The 10 Most Haunted Places in Hawaii
Every place has its legends. But none have so many legendary ghosts as Hawaii in its small lands. The island chain has some of the most haunted places in the United States, certainly, but many of these apparitions belong to royals, not just the “common” folk. Perhaps, these spirits come out because of the long history of beauty in one of the most gorgeous places on Earth. Whatever the reason, these haunted places in Hawaii host some of the most intriguing — and terrifying specters of the day.
Iao Theater, Maui
Address: Iao Theater, 68 N Market St, Wailuku, Hawaii
Website: Iao Theater
Can You Visit? Yes. The venue functions still as live theater venue.
Built in 1928 as a Spanish Mission-style live theater, the Iao Theater in Maui with both movies and vaudeville shows playing. By the 1980s, the theater was in bad shape, not doing much anymore. But behind those curtains, apparitions linger. Allegedly, a misty apparition sits among the seats at various spots around the theater and goes on stage when the theater is closed. She’s not felt as sinister, but friendly, so folks aren’t too afraid of her. Some affectionately call her Emma and believe her to a flapper and actress from the 1920s who loved the theater.
But the other ghosts are a bit more unnerving: Hawaiian soldiers who linger in cold spots and haunting figures. Some folks say lights flicker without warning — or living persons nearby, tech boards malfunction, and ghostly voices may be heard throughout.
The theater has such a reputation for paranormal activity that the Syfy show “Haunted Collector” filmed an episode there, witnessing paranormal activity with visual and audio content.
Pearl Harbor, Oahu
Address: Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, Historic Ford Island, 319 Lexington Boulevard, Honolulu, Hawaii
Website: Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum
Can You Visit? Yes. Pearl Harbor functions as a museum today.
If anywhere deserved a haunting, Pearl Harbor is it. Fallen soldiers are said to linger here, bemoaning the destruction on that fateful day during World War II when the station was bombed. Of particular note, the Pacific Aviation Museum, in Hangars 37 and 39 as the prime location for these ghoulish apparitions. The two buildings remained after the bombing and were turned into today’s museum. Folks claim to hear footsteps appearing and vanishing out of nowhere, with other strange sounds and visions of misty human-like figures hovering nearby.
In 2012, the “Ghost Hunters” show filmed at the museum, recording sounds and unusual lights, among others.
Kaneana Cave, Oahu
Address: 82-180 Farrington Highway, Waialua, Hawaii
Can You Visit? Yes.
On the coast north of Waianae, at Kaena Point, the Kaneana Cave rests, filled with mysteries and legends. The cave, also known as Makua Cave, particularly has earned its fame for the shark god shapeshifter, Kamohoali’i. The god married a human woman, Nanaue, and they had a son who had a taste for human flesh. He often disguised himself as a human to trick victims into the cave for a tempting adventure that ended in death. In ancient times, Hawaiians were not permitted to enter the sacred cave for fear of the shark god’s killing tastes.
It’s also believed that kahuna (priests) of the local community entered the cave and performed rituals there in the cave. Allegedly, the souls of past chiefs and victims of the shark god, and allegedly disposed of murder victims haunt people there today. Plus, on the other side of the cave, some folks believe that an opening to hell exists. Here creepy spirits and terrifying creatures have been seen, covered in scabs with glowing red eyes.
Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Resort, Oahu
Address: 2005 Kalia Road, Honolulu, Hawaii
Website: Hilton Hawaiian Village
Can You Visit? Yes. Stay the night, too, if you dare!
Apparently, a ghostly woman soul roams the halls of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Resort. Reports say guests have witnessed her walking the hallways as well as lounging on the beach. Without warning, she vanishes into thin air. She wears a red dress and some folks believe she is either the Pele, volcano goddess, or someone who was murdered in the hotel a long time ago.
Iolani Palace, Oahu
Address: 364 S King St, Honolulu, Hawaii
Website: Iolani Palace
Can You Visit? Yes. You may tour the palace and grounds.
Built for Queen Liliuokalani by her brother, King Kalakaua in 1882, the Iolani Palace stands today in Honolulu as one of the most beautiful, grand attractions of the island. Tour the luxe palace with its throne rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, ballrooms, and treasuries. But as you go, watch out for the ghost of the Queen herself. At one stage in the darker parts of Hawaiian history, the Queen was locked away in one of the upstairs bedrooms for nearly 8 months. She died only two years later, in the same space.
Hawaii Plantation Village Museum, Oahu
Address: 94-695 Waipahu St, Waipahu, Hawaii
Website: Hawaii Plantation Village Museum
Can You Visit? Yes. The plantation now exists as a museum.
Located in Waipahu on Oahu, the Hawaiian Plantation Village Museum once served as a sugarcane plantation. Now, the lands function as a living history museum where folks can learn about the agriculture and culture of Hawaii. You’ll get more than you bargain for, though, if you’re lucky (or unlucky?), since allegedly 25-percent of the buildings in the museum are haunted. The paranormal activity is so intense that supposedly employees aren’t allowed to work alone for safety reasons.
Each year, the plantation transforms from “just” a haunted living museum to a haunted house with ctors to ramp up the spookiness.
MacKenzie State Recreation Area, Big Island (Island of Hawaii)
Address: Hi-137, Island of Hawaii, Hawaii
Website: MacKenzie State Recreation Area government site
Can You Visit? Yes. The recreation is open to the public.
Covering 13 acres of rural southern coast on the Big Island, the MacKenzie State Recreation Area is well worth the visit. The land contains volcanic sea cliffs, giant ironwood trees, and other stunning natural features. You could also run into some ghostly spirits as you visit, though.
During the mid-1800s, folks unable to pay their taxes went to prison and served out their time working on the King’s Trail to improve the trail. Conditions were harsh for inmates, and many died. Today, folks have reported seeing the souls of those deceased workers along the trail and throughout the park. They often carry pickaxes and shovels, along with other tools, and generally may be spotted at sunset.
Prince Waikiki Hotel, Oahu
Address: 100 Holomoana St, Honolulu, Hawaii
Website: Prince Waikiki Hotel
Can You Visit? Yes. Stay for a night or two or come to dine.
The iconic, treasured hotel along Waikiki Beach offers more than stunning views of the ocean and flavorful treats and cocktails at the restaurant. If you stay the night, you just might hear strange whispers or witness unusual lights moving around. Some guests have reported their luggage has move from room to room with no one else around.
No reported deaths have occurred at the hotel, but folks suggest that those ghostly apparitions lounging by the pool after hours may simply be folks who most found themselves at the stunning hotel. Other sightings have included a large man wearing a tacky red and white Hawaiian shirt (likely another guest!) and the Waikiki Prince himself, Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole. The Prince has been spotted in the lobby wearing an expensive tailored suit and hat from the 1920s, then vanishes if anyone tries to get a good look at him. Occasionally, guests ride the elevator with him and no one ever sees he exit.
Kawaiaha’o Church and Graveyard, Oahu
Address: 957 Punchbowl St, Honolulu, Hawaii
Website: Kawaiaha’o Church
Can You Visit? Yes. The church is still functioning today.
Built between 1836 and 1842, the Kawaiaha’o Church used 14,000 slabs of coral rock to create the beautiful, unique structure. Allegedly, two different important historic groups from Hawaii haunt the place, particularly the graveyard. Hawaiian royals are said to visit the halls of the church at night. The Nightmarchers, the Hawaiian term for restless spirits or ancestors with tasks left undone, appear here as well.
Mo’okini Luakini Heiau, Waimea, Big Island (Island of Hawaii)
Address: Kohala Historical Sites State Monument, Island of Hawaii, Hawaii
Website: Kohala Historical Sites State Monument government website
Can You Visit? Yes. The sacred temple resides in the state park.
On the Big Island, on the North Kohala Coast, the historic sites of Waimea include the Mo’okini Luakini Heiau, a sacred temple. No electricity rests within the state park where the temple resides, so the park isn’t a great option for nighttime visits. However, the site, is one of the most haunted places in Hawaii with apparitions appearing at night. Dating back to A.D. 480, the temple later experienced a sinister change from the worship of Hawaiian people to the presence of a Tahitian high priest 500 years later. This priest, name Pa’ao, arrived there and attempted to change the community. He added in human sacrifice in his “attempt” to bring order to the community.
Since that time, the large, flat stones used for the sacrifices (altar) still rest near the heiau. Numerous visitors claim they’ve seen the restless spirits of the sacrificed humans roaming about the temple, particularly near the altar.