Honolulu Mythbusters

Honolulu Mythbusters

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With a cultural history rich in mythology, folklore and ancient gods, Honolulu has spawned several scary urban legends and superstitions that will have you thinking twice about venturing out alone at night. No matter where you travel on the island, you will hear these well-known urban myths of Honolulu. Mythbusters have debated their validity. Read for yourself and be the judge.

Myth #1 - Night Marchers at Nuuanu Pali

According to Honolulu urban legends, the ghosts of ancient warriors can be seen roaming the island by night, marching purposely in rows to the beat of a drum while carrying torches. These ghosts, called night marchers, can typically be found in locations that were once battlefields, such as Nuuanu Pali. If you look the night marchers in the eye, you are forced to march with them forever unless a relative already among the marchers pleads for you to be spared. If you happen to encounter these ancient warriors, locals say to get on the ground face down, and "play dead" to avoid gaining their attention, and avoid eye contact. Some even say the warriors will bump you in an effort to get you to look so they can take you away with them.

Legend says a common time for the night marchers to appear is the 14th night of the new moon, when spirits of chiefs, warriors, ancestors and gods march between sunset and sunrise. If you're brave enough to risk testing this scary urban legend in Honolulu, several ghost tours are available that visit the most popular locations where the night marchers have been encountered.

Myth #2 - Carrying Pork over the Pali Highway

According to local beliefs, if you drive with pork across the Old Pali Highway, your car will stall and not start again until you remove the pork from your car. This urban myth is said to be tied back to Pele, the goddess of the volcanoes, and Kama Pua'a, a shape-shifting god that was part hog and part human. After a tumultuous end to their relationship, Pele and Kama Pua'a agreed to never visit each other's sides of the island. So, if anyone attempts to cross this line with pork, Pele prevents "part" of Kama Pua'a from crossing into her territory. This is one of the most common urban legends you will hear when visiting Honolulu. Mythbusters may have their doubts about the story's validity, but to this day many locals refuse to carry pork (raw or cooked) over the Old Pali Highway.

Myth #3 - Bridges of Manoa

Paradise Park, located in Manoa Valley, features a hiking trail leading deep into the valley. Urban legend says you will cross seven bridges on the hike into the valley, but on the way back you will cross only six bridges.

Myth #4 - Morgan's Corner

Morgan's Corner, a hairpin turn on Nuuanu Pali Road, is supposedly one of the most haunted places in the area and is the setting for several popular urban legends in Honolulu. One of the most well-known is the story of Brittani Lochmann, who hanged herself in a tree on the road. The girl was missing for several days, and by the time she was found, her head was severed from her body. The legend says her spirit wanders, unable to rest without a head, and if you sit under the tree where she died, you will see a shadow hanging from the tree.

Another urban myth associated with Morgan's Corner involves a young couple that parked on the road one night for a make-out session. When they decided to head home, the couple's car would not start, so the boyfriend left to get help while the girlfriend remained in the car. After several hours, the girl fell asleep to the sound of rain and branches scraping across the top of the car. She awoke the next morning surrounded by police. She was instructed to exit the car and not look back, but out of curiosity, she glanced back to see her gutted boyfriend hanging by his ankles from the tree above the car. The rain she heard was actually his blood dripping onto the car, and the branches were his fingertips scraping the car as the wind blew.

The only murder near Morgan's Corner that can be verified is that of Therese Wilder in 1948. According to newspaper clippings from that time, Mrs. Wilder was bound, gagged and beaten by two escaped prisoners. Many people have seen what they believe to be Mrs. Wilder's ghost roaming the area.

Myth #5 – The Green Lady

First spotted by children at Wahiawa Elementary School in the 1940s and 50s, the Green Lady is supposedly covered with green, scaly skin and hair that resembles seaweed. The urban legend goes that the Green Lady and her children would often visit the area behind the school that is now the Wahiawa Botanical Gardens. During one visit, one of her children went missing and was never found. The Green Lady supposedly still strolls through the wooded area searching for her lost child and will take any child she encounters. Although the last alleged sighting was in the 1980s, children still challenge each other to run across the garden's bridge alone at night.

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