Hawaii is no stranger to the paranormal. Accounts of a hitchhiking Pele are not unusual. Neither are stories of night marchers. Boulders that move on their own. Sounds of singing in the night. Balls of fire. And ghosts, well, they’re almost as prolific as chickens on Kauai.
Uncle Joe Espinda, Jr., leads a tour called Orbs of Oahu
for Oahu Ghost Tours
, and he believes it all. Absolutely every word.
Uncle Joe descends from a Hawaiian chief, his father, whose body was tattooed from his face all the way down to his left foot. His mother was a kahuna. Joe graduated from San Diego State University with a teaching degree and University of Hawaii with a master’s in Hawaiian culture. “This is one of four jobs I have,” he says.
The four- to five-hour Orbs of Oahu driving tour starts in Waikiki with a bus pick-up and visits five different locations known for heavy paranormal activities. “Some of these sites are not right,” Uncle Joe says. “You might feel sore stomachs. You might feel headaches.”
Tip from Uncle: The most important thing is to keep a strong mind, keep a strong heart. Do not to ask for things you cannot handle. Stupid things like, I’d really like to know what it feels like to be dead. Because, according to Uncle Joe, things like that happen. No ifs, no butts about it. “It’s great to be scared,” Uncle Joe says. “But to be scared to death is another thing.”
This isn’t a ghost story. But it is a story about ghosts.
The company’s website notes, “This tour is very intense. We DO NOT recommend it for children under 10 years of age.”
Uncle Joe: This is called the Orbs tour. There’s a technical science to what we do. In order for something to make an apparition-like shape there must be an alternative energy source, such as your camera, low level lights, and cell phones. Even yourself. That’s what makes orbs light up. There are different colors of orbs. White is considered passive. Blue is considered family members or guardian angels or as the Hawaiians call it aumakua. If we see too many blue orbs, I say what are you protecting us from? Orange, yellow, and red are degrees of hostility. You get those in your camera, please let me know. But each spirit wants to tell you their story.
Every year, the company offers a “graveyard shift” tour on Halloween, starting, of course, at midnight. Here’s an abbreviated account of the night