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.