Chicken Skin in Kahakuloa Village

Adam and I were very fortunate to be one of the only tour companies allowed to give tours in Kahakuloa Valley. We were definitely the only haoles allowed to do tours there and we respected that privilege very much. Oliver lived up in the valley and allowed us to do tours on his land, a beautiful stretch of history that had been farmed for generations. In fact Kahakuloa was the last remaining, active Ahupua’a (farming community that stretched from mountain to ocean) in the West Maui Mountains and 1 of only 2 valleys that never had it’s water diverted by the sugar cane industry. They were still farming taro, a Hawaiian staple.

Oliver taught Adam and I a lot of Hawaiian history, especially about Kahakuloa Village and would often let us come out and stay the night in his guest hut/house.

On this night we were staying in Kahakuloa with some friends. We had just finished dinner and were relaxing on the grass in front of the house. Kahakuloa was a narrow valley and the homes were built on either side of the original trails that had been used for hundreds of years. These were the same trails that the spirits Oliver spoke of often would still walk along.. In fact all of the homes were surrounded by Tea Leaf plants that were considered sacred and often planted to please the spirits and keep them away from the home. It wasn’t unusual to see spirits with torches walking down toward the ocean at night. They called them, the night marchers…

It was dark and we were relaxing on the lawn and enjoying the stars that seemed so bright and close that you could almost touch them. We were all talking quietly when I brought attention to the people that I had heard coming up the trail. I turned and asked if anyone was expecting guests. Everyone looked at me and said, what people? I had heard the voices coming closer for a few minutes and I could tell that they were right on the other side of the low rock wall we were laying next to. I said, these people, as I sat up and expected to greet whoever was hiking up the trail that night.

There was complete silence and everyone got chicken skin from head to toe as we felt the presence of many spirits walk right in front and past us as they headed back up the trail to where they had come from. None of us said a word for what seemed like 10 minutes. We all rubbed our arms, got up and decided that it might be a good time to go back inside and go to sleep! Talk about crazy dreams that night! I felt like a couple of the spirits had stayed behind to keep us company in our little guest hut/house.

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