May 27, 2015 I Jason Offutt

Exploring American Monsters: Hawaii


Hawaii is, well, it’s Hawaii. A series of islands in the Central Pacific with more gorgeous beaches, cliffs, waterfalls, volcanoes, and girls in bikinis than it knows what to do with. Apart from its geography, and lush tropical vegetation, Hawaii is famous for its love of Spam, the late singer Don Ho, the lei, and the luau. Europeans discovered the islands on 18 January 1778 when English explorer Captain James Cook landed on one of the sandy beaches. Cook was killed by islanders on Valentine’s Day the next year for being a jerk (attempting to kidnap the king will get you that short-lived reputation). Shark attacks occur on Hawaiian shores, although in 2014, only three out of eight million visitors were attacked by a shark. Hawaiians have more to fear by Axis deer wandering into the roadway than being bitten by a shark. Although Hawaii is the one state in the Union that has no reports of Bigfoot, there are still plenty of creepy, crawly monsters to go around.

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An artistic representation of a Menehune.


The little people of Hawaii, the Menehune, were builders. Gifted with great strength and the skills of architecture, these two-foot-tall creatures built works in stone including dams, roads, and sacred worship sites known as heiau. The Menehune only appear at night when they build their stone structures, passing stones from one to another in a long line. However, they only build when no one else is around. If their work is interrupted, they disappear.

One thing you don’t do, is anger them, like Ellen, John, and Brad who went out one night on Kauai, and experienced something that terrifies them to this day.

The three drove to an isolated beach under a clear moonlit sky on the south shore of Kauai when they began to notice something wasn’t right. “It is very dark at this place, as there are no major cities around,” Ellen said. “We lit a fire.” Then the horror began.

“I noticed that the rocks and roots and trees around us looked liked gnarled, grotesque faces,” Ellen said. “I pointed it out to my two companions who agreed. I wasn’t scared because I thought they were merely hallucinations.”

As Brad built a fire, Ellen and John walked down a footpath through the tall grass and started seeing the shadows of small people. Frightened, Ellen and John hurried back to the fire. “We were right next to a heiau – a pre-contact place of worship for Hawaiians, like an alter,” Ellen said. “I was very miffed that he would bring us to such a creepy and spiritually charged place.”

Growing paranoid they had upset something ancient by their presence, Ellen and John decided to walk to the heiau and offer the only food they brought with them – a pear – as a gift. As they approached the heiau, Ellen couldn’t go any closer and stopped. “The vibe of the place seemed very charged, not like when we had first arrived,” she said. “We said a prayer out loud, stating our respect and that we were giving a food offering. John walked into the grass to deposit the pear and disappeared.”

A few moments later, John came running out of the grass. It was full of little people attempted to circle him. They abandoned the fire, and drove screaming into the night.

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There have been numerous reports of living pterodactyls in Hawaii.


A twelve-year-old boy saw something near Honolulu in the early 1970s that shouldn’t exist; a living dinosaur. A creature with a wingspan of about thirty feet glided overhead. It had brown, featherless, lizard-like skin, and what he described as a horn on the back of its head. The boy didn’t know if the thing had a tail; he was concentrating on the wings, and head. The flying reptile slid slowly through the sky until it began to flap its wings, and disappeared over the horizon. Similar sightings have been reported from the islands in 1999, 2012, and 2013.

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The Mu, one reason Hawaiians shouldn't swim at night.


Vampires appear in various cultures across the world, and Hawaii isn’t immune to their blood-sucking powers.

These three-foot-tall, naked, monsters with toothless mouths that stretch across their faces, live in caves with openings underwater. The Mu venture from their daylight hiding places to lurk in the shallows, and wait for victims. When the Mu attack, they drag their prey under the water into the caves where they suck on the victims until the blood is drained.

Next up: Idaho.

Jason Offutt

Jason Offutt is paranormal investigator, an author of several paranormal books such as “What Lurks Beyond,” “Darkness Walks: Shadow People Among us,” “Haunted Missouri,” and “Paranormal Missouri” and a teacher of journalism at Northwest Missouri State University.

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