Teller of Hawaiian Tales


Above image courtesy of Tune In For Terror © 1992


This is one of those odd-ball series with virtually no available background information. I can't find out who produced it, who the host was, or when. But judging from the Hawaiian theme and the sound quality, I would guess it was from around 1950. The series is made up of 15 minute tales of Hawaiian legends and ghosts stories, sandwiched between Hawaiian music (the same tune at the beginning and the end of the show, but it changes for each episode). One of the tunes they sing (for the "Ghost Dance of the Punch Bowl" story) sounds like a drunk pair of Elvis Presley wannabe's strumming ukuleles, but slurring their words beyond recognition. It's quite catchy! The stories are pretty good, too. They are told straight, without music or sound effects or any additional actors. But the exotic location, and the fact that the stories tell historic legends makes them especially interesting. I've only found a couple of samples of this show so far, but I'm going to keep looking. I suspect that somewhere along the line, a show was produced about one of my favorite stories, the so-called "Curse of Kilauea." That's the legend that anyone who removes volcanic rock from Hawaii will upset the God of Fire, and they will be cursed with bad luck. Every year, it is said, thousands of tourists laugh at the legend and sneak pieces of Hawaiian rock back home with them as souvenirs. And every year, according to the post office, thousands of pieces of volcanic rock are mailed back to Hawaii with no return address. They are returned by previous visitors who ignored the warnings until they experienced the bad luck first hand... the curse of Kilauea!

The Standard Intro:

(SFX: Mellow Music theme)

Announcer: "Teller of Hawaiian Tales"

(SFX Music: A Hawaiian full length song.)


An Opening Narration:

Announcer: "Aloha everyone. The teller of Hawaiian tales brings you an old legend about a familiar landmark in Honolulu. The extinct volcanic crater called Punch Bowl that lies just back of Honolulu. Shaped like an immense punch bowl, many weird and strange tales have been told about this rugged mountain. And in the story the teller of Hawaiian tales now tells, you'll hear about the Ama-cu ah, or spirits. The Ghosts that dance on Punch Bowl. Ready? Gather round for an eerie tale. An old and favorite legend."

Host: "Who doesn't shiver a bit when waning moonlight casts eerie shadows? I don't suppose you believe in ghosts. Well, who does, and yet, sometimes I wonder. Kaokii and I had gone fishing one night many years ago. Always before we had gotten our nets filled early, but on this particular evening, the fish wouldn't come near us. It was so late when we got back that Kaokii suggested that we walk over to his house which was at the foot of Punch Bowl, and that I stay all night there.

"It had been a beautiful evening, out on the coral reefs, the breeze was cool, the soft air, and the full moon tipped the waves with sparkling silver. But as we approached town, I sensed a difference in the atmosphere. The evening was still beautiful, and the moon patterned lovely silhouettes through the palm trees, but everything was so still. Almost a hushed expected silence.

"I turned to my companion, 'Kaokii,' I said, 'For goodness sakes, say something!' He wasn't talking. He was staring. I followed his gaze to the brow of Punch Bowl..."


A Closing Narration (Spoiler Alert!)

Host: "Kaokii and I were close to his home by now. I looked up once more to the brow of Punch Bowl. It was there again, the wisps of smoke. I shuddered and ran into the house. Those weren't wisps of smoke. They were ghosts, dancing again!"

Hear it now, FREE!

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"Story of the Menehune Ditch" - The story of the strange mini-Menehune dwarfs is told, and how they complete everything the start in just one night-- for a price.

"Ghost Dance of the Punch Bowl" - The meaning of smoke from one of Hawaii's volcanoes is explained, and what spirits they represent.

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