The ghost on the railroad tracks
Keawe Segi is 13 years old, and lives with his mother and grandmother in Lahaina, Hawaii, on the island of Maui. There are many ghost stories on Maui, which Keawe has grown up hearing, but he wasn’t sure he believed them since he’d never seen a ghost himself. In late September 2011, however, he had an experience that changed his mind.
As told to Leila Kalmbach
One day, my friend Kawika and I made plans to go to the local mall together. He was going to take the dirt path, along the old railroad tracks, so I said I’d meet him coming from the opposite direction. The railroad tracks run along the highway, but you can barely see the road, because there the road is lined with bushes and trees.
My mom had a boyfriend who died when he crashed his motorcycle on the highway and was thrown on the railroad tracks four years ago. His name was Josh. I never knew him, but I knew where he died because there’s a cross marking the spot. Every time I go by, on my way to the beach or something, I see his cross.
It was dusk. As I was walking along the dirt path next to the tracks and got closer to the spot where Josh had died, I saw a tall, skinny, white figure come out of the woods onto the railroad tracks and start walking toward me. I assumed it was Kawika, but wasn’t sure because it was getting dark. I called Kawika, but he took his time reaching into his pocket for his cell phone, so when he answered, I said, “Is that you?” And he said, “Why are you walking away from me?”
It’s noisy there because the railroad tracks are so close to the highway, but the noise went silent. I kept walking toward the figure, which was glowing white now. Kawika was close by — we could both see the same boat on a trailer parked along the dirt path— but he saw the figure from the back, and to him it appeared like a dark shadow.
I had a strange feeling in my stomach. Then, while I was talking to Kawika, the phone cut out. I had just fully charged the battery, but when I looked at my phone, it was completely dead.
I kept walking toward the figure, confused. When I got closer, I saw that it had no feet; it was just walking along and I could see the ground where its feet should’ve been. We were only 20 feet apart at this point, so I could see it clearly now. It hit me like a rock that this was a ghost.
I screamed. Then I turned and ran all the way back to my house.
I told my mom and grandmother what I’d seen. They assumed the ghost was Josh, who was tall and skinny like the figure I’d seen, and they thought that he was going to give me a message. I was freaked out because I’d never seen a ghost before, and didn’t want to hang around long enough to find out what he had to say. My grandmother asked me a bunch of questions like, “Did you try to talk to him?” I said, “NO!”
They weren’t very surprised that I’d seen a ghost. My grandmother said, “You know, your mom saw a ghost when she was three,” and I was like, “Yeah, but I just saw one today!”
Later that night, Kawika and I did end up meeting up and going to the mall. We took a different route this time, but Kawika was still freaked out and kept looking behind him. We couldn’t quite believe that we’d seen a ghost, but we knew it was true since we’d both seen it.
I still take the railroad tracks, but not after seven o’clock. Now that I’ve seen one ghost, though, I think I’ll probably see more. I’m still a little freaked out by it — it’s kind of spooky — but I’m excited too. Maybe next time I’ll talk to it, if it’s a friendly spirit, and find out what message it has to give me.