Unlike the Legend of the Menehune, the Night Marchers of Hawaii are rather ghastly and scary.  Nothing good seems to accompany any stories about the Night Marchers.

Telling and re-telling ghost stories has been a favorite, or at least common, practice of the Hawaiian culture through the ages.  It is an important cultural practice.  Many of the myths, legends, actual stories and millennia of other information were passed down for years orally.  (The Hawaiian language wasn’t put into writing form until around 1820 when some New England missionaries totally screwed it up.)

The Night Marcher Legend of Hawaii

The Night Marchers are ghosts.  They are a band of apparitions that travel together, with one single purpose, to the rhythmic beat of the ghostly drums.

Some Explanations of What the Night Marchers are:

  • Armed spirit warriors on the way to or back from battle, adorned with primitive weapons and garb.
  • Others say they are ruler spirits, or ali’I, marching to welcome new warriors.
  • On the way to reclaim territory.
  • Re-enact a battle that they lost.
  • Going to avenge their own deaths.


Where the Night Marchers Roam:

Night Marchers chant (olis) and you can identify them by the line of raised torches that they carry up high.  They 99% of the time appear and march at night, however there have been sighting of Night Marchers during the day.

Even though they reportedly float a few off the ground, there are usually accounts of ghastly footprints that go along with their marches.

What to Do When You See Night Marchers:

You should get down into the prone position and play dead.  One look from the Night Marchers could result in you being set to a bad fate-or worse-one of your friends or relatives.

Just get out of the way and lay down…don’t look at them.  According to legend, the Night Marchers are resolute on their path and destination.  They will not deviate so you need to move.

Are the Night Marchers Real:

Ask a local and they will tell you that they are-even if they’ve never seen or had encounter with them.  Do the right thing:  If you see a line of raised torches and hear a ghastly drum beat…then show the ancient warriors some respect and leave them alone.