While flying to the Mainland in early 1988 I was standing in the rear of the plain. At that time the airlines allowed passengers to smoke in the rear of the plain. While having a smoke I was in conversation with multiple people enjoying the same past time.
Keeping in mind none of us had a clue who each other were, a few stories began to pop up.
There were the standard stories of their experiences on Waikiki Beach and various other parts of the islands that I had hear time and again after living in the islands for about 5 years at that point. However one story caught my ear with an alarming familiarity.
As young gentlemen began to spin his yarn, I leaned in and listened closely. He began his story talking about working on a rather large property over on the Big Island and how some very nerving occurrences began to unfold while he was working there.
He explained how he and a few other workers had been hired to clear some land of debris. One of the tasks was to level and remove an old house from its foundation. While running a tractor, one of the workers felt the ground shake furiously under the tractor. About that time the tractor quit running and the operator hopped down from the driver seat and left the property permanently. Later on they had several Mechanics attempt to start the tractor with no success. Once it was pulled off the site the engine started right up the job was finished by hand.
At this point I was fascinated at the detail he was sharing about this situation. Then he told me what convinced him he had had enough of Hawaii.
He and his fellow workers where spending the nights on this property since there were no inexpensive provisions in Hawi or Kapa’au at the time. One evening while sleeping on cots one of his fellow workers complained of hearing screaming or chanting near his cot. No one else heard a thing. At that point he began to complain of something holding him down as he attempted to get off the cot. His fellow works looked on at his as if he were completely out of his mind. In an effort to play along they went to his rescue and attempted to lift him out of his bed but something was in fact preventing them from lifting his body out of the cot. They continued their attempts for a few more moments until for no reason at all; they were able to spring him from his cot with little to no effort.
The crew was pretty shook up at this point. The young man who experienced this enigma literally ran from the property that evening and never returned. Days later he called from Oahu requesting his check be mailed to him and that he did not plan to return to the Big Island.
I explained how fascinating his story was and how no one was going to just through that story together. He assured me it was no fairytale and that in fact it really happened that way he explained it. As we took our last drag and put out our cigarettes I asked him where all this took place. He calmly explained I would have never heard of this place. It was tucked away deep in a place called North Kohala and that few new of its location. He called it Greenbank. At that point I told him who I was. Our conversation ended abruptly.
In the mid 60’s or 70’s a visitor to Greenbank drove up to the estate one afternoon to view the property. She walked up onto the veranda and knocked on the door out of respect. With no answer she entered what appeared to be the living room of the house.
As she entered the room it was filled with people. Noticeably, these guests were all wearing older clothing including stove top hats. They paid her no attention and assuming she was unwelcome she departed with out hesitation assuming an invitation would have been more appropriate.
Venturing down to one of the neighboring homes to visit she mentioned she the episode she had just encountered moments earlier. With some what of a puzzled look the neighbor questioned what she saw and suggested that that was impossible. Further conversation would reveal that know one had lived in the house for several years and that basically it was uninhabitable.
Convinced of what she saw they drove back up to the house and confidently walked back into the house through the same door. Amazed, the young woman walked through the door only to find a room full of dust and debris where no one had set foot in for years.
Explaining what she had previously encountered just minutes before became difficult. How could this have happened she asked? At that point it’s our understanding that neighbor explained the history of unusual sightings and occurrences to her. Its unclear exactly what she actually saw in the old house but she remained convinced of what she had seen that afternoon.
The Staircase at Greenbank has been the topic of discussion for many years amongst the Wight descendants. There was talk through the generations suggesting on or more children where simply minded or not mentally developed.
In the 60’s and 70’s descendants would visit the old estate home in its declining years. It was in Jane Wight’s will that the home be kept in suitable condition for surviving siblings to come and stay at Greenbank. The furniture and amenities were to stay in the home intact. Abusive military solders and hippies of the 60’s ravaged the property and pillaged its valuable artifacts. In addition, the $600 a year provided by the will was no longer adequate to maintain the estate and the property began to deteriorate.
One of the fascinations that couldn’t be ignored was staircase and what appeared to be a small living area under its steps. There was a small window that could only be opened from the outside and straw spread across the tiny room’s floor as if to make a bed. It appeared lived in as one descendant recalls.
In the day, this would have been were a simply minded child might have been kept in the event of arriving guests or social dignitaries. In the 1800’s to have a simple minded child in the family suggested a weak blood line or level of strength in the family so these children were hidden or sent away to hospitals and asylums. If the family chose to keep the child they would have places like the staircase room to tuck the children away while entertaining guests.
Its thought that perhaps one of the ghost of Greenbank may be just such a sibling from the past.
The Evil Stone or Shark God: Another problem was that Dr. Wight also placed the evil stone God in front of the house and faced it toward the porch. This thing is mean and I mean that in every sense of the word. I have seen it up close and personal at the Bishop Museum on Oahu and it still gives me the willies. Archeologists have dated this, the only shark god with a face ever discovered on any of the islands back as far as the 1300 to 1400’s. Lino the Kahuna and care taker of Greenbank (see photo) would turn the stone to face the ocean but James insisted it face the house. For those who are in tune with the Kapu (Hawaiian cultural law/religion) this is something you never ever do. It upsets the local spirits something awful to the point of disaster or death. By coincidence or not this is when multiple Wight children began to have accidents or die from unusual circumstances.
Lino would continue to feed the stone God water and food each day and attempt to turn the stone back to the ocean but James continually denied the existence of any such spiritual nonsense. While traveling to the mainland one of the daughters came up with the plan to donate the stone to the Bishop Museum in his absent. It was donated in his name so that he would never consider the insult of requesting its return to the homestead. History suggests that the minute the stone left the property the family problems were resolved. The stone still faces the ocean to this day.
What I'm about to share is not for public knowledge until such time I become more comfortable with it. I have shared this information with only a few family members so the true story doesn’t get lost.
In 1987 I had met Mary Huffman in Hawaii Kai, Oahu. We moved in together later that year. I was in construction sales at the time and had already spent a number of years researching Hawaiian family history through my Grandmother Mary Wight Gunderson, The Bishop museum and other state archives. I had several instances since I was a child, which included visions while I was awake and voices on occasion. I had passed most of it off as daydreaming until my first prediction came true when I was 16 years olds. While visiting a story in California, an old friend and I began to shop around for some clothing. While strolling through the store, I explained to him we would be meeting someone from my past. I hadn’t seen the person for over 4 years and continued to explain that this individual would be from a school I had gone to in California some time ago before moving to Arizona. With in minutes of my premonition, the elevator door opened and there she was, Shara Valenzwala whom I hadn’t seen since elementary school 4 years earlier in another State. It wasn’t a guess; I actually knew I was going to see someone.
Going forward in life, I would pay attention to things that would for no reason take me in different directions or visions that came true. My uncle Cliff Delasantos also had the gift. He drew out 6 of the 7 locations (with in 100 yards) for the 1969 earthquakes in California 6 months before it happened. Although he didn’t know what it meant till the quake hit, he too was continually guided on paper.
It wasn’t till I was in my late 20’s that I had found out about our uncle Charlie and Auntie Leah who first had the gift of second sight. Both of them were known to be God fearing individuals and would never use their gift out side their religious beliefs. Their local community had such great faith in their ability; town folk wouldn’t make a move with out first checking their future first with either of these family members. At the end, they had predicted two family members of the next generation would have their ability in some form to see what others couldn’t.
An untenanted, haunted house, whose owner wanted it to remain furnished as it was at the time of her death in 1915 was sold at a private family auction, Tuesday. Greenbank, the 22 acre Wight estate in Kohala, Hawaii, was bought by Mr. and Mrs. Wilfred Hunt of Honolulu. Mrs. Hunt is a great-grand-daughter of Mrs James Wight who, with her husband, built Greenbank.
Mrs Wight left Greenbank and its furnishings for the use of her descendents for 21 years after the death of her last child. She set aside $600 a year to maintain the property. The sum became inadequate to cover maintenance, the house became uninhabitable but the terms of the will were not broken. Greenbank, once a show place on the Big Island, stood dark and silent, it's paint, furniture, books and fabrics fading under layers of dust. Although Mrs. Wight's descendants respected her wishes, others did not.
Since World War II, looters have entered Greenbank and destroyed or taken the furnishings. Doors have been left open and rain and wind have beaten in through broken windows. "There's nothing left of the furniture," said Mrs Amy Rich, a grand daughter of Mrs. Wight. "Hippies roared round in it (Greenbank) and soldiers took a terrific amount during the war.
WHETHER the ghost of Greenbank deserted the house after it was looted is still a question. Some say the ghost is still there. Mrs. Rich said, "The ghost is finished.
'•One night when I was 8 years old (and living at Greenbank) I woke and saw a dark thing leaning over me. It was an evil thing. People used to see lights going round the house, but that's finished now".
Greenbank was built by Dr and Mrs James Wight who came to Hawaii from Australia in 1850. They were on their way to gold fields of California when their ship was wrecked off Mahukona, Medical doctors were needed in that remote part of the Big Island and the Wights were persuaded to stay.
Dr. Wight hauled wreckage from the ship over the Kohala mountains by horse cart and used some of the timber to build Greenbank. He became a judge during the reign of Kamehameha V, operated a ranch at Mahukona and worked with Ellas Bond to start Kohala Plantation.
THE WIGHTS had 13 children, six of whom died before they were grown. One of the surviving daughters was Mrs Rich's mother.
"My widowed mother, my sister and I lived in the guest cottage at Greenbank," Mrs Rich said. "Grandfather and Grandmother and my five aunts were in the main house.
"Life was very strict there and my grandmother Wight was definitely a grande dame, even in the country.
"Her oak sideboard in the dining room was beautifully carved and the table was set with damask and beautiful china, crystal and silver candelabra. There were linen sheets on the beds and lace curtains in two windows.
Greenbank has over 100 years of recorded spiritual encounters. Some of the first reported concerns arose when the house was built in the same location as a Hawaiian Heiau.