There’s no doubt that sugar production has played a huge part of Hawaii’s history. From the mid 1800’s to recent years, sugar has been grown and processed in mills and plantations throughout the islands.
At its peak, the business controlled Hawaii’s economy and even resulted in a significant demographic change. Because of the high demand of Hawaiian grown sugar from the mainland, additional labor was desperately needed. Workers from China, Japan, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Portugal were imported to the islands and this new migration transformed the once isolated state into a melting pot of cultures.
While we may not frequently reminisce about our state’s history, we continue to experience its significant effects, so much so that pieces and presences of the past continue to be with us to this day.
One place in particular holds the secrets and spooks of Old Hawaii – and that’s the Haunted Plantation, a sugar plantation that once housed a large number of immigrant workers, and now serves as a popular Halloween attraction that scares the daylights out of even its bravest visitors.
From 1850 to 1950, the plantation was home to a number of immigrant families that worked in the fields and lived in the plantation’s small houses. Today, it serves as a historical center where local guides give hour-long tours to tourists and school groups visiting the 50-acre village to learn about immigrant life back then.
In addition to providing historical knowledge to visitors, the plantation also serves as a major spook zone, according to a number of witness accounts. Out of the 25 plantation houses, about half of them are reputedly haunted and one house in particular has caused quite an uproar in the community.
The Portuguese house is the first building to greet you upon entering the village and apparently it’s haunted by a young girl from the plantation’s past. The girl is described as a playful ghost who often appears to kids and mothers during the daytime. As the story goes, the girl’s mother abandoned her newborn after taking one look at her. Her father was forced to raise the girl alone. Because the girl lacked a maternal figure, her spirit is said to attract women who are mother-like.
Another spirit that’s said to also haunt the Portuguese house is not so friendly. One haunted house actor, who was scaring in the Portuguese home one Halloween, reported strange bruises on her legs. It looked like somebody – or something – had grabbed her legs.
There was a similar experience at the Okinawan house. One actress claimed she felt pressure on her neck and could barely breathe while working in the house. She never returned.
Whether or not you choose to believe if the village is really haunted is up to you. For a couple of nights every year for Halloween, the Hawai’i Plantation Village becomes a haunted house attraction called the Haunted Plantation, where you can decide for yourself if the stories are true.
Noa Laporga, the Haunted Plantation creator, decided not to build any sets to make the place look scary and chooses to rely on the village’s natural creepiness to create a haunted experience. He uses fog, spooky music and at least 60 costumed actors hiding in dark corners of the houses to achieve a haunted ambiance.
Come see what all the buzz is about. But remember, don’t go alone.
The Haunted Plantation is open on October 28, 29, 30, 31 from 7pm to 11pm. General admission is $15.