Beware the Night Marchers of Molokai!


With Halloween quickly approaching, we thought we’d highlight a spooky local legend!

The Night Marchers in Scooby Doo, in the comic book issue #77.

The Night Marchers aren’t Molokai specific but can be found on every Hawaiian island. Hawaii’s rich history thrives on stories told and passed generation to generation. The story of the Night Marchers dates back to early Hawaiian generations, with many believing the Night Marchers are the ghosts of warriors. The warriors would have been protectors of ali’i (nobility), and many say they march the same paths they did so many years ago – regardless of what stands there now.


Though the legend will vary from island to island, person to person, here are some interesting facets of the Night Marchers.


Some say, when you hear them coming you must get out of their way. If you wait too long, you’ll start to smell sulfur and hear the sound of a horn blowing. If you hear or smell this, you have to strip and lie face down. Others say you just have to play dead and avoid their gaze. If you look, it’s very bad luck, and some even say it’s deadly – yikes!

A scary movie, “Night Marchers”, was made in 2001! Click this image to read more. 

Some versions of the legend say that they will only appear during the last of the 4 Hawaiian moon phases, the darkest parts of the cycle. So, when you’re out on the darkest nights of the year, you have to quickly leave if you see or sense any of the warning signs.


According to local legend, Kaunakakai is a Night Marcher hot spot. Mostly, claims of Night Marcher sightings happen at specific locations. On Molokai, however, legend has it that the entire town of Kaunakakai is a hub for these ghostly figures. Perhaps this is because Molokai is relatively small, or maybe it’s due to the proximity to sacred or noble historic sites.


Here are some of the spooky signs of Night Marchers. If you see, hear or smell these – beware!

  • Loud drums
  • Distant torches
  • Conch shells sounding
  • Smell of sulfur


Don’t forget to avert your eyes if you think the Night Marchers are coming! Happy Halloween from us at Hotel Molokai.