“Lady in White”

So he (my teacher’s friend) was driving on the Pali highway—middle of the day, nothing spooky about it—when he drove by a lady dressed all in white, with long white hair and… a white dog, walking down the Pali highway, hitchhiking. In his head he was thinking, oh my God, what an idiot, hitchhiking on the Pali, that’s so dangerous!

… and so he didn’t stop, just drove right past her…

Then, he was still thinking about it, so he looked in his rear view mirror to try to see behind him and check if they were still waiting there and… there they were, sitting in the back seat of the car.

(inhales deeply) Which is obviously how he ended up crashing the car… So, the lesson of the story is, if you ever see the lady in white, or the white dog—together or separate, you HAVE to pick them up. Otherwise bad things are going to happen to you…


How did you come across this folklore: “this is another one told by Hawaiiana teacher, but this time he was talking about an actual friend.”

Other information: “My teacher’s friend was in the hospital… so when he (my teacher) went to go visit his friend in the hospital, having heard that this friend had crashed his car, he asked him what happened. What the friend said in response is the story of the Lady in White…”

There are a lot of legends similar to this one, by no means limited to Hawai’i. This theme of a woman, usually in white, associated with some kind of macabre “aura,” returning dead for some purpose and somehow demanding respect, is found in a lot of places around the world… and these versions also reflect a similar relationship to belief that is contextual. You might not always believe in or expect the Lady in White to show up, but you wouldn’t rule out it happening, especially in a spiritual/”haunted” area like the Pali and much less at night.

For another version of this, see Glen Grant’s Chicken Skin Tales, which was also made into a TV show on a cable channel in Hawaii called “Chicken Skin,” where people tell/reenact various ghost stories from the islands written in the book. This story was featured on an episode, which began by interviewing a man in a hospital…

Grant, Glen. Glen Grant’s Chicken Skin Tales: 49 Favorite Ghost Stories from Hawaii.Honolulu, HI: Mutual Pub., 1998. Print.