Whether it’s wearing that lucky shirt when gambling or taking a few steps to avoid walking under a ladder, some people convince themselves certain actions will influence some aspect of their lives. Yet in the age of science, people with academic backgrounds based on logic and reason still have superstitious tendencies.
“When I was getting my master’s degree, I used to drive to campus (from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara), so my superstition was that if all the lights were green, it was a good omen,” said Dr. Ronald Heck, a professor and the department chair of Educational Administration at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He has published extensive articles and books in organizational theory, leadership, policy and quantitative methods. Despite his education credentials, the fact that Heck saw good and bad omens when he was a grad student and followed local Hawai‘i superstitions when he moved here is a telling sign of how a little superstition plays a role in peoples’ lives.
“I like to whistle, but everyone around is like, ‘don’t whistle at night’,” Heck said. “So I try not to, and I’m conscious of it.”
There are many stories in Hawaiian folklore that tells of how doing so will lead to bad luck; one being that it mimics the sound of Night marchers, the ghosts of ancient Hawaiian warriors. Many of Hawai‘i’s folklore and mythology have been made popular by Glen Grant, the author of the Obake Files and Chicken Skin series, who ironically was a professor of history, American studies and political science at UH Mānoa. [One of our books, the Kona Haunted Hele Guidebook, was dedicated to Glen and can also be found on Amazon here. Receive one free copy per group when you book the Kona Haunted Hele ghost tour with Big Island Ghost Tours!👀 ]
There isn’t a single culture that’s immigrated to Hawaii that hasn’t also brought with it the spiritual folklore of their origin. Mix that in with the supernatural history that has already existed here from the ancient Hawaiians and you get an extensive list of “do’s” and “don’t’s.”
We compiled these in maybe the best and perhaps only way possible … asking friends, family and co-workers to relay superstitions to us as they remember them that they still carry with them everywhere, in and out of Hawaii.
How many of these do you believe?
These are just a sampling of the Hawaiian folklore that exists in Hawaii. They are interesting, romantic and, in some cases, serve as a warning and guide for respectful behavior for visitors to the islands.
Big Island Ghost Tours is a wonderful place to learn about the history, mystery and magic of Hawaii on any of our ghost, vortex & UFO tours. Also, if you would like to learn more about Hawaii’s royal family, a visit to Hulihe'e Palace in Kona is also a wonderful place to visit - perhaps you just might see the Princess if you do!
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