by Lenny Omalza, staff writer
|Kapanui said that he met Grant 11 years ago in
March of 1994. For about two years, he and his cousin were dancers
in a hula halau that performed on one of Grant’s tours.
When his cousin, who had been working directly with Grant, moved
to Seattle, Kapanui began co-hosting Grant’s walking tour.
Busy fighting a lawsuit over the name “Chicken Skin” in
1999, Grant asked Kapanui to take over his trolley tours, and
when Grant passed away, Kapanui was asked to take over everything.
Kapanui said that he didn’t want to do it at first, but
then he had a dream: He was sitting in Grant’s office when
Grant walked in and handed him a manuscript.
Kapanui said “For me, that was like some kind of sign.” Kapanui
ran the Honolulu Timewalks Chicken Skin Tours for several years
before he created his own business, GSI Hawai‘i.
It’s like CSI,” he said, “but it stands for ‘Ghost
Kapanui still does tours in Honolulu, but his most recent project
is a private tour he is planning for Kuakini Medical Center.
The tour will begin at the Waipahu Plantation Village, continue
on to the Ewa Villages, Paradise Cove, Yokohama Bay, and, for
a spooky finish, Makua Cave.
He also does heiau tours during the day, but said “There’s
no way I’m doing them at night!”
Kapanui is also a teacher’s assistant at Kawaiha‘o
Church and School, but plans to leave that job soon to put more
time into GSI Hawai‘i and writing his books.
His very first book Haunted Hawaiian Nights, was published recently.
After reading a story Kapanui told about the fire goddess Pele
in Midweek last year, publishers quickly offered him a deal.
In just two short weeks Kapanui cranked out Haunted Hawaiian
Nights, and he is very happy about it. Of the publishing, he
said “I’ve waited for this day!”
The book contains 18 ghost tales and is dedicated to Glen Grant.
Kapanui said that Grant was “not like my friend, more like
When asked why he loves what he does, Kapanui said: “I
don’t know if it’s a calling or what it is.”
He grew up with ghostly encounters, but isn’t frightened
of them. He said “As long as you love one another, you
have nothing to fear.”
Kapanui can be seen on the Halloween special “Living Local
with the Baraquios” on OC16. To schedule tours, call him
Haunted Hawaiian Nights can be found at Bestsellers, Barnes & Noble,
Borders, and select Longs Drugs stores.
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