The Legend of Hawaii's Abandoned Haunted High School

Ruins of Old Maui High School with a male red junglefowl in the foreground
Ruins of Old Maui High School with a male red junglefowl in the foreground | © Moises de la vera / Wikimedia Commons
Marjorie Perlas

Contributing Writer

If you spend enough time around the locals in Maui, you’re bound to encounter some fantastic ghost stories, like the eerie tales of nightmarchers.

One of the most popular on the island, focused around the old high school near Paia town, tells the tale of students and teachers from long ago who continue to return in order to reclaim the area.

Old Maui High

In the rural area of Hamakuapoko, there is a picturesque skeleton of a building. It sits lonely, desperately fighting back against the nature around trying to reclaim the land. When the first missionaries and sugarcane plantation owners arrived in Maui, they wanted to create a center of education for their children in this remote area.

They built Old Maui High in 1913 and opened doors of opportunity to the youth in the area. After the school relocated in 1972, the building slowly fell into disrepair and was thereafter abandoned. Today, some of the building’s features, like the pillars and walls, have stood the test of time, while others, like the library being occupied by a banyan tree, have succumbed to the power of nature.

Main entrance façade, ruins of Old Maui High School, constructed in 1921

Haunted Mayhem

In Hawaii, though, it is believed that spirits who have passed on will always come back to areas that they knew in their previous lives. As regards Old Maui High, locals will tell you this is true. The students and administration of the school are said to still roam the grounds, occasionally interacting with the living.

With rumors of ghosts who choke people setting foot on the land, to the sounds of a crying girl inside what used to be the school’s bathroom, stories of the old high school grounds still manage to make their rounds within the community.

With its structure barely intact, Old Maui High’s shadowed corners have become the perfect setting for tales of spirits and haunting experiences, so much so that events like Haunted Mayhem have made the location a perfect place to spend a Halloween evening.

There are still reports of spooky goings on at the old high school grounds

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Edit article