Do the dead walk?

This question fascinates people all around the world as religion, mysticism and the occult seek to give answers to the puzzle of life after death. From our uncertainty about the unknown beyond, we are captivated by ghost stories and the tales of those who have encountered disembodied spirits, poltergeists, fireballs or strange voices.

In Hawaii these ghost tales are captured in one word—obake. In Japan, an obake is defined as a strange, frightening creature. In the Islands, the word is familiar to residents of all cultural backgrounds as a “supernatural entity who gives you a ‘chicken skin’ experience.” Blending Polynesian, Asian, American, and European traditions, the obake of modern Hawaii embody a fascinating collection of supernatural belief and lore that is much alive.

Obake: Ghost Stories in Hawaii are some of Hawaii’s tales as shared by storyteller, historian and folklorist Glen Grant. Based on true stories from islanders of all backgrounds, the supernatural encounters reported in this collection first appeared annually beginning in 1983 in The Hawaii Herald, a newspaper for Hawaii’s Japanese Americans. They are presented here for the first time in a single volume, with original haunting illustrations by Ross Yamanaka. For those who do not care to believe that the dead walk, these tales can be enjoyed as fiction. For those who do believe in ghosts or are searching for an answer, these stories provide a glimpse into the dark realm of mystery.

 Available in large format edition here.

Author: Glen Grant

Illustrator: Ross Yamanaka

Illustrator: Ross Yamanaka