Night Marchers

Night marchers are a legend in Hawaii … um about … so traditionally when Hawaiian royalty had to travel long distances, they would do it at night for their safety and the night marchers were their security that walks with them, and as tradition goes you’re not supposed to look at night marchers, so like, it was also at night so that people weren’t out in the open when they would travel. So people could not see them and if they did, they would die or something, but now… so now there’s a legend that the night marchers still will sometimes be seen in the most sacred areas of the island and they’re really scary. They’re pretty feared by people… you don’t want to get near them. I camped in Olowalu, a spot on Maui, and it’s a super sacred spot… it has a lot of ceremonial sites, and they told us to watch out for the night marchers, so we were really scared that night but we didn’t see anyone.


One man was camping one time at another sacred spot on Maui, and he saw a line of torches of lights on the mountain above him, and he thought it was pig hunters maybe, but he realized they were all carrying these torches… but no one carries torches, so he realized they were night marchers. And they didn’t come down to the beach, so he didn’t see them face to face or up close, but he was really spooked. He never went back there or camped there again. Maybe it was the spirits of the night marchers. They, apparently, don’t look like ghosts and they’re supposed to look like real people.


Background: I had heard a version of this story earlier when my friend was telling me a little about this, but to hear an in depth version was very interesting for me. I conducted this interview live, so this story was given to me live. What was very interesting for me was to hear how even though these people served as seemingly benevolent people to protect Hawaiian royalty, people were still very afraid of them and could not even look at them or they could expect death. Perhaps this is a continuation of a belief that if people even dared to approach the night marchers and harm the royalty, they would be killed instantly. I thought this was a very interesting piece of Hawaiian folklore that I had not really understood or even heard of before I met my friend and then subsequently had this in depth description of them.