Folk Beliefs


When asked, “why don’t you drive on the Pali at night?” your response will be a sigh because the answer is obvious and comes in the form of various horror stories and unexplainable events. Long story short, no matter what story you’ve heard, driving on the Pali is always sketch. Anyway, this version starts like this:

So it was said that, a long time ago, there was a young couple that after a date, went up to the Pali lookout and (intake of breath) as they’re sitting there, looking out, they start hear something funny (like strange, not humorous)…

And so the guy’s like, “what is this?” and the girl’s freaking out a little bit…

His date was clearly really scared already and so of course he decided to be all “macho” and go outside and investigate. So he goes out and she can’t see him anymore… and then she hears him scream and then she hears the slap of hands on the car (gestures slapping)…

… and she freaks out even more, and then stupidly, also decides to go outside to find him/discover what the noise is… and of course she also disappears….

Then the next day, when people come looking for them, all they find is the car. They find a car on top of the Pali lookout, all covered in handprints (makes a wide gesture), and no one, to this day, knows where they were…

They were never found. And that’s why no one drives/stops at the Pali lookout at night. The End!


How did you come across this folklore: “this is something I think everyone in Hawaii has heard throughout life, especially in Hawaiiana class–but this version was one told more saliently/memorably at freshman sleepover by my paddling coach.”

Other information: “I’ve also heard versions where the car is found covered in bloody handprints, or something like that, but I find them less believable. This version, and the other horror stories from the Pali, are so believable that anyone from Hawaii will agree that driving on the Pali highway at night is a terrible idea.”

This legend, among the others forewarning those intending to drive on the Pali highway at night (which is passes through several areas than many would consider as “sacred” to the native Hawaiians), illustrates that belief really is contextual. One might not believe the story in broad daylight, in the comfort and safety of one’s home, but when obligated to or given the option to drive on the eerie Pali at night, all of these legends suddenly become a hundred times more plausible and a lot of people will go out of their way to avoid this.





Comments are closed.