Punahou Spirit Stories: Sightings, Sounds and other Strange Occurrences

Erin Teruya ’93 Kinney

October 27, 2017

Stories of ghosts on the Punahou campus have been whispered throughout the school community for generations. There are tales of the “White Lady,” seen peeking through the window at the President’s House during a PFA luncheon and lingering in the Mamiya Science Center construction site. Others have witnessed a mother and daughter playing tetherball on Barwick Playground in the middle of the night. Repairmen working during school holidays have seen and heard a child in Castle Hall.

Many of the sightings have been by custodial and service staff who work alone or at night. Security guards have reported lights turning on after they’ve been turned off, doors opening and the distinct sound of someone walking on the sidewalk.

Security guard Belly Rimarim and cafeteria catering coordinator Bobbie Antone both have stories to tell of their encounters with spirits on campus.

The Punahou archives includes a testimonial from Erminie Crockett ’48 Gartley, who was a boarder in Castle Hall when it was a girls’ dormitory. No one knows for sure, but the frightened boarders believed they could have encountered Hawaiian night marchers.

“One night, long after lights out and long after my roommate Nalani Warren ’49 Morris and I had fallen asleep, we were slowly roused by the sound of drum beats. We assumed at first that someone in the faculty homes below us was having a late night party. But as we listened, the drumming got louder and louder, and now seemed to be coming from inside our building. Then, through the transoms we saw flickering lights reflecting on the hall ceiling. They looked like torchlights.”

While not everyone believes in ghosts, and others prefer not to think about them, those who have encountered the spirits have no doubts. “My skin, my hair, everything stood up,” recalls Rimarim of his encounter with the man in the top hat.


  • 10/31/2017 11:27:08 PM

    What about the Ghost of Dillingham Hall? Anyone seen "it" lately? – Joan Helbling

  • 11/1/2017 2:04:53 AM

    One year at one of our yearly class gatherings which was near Halloween, we thought it would be interesting and fun to have people tell of any supernatural experiences they have had. It was surprising to hear stories from many. It was comforting to know that we are not the only ones to have had paranormal experiences. – Elva Uyeno Yoshihara

  • 11/1/2017 12:58:31 PM

    I lived in Wilcox Hall for 4 years, 1955 – 1959. Dated girls in Castle Hall. Spent time in the infirmary in Castle. Never once saw a goast. – Rick Eveleth

  • 11/1/2017 3:37:48 PM

    Great video production, very natural. Reminded me of a tour in Venecia that I took a while ago at 12 midnight with the writer of the ghosts stories of Venecia. Was fascinating. Thank you. – Condesa Meijide-Gentry

  • 11/1/2017 5:53:56 PM

    I never saw or felt the presence of any spirits, but growing up on the Big Island I learned very early to respect them. I still do to this day when I return to Hawai‘i. – Peggy Burt

  • 11/3/2017 6:48:08 AM

    I went to Punahou one rainy night to meet other parents of football players to make lei and hakus for the boys' last game in 1997. When I got there no one was around so I walked across the dark campus toward the cafeteria where I saw a light. No one was there either so I started back to my car parked on the road by Dillingham Hall. As I approached Dillingham Hall, I saw the doors wide open with candles covering the entire floor of the lobby. I don't know why I wasn't afraid, but I stood in front of the open doors looking at all the lit candles thinking it was strange and dangerous. After a few seconds I returned to my car and called another parent who told me that no one could reach me and that the meeting was canceled due to bad weather. She was afraid for me and told me to get out of there. I think about that night sometimes, and I still don't know why I wasn't scared then, although I get scared thinking about it now. – GRK (parent of 1998 and 2004 graduates)


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