Hawaii Theatre’s haunted history takes centerstage in upcoming ‘Chicken Skin’ show

"Chicken Skin Ghost Stories" unveils the paranormal activities that go unseen on and off the stage from the heart of the historic Hawaii Theatre.
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 5:00 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 28, 2022 at 5:12 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In the heart of Honolulu, a ghost light cuts through the darkness of an empty Hawaii Theatre.

Some theatre junkies say it’s a symbol of good luck. Other say it’s a way to appease the spirits that are rumored to linger once the curtain comes down ― and the paranormal performances begin.

“There are a lot of spirits who are present in this location,” storyteller Lopaka Kapanui said, during a visit to the theatre. “Whether they manifest or not depends actually depends upon the kind of people who are hanging around.”

Kapanui runs Mysteries of Hawaii.

He specializes in sharing first-hand ghostly accounts of the most iconic landmarks across the islands. He’s preparing to take the Hawaii Theatre stage this week.

“It will be an experience. Something you wont forget,” Kapanui said, adding that every show is different.

“It’s gonna be intense, and its gonna be funny. But there’s also gonna be a lot of tears. Not too much sad tears, tears of joy. It will be more of an experience, a spiritual experience.”

One of the tales he tells is that of a hula dancer who wandered into the theatre one night many years ago. She took the stage and began to dance. As the story goes, that was the last time anyone saw her alive. But her spirit still longs for the spotlight.

“There was this rumor that if you where here on a particular night, you’d actually be able to see her spirit up here on stage dancing to a particular song called Ei Nei,” Kapanui said.

Haunted history of Hawaii Theatre to be highlighted in an upcoming show.
Haunted history of Hawaii Theatre to be highlighted in an upcoming show.(HNN)

Kapanui says some spirits are happier behind the scenes — like in the theater’s green room.

“There’s a gentleman here that wants to make sure he’s not forgotten,” Kapanui said.

That gentleman is believed to be a long-time donor to the theatre. His portrait still hangs in the room.

“The spirits will not let it go. Spirits are always trying to get a message to the living,” Kapanui added. “Believe it or not, even though we’re talking about ghosts and spirits, it’s a human experience.”

Whether you believe in the unseen, or think it’s all just a bunch of hocus-pocus Kapanui welcomes everyone to listen to the stories, and expand their minds.

“I meet skeptics all the time who come right up to me and tell me ‘I don’t believe in ghosts.’ And my funny reply to everyone who says that to me is ‘That’s okay because they believe in you,’” he said.

Tickets are still available for his show “Chicken Skin Ghost Stories.”

It’s happening Wednesday, June 29 at 7 p.m. Click here to buy tickets.

Hawaii Theatre's ghostly tales to take center stage this week.
Hawaii Theatre's ghostly tales to take center stage this week.(HNN)

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