Lana’i is Haunted and so am I.

Are you afraid to go in the basement?

This island is different from the rest, that much I know. I’ve been to Kaua`i, O`ahu, Maui, and now Lanai (Lana`i). I’m excited to visit Moloka`i and hopefully Hawai’i Island (Big Island) soon as well. I doubt at this point I’ll be invited to Ni`ihau anytime soon and don’t have any reason to visit Kaho`olawe.

Lana’i is different because of several reasons; the high elevation of Lana’i City makes it feel more like an arid mountain town than a tropical getaway, the size – it’s smaller population than all the rest (except Ko’Olawae, which is uninhabited due to radiation from bomb testing) but if you close your eyes and smell the flowers, letting the wind blow across your face, you can tell that you’re on a tropical island, but otherwise it feels A lot like what I would imagine a mountain town in Colorado feels like in the summer.

(My very amateur Hawaiian pronunciation lesson for you here: The “w” is said as a “vey” sound, and the okina ‘ means the “i” is pronounced as “ee”.)

History of Haunted Lana’i

Lana’i was uninhabitable according to ancient natives because Pa’hulu the god of Nightmares lived here. Ancient Hawaiian legend says visiting the island was “Kapu”, forbidden – until the son of a chief came and killed the evil spirits. There are many here who believe it still is. Legends are told of Sweetheart rock, where a young Maui girl’s Body is buried after she drowned while swimming with her true love. Or perhaps it’s because thick clouds pass over this island very swiftly with an unexpected chill in the breeze. Maybe it’s because, when you look up into the hills and the pines, an eerie mist hangs in the air, like they are watching you from above. The stillness here at night is striking. It is SILENT.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me, even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

Psalm 139:11-12 NIV

With a recent construction project at the hospital the break room will have to be moved down to the basement. When I obliviously announced that at the staff meeting, the aides shook their heads “Oh no.” they said, “It’s spooky down there”, and said a word that means “ghosts” to many locals. In their defense, it is very close to the morgue…

How does any of this relate? I’m getting there. For some of us, whether our fault or not, our past has become a dark basement we’re afraid to go down into. What will happen to us down there? Will we be trapped down there in the dark? Are you afraid to let yourself go back and see what’s hidden down there? It could be things that were valuable once and collecting dust now. It could be trash that has needed cleared out for years and you were too afraid to deal with it then and never have.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There are things that I have done that have haunted me, or felt that I wanted to be hidden and buried forever. I have always had an awareness that these things were still down there despite how far I’ve come. I have to face them and use them for whatever good, helpful, or encouraging things that I can scavenge from them.
I can go down into the basement and bring a friend to make sure I don’t stay. Your true friends will help you clean out your basement.

Please feel free to share comments and feedback.

You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.”

‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬