Haunted Hawaii: Old Pali Road

Zip past the Nuuanu Pali on Pali Highway as you make your way from Honolulu to Kaneohe, it’s easy. But you’ll miss out on a canopy-covered roadway that sparks curiosity and chills at the same time, especially at night. Welcome to the Old Pali Road, a desolate tunnel of trees and Haunted Hawaiian spirits.  The Nuuanu Pali area itself draws stories of superstition and folklore. For example, local residents always caution each other to never bring pork on the Pali Highway. Your car will fail to start, the forest will turn silent, and a spirit will come to haunt you until you toss the food out.

Morgan’s Corner

But the Old Pali Road is said to be home of “Morgan’s Corner”, a deep-seated urban legend that continues to thrill those who hear the story. It goes something like this: One night, a teenage couple parked under a tree to spend the evening together. The girl fell asleep. As morning neared, she was continually annoyed by the sound of a tree branch scratching the car roof. When she awoke in the morning, policemen were surrounding the car. Bewildered, she got out of the car. “Don’t turn around!” they told her. She did, and her boyfriend was there, hanging from a tree branch, his feet scratching the top of the car.

The Half-faced Ghost

As is one creepy tale wasn’t enough, there’s another gruesome, ghoulish story to be told. Legend has it that the spirit of a young girl who was raped and left to die continues to haunt Old Pali Road. When she floats by with her beloved jumped rope–used to strangle her–she turns to look at you. Chills run down your spine: her face is half missing. No cheeks, no nose, no mouth. Just cold, piercing eyes to stare back at you. Whether these stories are true, we can’t say. The lush, tunnel-like canopy creates an oasis away from the bustle of ‘New’ Pali Highway, a quiet drive on your way to the Windward side of Oahu on your vacation. Some of our Hawaii tours take a detour on the Old Pali Road, but we won’t put you in the path of a haunted Hawaii spirit. (Well, we can’t guarantee it, but we’re definitely not driving down the Old Pali during the night time!) More urban legends about the Old Pali Road can be found here.

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