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The Vanishing Hitchhiker

Urban Legend
Photo by Matheus Bertelli

What could be more fitting as October approaches and Halloween draws near than sharing spooky tales and urban legends, which have been popular in storytelling for ages and are told all over the world. Even Hawaii has its own fair share of folklore and urban legends. Even Hawaii has its fair share of folklore and urban legends. Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire, is the subject of one of the most popular and well-known legends in Hawaii. 

Since the late 1930’s, testimonies of the hitchhiking Pele have been recorded by both residents and visitors on Big Island and Oahu. In these stories, Pele is portrayed to appear as a beautiful young woman in a red muumuu or an old lady with long white hair who is accompanied by a small white dog. It has been said that the reason Pele appears in these instances is to alert people of approaching volcanic eruptions. 

Madame Pele, according to legend, will appear at night on the side of secluded roads. When you notice her, you must pull over and offer her a ride. In not doing so – it will bring about  terrible misfortune. You must take her where she directs you once she is in the car. People who‘ve had Madam Pele in their vehicle describe it as “eerie” or “disturbing” since – as they claim – “She sits as silently as a ghost, and does not speak.” Additionally, according to many reports, if offered a cigarette she will light it out of seemingly thin air, or with fire she conjures from her palm. 

Before you could even stop the car, you would notice that Madame Pele had mysteriously vanished from the vehicle as you approached or reached the location she had instructed you to drive to.

In conclusion, if you ever see a woman walking alongside the road at night while wearing a red muumuu, you must always stop and inquire if she needs a ride. It’s likely that Madame Pele is testing your kindness and generosity and will reward you for your good deeds. However, if you choose to ignore her, you will suffer the consequences for your negligence tenfold. When you’re out driving at night, always be sure to keep an eye out for our goddess Madame Pele.


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