history and practices of parapsychology.

Organized by native Hawaiian Lopaka Kapanui, Hawaii ParaCon unites seldom explored cultural teachings with the scientific boundary work that dares to study the paranormal. Our keynote speaker for the event, July 19-21, is Loyd Auerbach. Professor Auerbach brings with him a vast knowledge of parapsychology as we learned in Episode #27. What will happen when the scientific study of the paranormal steps out of the laboratory and into such a spiritually powerful place as Hawaii? I hope you’ll be there to find out.

Although it’s harmful and cliche to see native Hawaiians as some exotic other, it’s undeniable that different cultures, especially long-silenced indigenous cultures, have something to teach us. Hawaii ParaCon offers us an opportunity to bridge this gap.

One of my favorite presentations from 2018 was delivered by the kind, soft-spoken Keli’i Makua. Hawaiian traditional tattoos are a symbolic way to connect with ancestors, a continuous prayer for protection, and a constant reminder of your place in the spiritual cosmos that surrounds us and gives us life. I was humbled to learn of the incredible importance of a practice that I had always overlooked. Such surprises abound when you come into contact with perspectives that are completely unfamiliar. For those of us on the bleeding edge of materialist reality such glimpses of other paradigms can better inform our research.

Keli’i Makua shares surprising teachings about the spiritual significance of traditional Hawaiian tattooing.

I came to Hawaii to reignite my sense of wonder and to reconnect with the Earth, and I was not disappointed. Then I went out for pizza with the gang. Although Honolulu often feels like the Chicago of the Pacific, the magic in the land is still abundant. On Oahu, you can rub shoulders with the profound one minute, and the next, go hang out at Zippy’s (Hawaii’s answer to Denny’s). My point is that the cultural teachings of Hawaii are not as inaccessible as they may seem.

Whereas in most places in the continental U.S., I feel a need to breathe life back into the lore of the land, in Hawaii, a persuasive presence of belief breathes life into you. In Episode #57, I recount my some of my paranormal experiences from my first visit to Hawaii and include an audio clip from Lopaka. He shares a supernatural tale that illustrates a connection with nature that many of us are detached from in the dominant materialist culture.

My first experiences in Oahu included what seemed to be messages from the spirits of the land.

The potential for reconnection with something beyond yourself, especially in the jungle of the windward side of the island, feels immense, eternal, and dangerous. When I step foot on a Hawaiian island, I get a strong sense that anything could happen — surprising and drastic changes for good or ill. Explorers beware because there’s a power in the atmosphere of the place that is alive and vital. Make no mistake, the Hawaiian Islands are a paranormal paradise as described in Episode # 136, but when you visit prepare act with the utmost respect or else.

In this episode, Lopaka shares his origin story and other incredible tales including that time a pro-wrestling match became an unintended distraction in the middle of a haunted bus tour.

When you visit Hawaii, besides instructive cultural differences, you may also notice some startling similarities in the reported paranormal phenomena, as I did in a recent blog article. Such curious parallels evident in such a far-flung culture hint at a nebulous, yet undeniable reality.

Hawaii ParaCon, unlike so many other paranormal conferences, offers a unique prospect, a chance to grow as both a paranormal investigator and a person. Enjoy our latest episode with behind-the-scenes stories from 2018 like the time the speakers separately encountered a mysterious hitchhiker on the road to an awa ceremony. We also provide a sneak peek of some of the new opportunities, ceremonies, and workshops awaiting you this year.

Because Hawaii was just voted the Happiest STate according to website WalletHub.com (Hey, Madison came in as the third happiest city, so we must be doing something right!) we decided to put our goofiest song in this episode. It’s pretty simple, it’s “The Happy Song”!

I want to know, 
How far to go, 
Before you see, 
What you mean to me. 

1-2-3-4, 
I DECLARE A THUMB WAR, 
On you. On you. 
5-6-7-8, 
WHO DO WE APPRECIATE? 
I appreciate you. 

You. 
Make me happy, 
I feel sappy, 
When you’re around. 
You. 
Make me queasy, 
Because loving’s so easy, 
When you’re around.

H Is For Hawaii: Paranormal Paradise

Why Hawaii?  Besides the glorious spectacle of sun, sea, and sand, Hawaii may just be one of the most crucial destinations in the world for the advancement of paranormal knowledge.  The Hawaiian Islands are among the most remote places on the planet geographically. They are not only remote in terms of mileage, but also genetic novelty. For a relatively small archipelago, Hawaii has the highest percentage of species that exist nowhere else on Earth.  Given such unique status, you’d expect far more differences than similarities. However, when it comes to the expression of cryptozoological and paranormal phenomena, I’ve found just the opposite.

Although Hawaii is the only state where Bigfoot has not been reported, many other familiar wonders reprise their proverbial roles albeit with a whole, new cultural context. Such startling cross-cultural connections may be the key to uncovering the truth behind these extraordinary experiences. I examine just a few of these intriguing connections below. Investigating recurrent similarities across time and space may reveal that there is some reality to even the most curious of encounters.

Dogmen & Kupua

The Bray Road Beast has been spotted for decades in Wisconsin.  Dogmen or werewolves have been reported all over the U.S., especially in the Midwest. Accounts of bipedal wolfmen crouching by the roadside eating roadkill is nothing new here as depicted in this illustration sketched from the recollections of the witness by artist, author, and the OG monster researcher, Linda Godfrey. I was shocked when I heard of an identical sighting along a deserted road on Oahu.  In Hawaii such shape-shifting spirits are known as kupua, which can come in many plant, animal, and mineral forms including the form of a dogman. The cultural context in this case is the story of a demigod named Kaupe. But that aside, the witness reports from across thousands of miles of ocean, on the other side of the planet, are remarkably similar to those in Wisconsin and many other Midwestern states of the Mainland — a bipedal creature seemingly half human and half canine.

River Deaths & ‘Uhane Kahea

Another parallel that leapt out and grabbed me on my first trip to Oahu in 2015, involved a far scarier specter called ‘Uhane Kahea or the Calling Spirit.  This is no ordinary ghost, but a murderous creature whose sole purpose seems to be luring eligible, young men to their deaths. The phantom appears as a ravishing, wanton young woman who calls the name of the unsuspecting man, drawing him closer with an alluring smile. She leads him on literally and figuratively and he follows blindly, failing to notice a cliff’s edge, surging water, or another equally deadly hidden pitfall. When I heard the story of one such fatal mishap from Lopaka Kapanui, I saw it as one possible answer to a perplexing question.  What could drive almost 300 young men on the Mainland to drown mysteriously in rivers and other bodies of water miles away from their last known locations? These cases have collectively become known as the work of a shadowy cabal of Smiley Face Killers. But alternative explanations for mysterious drownings abound throughout the histories of different cultures. The Scottish had the deadly water horse known as the Kelpie. The Japanese have the anally obsessed, but fart-repelled Kappa. The Slavic have the soul-stealing Water Man.  Closest to home, the Ojibwe tell tales of the pernicious “Water Panther” also known as Mishipeshu, whose villainy can only be curtailed by the protection of the Thunderbird. Yet are any of these water spooks better suited to ensnare a young man than the irresistible Calling Spirit? 

Fairies & Menehune

An ancient race of people who built sacred structures and who may still live among us playing mischievous tricks and cursing road construction projects on the sacred land they guard so fiercely.  Wait.  Where are we Ireland . . . Iceland? Nope. I’m still talking about Hawaii. However, all of these far-flung cultures seem to harbor the same beliefs just as many native people of the Mainland do. These little people are guardians of nature and must be respected. Some may even be our ancestors. Other fae traditions also appear in a new guise. The Wild Hunt of Germanic and Scandinavian lore, for example, features a threatening procession of fairies or the dead that are an eerie echo of the ancestral Hawaiian warriors called the Nightmarchers. Those unlucky enough to cross the path of either are as good as dead.

Perhaps these strange similarities between Hawaiian tales and Mainland lore are just due to coincidence or the cultural contamination resulting from colonization. The only way to know is to investigate. It’s worth studying if there’s even a small chance that such close connections between cultures separated by hundreds of years and thousands of miles point to consistent attributes of authentic phenomena. 

For a closer look and a chance to conduct your own investigation, join us in this curious paranormal paradise for Hawaii ParaCon.  The next conference is July 19-21, 2019.

229 – Ringing Out The Old: Favorite Paranormal Stories of 2018

Our New Year’s Resolution for 2018 was to hold ourselves to a higher standard of paranormal investigation. Did we do so? Well, we hope so! We hope we gave you guys a lot to think about these past 52 episodes and hopefully stretched your mind but not your credulity.

So, as we ring out the old of 2018, we wanted to talk about some of our favorite paranormal things of 2018. What exactly did we think was the most interesting. Allison Jornlin from Milwaukee Ghosts and Scott Markus from WhatsYourGhostStory.com join Wendy and I for a discussion of our favorite paranormal stuff from the year.

Wendy particularly enjoyed Josh Gates’ 4-part series, Expedition Unknown: Search for the Afterlife. In fact, here’s a particular scene with psychic Chip Coffey at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery that she really enjoyed.

Scott was excited about the idea of “timebleeds” that we might actually be haunting ourselves, that we’re seeing glimpses and hearing sounds not of dead people, but of people living in another time and somehow it’s bleeding through into our present. It’s a theory that he heard from Grant Wilson from SyFy’s Ghost Hunters talk about earlier this year as well as a remarkable story from Michigan supernatural shamus John Tenney and it captured his imagination.

It’s something that we discussed in our episode on precognition. According to the Block Universe Theory of Spacetime, the past, present, and future have already happened. Everything is actually happening at once, we are just experiencing it in a linear manner. When we see a ghost, we might be seeing someone who occupies that same space, but is living in a different time.

Allison’s favorite story of the year is the strange space object Oumumua, what astronomers originally thought was a comet about the size of the Empire State Building ended up having several unusual characteristics, but it didn’t have the regular comet tail of debris and it exhibited acceleration when it shouldn’t have. When a Harvard professor released a paper saying we should consider the proposition that it’s not just a space rock, but that it might be a craft of alien origin, the world sat up and listened.

Of course, Allison wanted to talk about it because she just visited the observatory in Hawaii that discovered it (hence the name Oumumua which means “messenger from the past”) but the reason she was most excited about it is because it helped bring respectability to the idea of talking about aliens. Usually as soon as you bring up UFOs you’re going to turn scientists off, but here’s the rub from the researcher that wrote the paper:

“The point of doing science is not to have a prejudice,” he says. “A prejudice is based on the experience of the past, but if you want to allow yourself to make discoveries, then the future will not be the same as the past.”

Theoretical physicist Avi Loeb 

And to that we say, BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE.

Allison’s pic from the observatory
Wendy went there too, you’re so high up, you’re above the clouds, damn!

Okay, what was my favorite of the year? In 2018, tulpas blew my mind. The whole idea that our beliefs could affect reality so much, we could actually be creating the things that we see. Sure, I had heard of the concept before, and Alexandra David Neel’s famous story of seeing one in action in the mountains of Tibet, but I didn’t really buy it.

Then we did a whole podcast on Santa Claus sightings and we talked to Nick Redfern about how people are seeing the Slenderman in real life (and how the tragic stabbings that occurred in Waukesha, Wisconsin were the day AFTER they talked about it on Coast To Coast AM!) C’mon guys, this is exactly the plot of Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.

I never really entertained the possibility of it, but then Seth Breedlove’s The Bray Road Beast movie also discusses the idea that the beast wasn’t a cryptid, but something called forth through satanic rituals in the area. I witnessed the scene of at least two of those Satanic rituals not that far away from Bray Road and I just thought it was silly. Really, just stupid kids who listened to the wrong heavy metal records. But after talking to Dean Radin about his book, Real Magic, things started clicking.

Maybe there is something to these paranormal sightings and we’re creating them ourselves through the power of belief. That was something I hadn’t considered before (I’ve been a fairly hardcore materialist for most of my life) and it’s a road that I want to explore much more in 2019.

2018 was the Year Of The Dog in the Chinese Zodiac and for a lot of people it was foretold to be an unlucky one. This week’s song is all about the emotions of going through a rough patch in your life or relationship and coming out the other side. Some years are awesome, some are learning experiences, and sometimes you’re just glad they’re over. Here is Sunspot with “Year Of The Dog”.

When the screaming is over and the crying is done,
and we’ve forgotten every promise that we broke.
When there was nothing left to get mad at, the past was always there.
To get pissed at the punchlines of all our inside jokes.

And when the whiskey turned us sour,
yeah we could always blame each other
And when the anger turned to sadness,
hating you was easier than hating myself,
yeah hating you was easier than hating myself.

Welcome to the worst year of your life,
I almost can’t believe we made it out,
Screaming and crying, drinking and fighting,
This past life is one I can live without,

The year our conversation almost turned to monologue
good riddance to the Year of the Dog
good riddance to the Year of the Dog.

I might come back as a bug,
for the stupid things I’ve done,
Or maybe I might not come back at all.
But I’m trying to learn the lessons of all my failed attempts,
I want you to know I’m an older soul,
and we’ll never do that again

And when the whiskey turned us sour,
we could always blame each other, yeah.
And when the anger turned to sadness,
hating you was easier than hating myself,
hating you was easier than hating myself.

Welcome to the worst year of your life,
I almost can’t believe we made it out,
Screaming and crying, drinking and fighting,
This past life is one I can live without,

When our story almost turned from romance to epilogue
good riddance to the Year of the Dog
good riddance to the Year of the Dog.

57 – Dark Side of Paradise: Haunted Hawaii

So, making the rest of us completely jealous, my sister Allison from Milwaukee Ghosts got to go to Hawaii this summer to visit some family and bask in the perfect weather. But we sent her on a mission, that if she got to go to paradise, then we were going to get some ghost stories and a podcast out of her. And we didn’t even have to threaten her, she did her duty and visited some of Haunted Hawaii’s most interesting sites.

The first story she gets is from our family member, Laling, who gave us a haunted tale about the Pauahi Tower. She herself had a strange experience one night there hearing children playing outside their door late at night. And when she went out to see, there was no one there! Later, her experience was validated by someone that knew the  history of the tower, knowing that it was a playground before the tower was built.

Pauahi Tower
Listen for the children playing…

Then she goes on the Mysteries of Hawai’i ghost tour with Lopaka Kapanui (a tour that she loved so much that she went back on a private tour with him a couple days later, so it comes highly recommended and we’ll probably have to have him on the show sometime because he sounds like a fascinating guy.) We get Lopaka himself to tell a story about fishermen that caught a mysterious naked woman who might have been a legendary Hawaiian lizard goddess.

One of the stops was the Iolani Palace, which is the only place in the United States that was ever an official royal residence.

Iolani Palace
Ain’t no way the Professor could have ever made something like this!

While the building itself was magnificent, what intrigued Allison most was a well that was said to have been the residence of a calling spirit.

well of the calling spirit
If you hear a female voice and see a hot naked woman by this well, DO NOT FOLLOW HER, trust us on this one.

Well, that takes us back to our episode about the Smiley Face drownings in La Crosse, Wisconsin and our interview with the makers of the Hidden Truth film, who had researched native calling spirits of the water that according to legend, used to lead young men to their deaths. Of course, this reminded Allison of an episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker as well, that dealt with the Hindu demon, Rakshasa, which in the episode disguised itself as a person’s friend to lead him to his doom. Also, if you haven’t checked out Kolchak, it’s a delicious bit of 70s television horror-comedy that is still worth your time after forty years!

Later they went to a cave of a shark spirit with Lopaka, and Allison had her first visual unexplained experience. He sang to the spirit of the cave and he said it told him they had five minutes to spend there.

The cave
You want in? You better sing…

When she saw a flash across the cave, she herself didn’t believe it until Lopaka mentioned to her that he saw it too, so the trip was extra magical for Allison because unlike some of the people we interview on this program, we don’t regularly see ghosts, spirits, or unexplained things, so anytime we can chalk up something to the unknown, that makes it extra fun.

An offering to the spirit of the cave
An offering left by previous visitors to the spirit of the cave

Plus, her husband’s camera ran out of battery way too fast in the cave and wouldn’t work. It’s often rumored that spirits might not be powerful enough to make us feel or see them,  but they might be able to affect energy levels like battery power or electronics. Allison tells of a story where her projector wouldn’t work earlier this year for no discernible reason (and I can attest to that because I set the projector up the night before) at a haunted American Legion Hall where they moved some servicemen’s pictures to make room for a projection screen. It never had happened to her before that (but it happened to me in Merrill, Wisconsin with my video camera a few years ago) so she hadn’t believed other people’s stories about mysteriously draining batteries, but now she does.

Of course, Allison visited some places where they filmed LOST and Jurassic Park, but she was more interested in the monuments to the dead that they saw throughout the island.  Piles of black and white stones are littered all over the place and it’s in remembrance of passed-on relatives and friends.

Black and white monuments
Which one is for Jacob and which one is for the smoke monster?

The one that garnered the most of her attention was a memorial to a 17 year old that had passed away and seeing all the memorabilia laid out at the site to remember him. She hadn’t seen anything like that before and found it unique and touching. But the most interesting thing was the dog who was completely silent and still sitting and watching over the memorial. Allison said that she didn’t even notice him for several minutes as she was studying the monument. She said that he was the guardian of the place. Maybe not quite paranormal, but still pretty cool.

The Guardian
Look at the upper right of the picture and you can see him watching over…

And speaking of dogs, Hawaii has it’s own bipedal canine, just like we talked with Linda Godfrey about in our American Monsters episode. Allison and Scott went on a “Orbs of Oahu Ghost Tour” and while if you know me, you know I think that “orb pictures” are just tricks of the light and not spiritual, she said they had a good time on the tour and learned some scary stories of a Hawaiian Dogman. There are modern reports of people seeing a dog eating roadkill at the side of the road and they think it’s a normal pooch, until it stands on its hind legs! The legend is that it is Kaupe, an ancient cannibal whose spirit is cursed to roam the island of Oahu and has the body of a man with the head of a dog and sharp claws.

The last place that Allison visited was the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, a solemn place where there are still scores of bodies of sailors still under the water in the wreck.

Flag over the USS Arizona
The American flag over the USS Arizona Pearl Harbor Attack Memorial

Allison and her husband, Scott talk about their impressions of the site while they visit and they talk about the drops of oil from the wreck that still bubble up to the surface of the water.

Oil from the USS Arizone
Do you see a face in here?

That’s Allison and Scott’s picture above, but a few years back someone took a picture of the oil there that they said formed a face.

USS Arizona ghost photograph
Here’s the famous picture that turned up a few years back.

Now, is that just Pareidolia (the human tendency to see faces in patterns, like clouds, walls, stones, etc…)? Or something more, we’re not sure. But it does remind me of a New Twilight Zone episode called “Something In The Walls” that was my first introduction to the phenomena, and it scared the crap out of me when I was a kid!

Have any stories of Haunted Hawaii? We’d love to hear them, post in the comments below if you have your own tale of the supernatural from paradise.

The song this week is related to the calling spirits that Allison talks about. There’s always someone who you never want to hear from because you know it will only lead to disaster.

Listen to “The Call” by Sunspot.

Bloodshot eyes and nicotine fingers,
Where you been, the silence lingers,
the same old song from the same old singer,
and the tune is getting old.

I think we’ve been down this rabbit hole before
This ain’t the first time I’ve been lied to since I walked in the door .

When you hear the call,
your gut drops like an anchor
Against the wall
you’ve got your answer.
But this time I think I could be alright,
And you know just how this story goes.
The siren leads you by the nose,
and you’ll be bleeding on the floor by the end of the night.

Broken nails and broken words,
Damaged pride and damaged goods,
you can’t believe the things you’ve heard,
this fixer-upper is a money pit.

I think we’ve been down this rabbit hole before
This ain’t the first time I’ve been lied to since I walked in the door .

When you hear the call,
your gut drops like an anchor
Against the wall
you know your answer.
But this time I think I could be alright,
And you know just how this story goes.
The siren leads you by the nose,
and you’ll be bleeding on the floor by the end of the night.