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Pele, the Hawaiian Goddess


Hi, my name is marissa and this happened on the big island of hawai'i. My parents and I were looking for our hotel late at night and were getting frustrated. Then, we saw this old lady sticking her thumb out on the side of the road. She looked innocent with her long, gray hair and wrinkled face so we picked her up. We asked her where she was going and she said "Kona", which is a city on the island. Now you have to imagine this: We were in Hilo which is about 100 miles from the Kona coast. I secretly knew that my parents were hesitating about taking her to her destination because it was so far and it was about 9:00 at night. Kona can be pretty dangerous at night. So I looked at her and she was just gazing out the window, although the way to Kona was pitch black because the city doesn't have much streetlights. She asked my parents for a cigarette and they didn't smoke so they offered to drive her to get some. She said "mahalo" and patiently waited. About 5 minutes later when I checked on the old woman, SHE WAS GONE! She couldn't have got out of the car so fast! We had a van with locked doors and she simply dissapeared! I asked my mom and dad if they had let her get out and they said they didn't. What do you think? I think it was Pele* in her old woman form.

* Pele is the hawaiian goddess of volcanoes and usually appears in a form and is usually found on the side of the road trying to get an item. She sometimes appears in people's dreams.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, sofakingdom808, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

stuffedmango (1 posts)
13 years ago (2011-03-14)
Unless you've grown up in Hawai'i or are familiar with local lore, one would tend to find a story like this "fishy," but I can vouch for Marissa. Granted, Marissa, you could have been more specific with your details for clarity, but I can guarantee the reader that she is not the only one with such an "interesting" experience that we in Hawai'i can only chalk up to being a visit from Pele.

According to Hawaiian legend, Pele will quite often test people to see if they are being kind to each other. She will punish or reward accordingly.

She can take other forms. She can be a beautiful young woman, an old "tutu" (grandma), a little white dog, or once in a while a little black dog. Whatever the case, do not turn your back on helping someone--especially if you are in Hawai'i!

I will shortly be posting a story about Pele on Moloka'i.
MYsT3RY08 (1 stories) (5 posts)
15 years ago (2009-08-22)
damn if she also appears in peoples' dreams,, f**k,,i WOULD PROBABLY BE DEAD! 😲
I don't exactly know if I would actually survive or not but yeah. I'd POSSiBLY be dead. Not sure. HOPEFULLY iLL SURViVE! 😕
4d (15 stories) (167 posts)
15 years ago (2009-02-24)
So were you visiting the Big Island or do you live there? Why were you looking for a hotel? How long ago did this happen? What was the old woman wearing? I have heard my fair share of stories about the lady in white, who some claim to be Pele. It is difficult to say it is her, when there are so many different stories claiming it to be her as well. Pele catching rides and vanishing, Pele with a white dog that has red eyes standing on the road side, Pele roaming the Pali tunnels, Pele young beautiful and tempting. It goes on and on, but how do you know it was "Pele"? Very cool story that needs clarification. Aloha nui no 'oe a me kou 'ohana! ❤ 4d
succubiluv (1 stories) (365 posts)
15 years ago (2008-12-02)
So the question is "What do you think?"
I think this story has a lot of basic details missing, that it doesn't hold together as a whole, that it does not represent a genuine paranormal experience, and that the author has avoided replying because of the above.
Annie (202 posts)
17 years ago (2007-07-13)
Raven, What a wonderful experience you had! How many people get to be tucked in at night, especially if you're an adult?

As for this story, I have my qualms. I don't understand why the parents would pick a stranger up with their daughter in the van. And, how could they have NOT noticed that this strange woman disappeared? Too many unanswered questions. Marissa, how old are you? When did this event take place? And... What did your parents think of the whole incident?
Raven_CT (2 stories) (3 posts)
17 years ago (2007-07-13)
Martin: If you want a physical experience, I can give you the address of a house in NY. It used to be an old barn & was converted to a one-story home by a loving son for his blind mother. She died in the house. My niece's bedroom was the room the old woman died in. I was visiting my sister (having been told nothing at this point about the house's history) & was given the room (my niece was at camp). I felt as though someone else was in the room when I went to bed but ignored it. By the light of a street lamp just outside the window, I clearly saw the covers shift as though someone sat down. Then I felt a small adult sized hand touch my upper chest, then face. It patted my face three times, tugged the covers up under my chin. Needless to say, I wasn't very sleepy the rest of the night. I asked my sister whether her house was haunted the next day, & she just beamed, saying, "Oh, Grandma tucked you in!" Turns out, Grandma tucked my niece in every night, too. And anyone else who slept in the room, too. It was still happening when they moved to a bigger house a few years ago.
Lexiluca (8 stories) (78 posts)
17 years ago (2007-07-12)
Personally, I would have done a lot more searching if she had just randomly disappeared like that. That would be a little too much for me to handle, and immediately suspecting her to be a ghost would not enter my mind until later - until I have exhausted all angles and possibilities, and searched for her. I am not calling you a liar, my dear, as you and your family very well may have experienced this I don't doubt that. But I am a bit skeptical about her just disappearing like that.
asje (7 stories) (20 posts)
17 years ago (2007-07-12)
A friend of mine, a police officer, once gave a lady a 'lift' on his motorcycle. He was headed home from work when he spotted her. She asked if he could escort her to the bus stop. He let her hop on his motor. When he arrived at the bus stop a few minutes later, he realized he was alone. She'd just vanished. My friend was sick for several days with high fever. With the help of a 'witch doctor' he was cured. The 'witch doctor' told my friend the lady was a spirit who wanted to take him with her.
As for 'cigarette smoking ghosts', my brother encountered one on his way home from the movies. It was the spirit of an old lady leaning against a lamp post. She asked him for a light. He doesn't smoke, so he said 'no, sorry'. She gave him an uneasy feeling and when he turned to look at her a few seconds later, she was gone.
Abby (710 posts)
17 years ago (2007-07-12)
Dear sofakingdom808,

You lost me after the sentence, "She said "mahalo" and patiently waited". What was she waiting for, to get to a place to buy cigarettes? How big is your van that nobody saw her just disappear? As a reader this was confusing. What do I think? I think this story is confusing and suspect. Do Hawaiian goddesses smoke? I guess if she was a goddess of a volcano. What if she smoked like a chimney. Would she be a goddess of chimneys? 😉 --Abby
Shane (13 stories) (1258 posts)
17 years ago (2007-07-12)
I believe a lot of the Hawaiian urban legends have some basis do to spirit interaction. But this I don't believe to be Pele. Pele seems to only appear to those whom have angered her in some manner. Usually when they remove stones from her volcano. Hawaii receives hundreds of packages a year with pieces of Peles volcano in them asking that they be placed back upon the site. I think if this is a real experience it is nothing more than an everyday type of haunting embellished a little for effect.

Peace, Love, and Luck be with you.
Martin (602 posts) mod
17 years ago (2007-07-11)
Personally I have a hard time with these full blown, in the flesh, interactive apparitions. I wonder what others think. But this new cultural angle was interesting enough. I wish I was in Hawaii! 😉

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