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The Haunting of Kanaka Pete, Axe Murderer

BY L.M.

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I was recently browsing the Internet and came across the story of Kanaka Pete. This brought back a personal experience I had with Kanaka Pete that I would like to share with you.

In the fall of 2007, I was attending University in Nanaimo, B.C., Canada. A few weeks before Halloween, my boyfriend and I took the guided haunted tour of Nanaimo. During the tour we heard the story of Kanaka Pete.

Kanaka Pete was a big Hawaiian who lived in Nanaimo with his native wife and their infant daughter. In 1867, after a night of drinking, Kanaka Pete returned home to find his wife’s parents in his home, and his wife told him she was leaving him. Pete left and got totally intoxicated. He returned around midnight to find his father-in-law in the act of incest with Pete’s wife, while the mother-in-law watched and the baby lay beside them.

In a drunken fit of rage, Pete grabbed an axe and did not stop swinging until his wife, her parents, and his daughter were all chopped into pieces. He fled to Newcastle Island, where he was hunted down and captured. After a rushed trial, he was hung. He vowed he would return and have vengeance.

This scared the locals to the point that neither the Europeans or Natives wanted him buried on their land. He was taken to Newcastle Island, a former smallpox colony that was uninhabited, and they buried him in a makeshift, unmarked grave.

Our tour guide told us that his evil spirit still lurks on the far side of Newcastle Island, looking for revenge and that we should never be on the far side of Newcastle Island after dark.

This was the most interesting of all the ghost stories we heard that night. My boyfriend and I thought it would be really exciting to go camping on Newcastle Island the following Saturday, especially because it was close to Halloween with the thrill of maybe finding out more about Kanaka Pete.

When we got to the Island, we saw signs saying "No camping beyond this point." We spoke with one old-timer there and were told that for our safety it was dangerous to camp past the signs. He told us spirits that have unfinished business still roam near their graves, and that Kanaka Pete is confined to a certain area of the Island.

We set up our camp on the safe side. While we were camping we saw some people in kayaks heading toward the far side of the Island. We never saw them return. Before dark, we took a little hike part way on the far side of the Island. We came across the body of a dead rabbit with its head chopped off. It looked as though it had just happened. That was really freaky as we did not see anyone around there.

We headed straight back to camp. When we took the little ferry over to Newcastle, it was a calm sunny day. During the night it got cloudy and the winds came up, making it even spookier. The winds became very high and the night air became quite cold.

During the night, we started to hear some of the scariest noises. Shortly after we went into our tent for the night, we thought we heard a scream coming from the far side of the Island. This really spooked us. Not too long after that, we heard more terrifying screaming followed by the sound of chopping. This happened many times throughout the night.

It was the most terrifying thing we had ever heard. We wanted to leave the Island, but the little ferry would not be back until morning. We were chilled to the bone with fright. Shortly after midnight, we heard what sounded like a fierce, demonic roar, and more screaming followed by violent chopping, then the most eerie laughter.

Needless to say, we spent the entire night huddled together, scared to death. We tried calling on our cell phones, but we had no reception all through the night. We had reception earlier in the day and the next morning.

Before that night, I did not believe in ghosts and thought ghost stories were fun and amusing, but after my experience that has now changed. That was the most frightening and horrific night of my life. I believe there is something very evil on the far side of that Island. We could feel it and we did hear it!

I will never forget that cold October night on Newcastle Island, and I believe to this day the ghost of the evil axe murder Kanaka Pete was nearby. If we would have ignored the warning signs and camped on the far side of the Island that night, I feel we never would have returned.

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