Although the current main hotel building was built in 1941 – with huge additions made in 1958 through 1961 – the first building – a shack for selling snacks to tourists – dates back to the 1840’s. The oldest structure on the property still standing dates back to 1877 and is now an art gallery.
This spot near the Kilauea crater has been used by the aboriginal population for thousands of years. It’s elevation coupled with the northeast trade winds generally blow the poisonous gases out to sea in the other direction keeping this area as a safe place to get close to the crater. Kilauea’s eruptions are usually not explosive – although they can be – adding another layer of safety not usually seen so close to an active volcano.
In 1846 the first structure – made of grass and native wood – to call itself a hotel was built on the land. This building was also the first to use the name Volcano House.
In 1866 the proper wood frame building was constructed with 4 bedrooms, a parlor and a dining room was built. Mark Twain even stayed at this hotel.
In 1877 a new hotel with 6 rooms – the oldest building still standing – was built here. Under new owners it was expanded in 1891 to have 2 storeys and 12 guest rooms as well as a larger dining hall and an observation tower.
Until 1940 the 1891 building was expanded again and again under a few different owners until it housed 112 rooms with the old 1877 building now separate from the main building and used as employee dormitory.
On February 11, 1940 this hotel was burned to the ground; from a kitchen fire not from any volcanic activity.
In 1941 the core of the modern hotel that stands now was opened. It underwent massive renovations from 1958 to 1961 expanding it considerably.
From 1977 to 1986 the hotel was owned by Sheraton Hotels; then until 2008 it was owned by the Ken Direction Corporation.
In 2008 the hotel was evacuated multiple times due to sulphur dioxide eruptions from the volcano.
In 2010 and 2013 underwent renovations for seismic safety as well as updates to both the hotel and restaurant.
Between May and October 2018 the hotel was closed due to earthquakes and explosive volcanic eruptions.
This property, due to it’s proximity to an active volcano, belongs to Pele; the fire and volcano Goddess. She is often seen in the guise of a white dog by lucky guests as they approach the hotel.
She is also seen wandering the property and in the hotel as a beautiful Aboriginal Hawaiian woman in Native dress.
There is also the Pele Curse: no one can remove any rock or sand from the volcano or island or they will suffer very bad luck. Many laugh this legend off, but hundreds of visitors mail back rocks and sand every year in an attempt to escape their sudden terrible luck.
Ignore Pele’s Curse at your own peril.
The hotel is also haunted by an elderly woman who is seen both in the hotel rooms and walking the hallways.
48-5561A Waipio Valley Road
Status: Natural Wonder; Historical Location
By Paul Hirst (<a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Phirst&action=edit&redlink=1" class="new" title="User:Phirst (page does not exist)">Phirst</a>) - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 2.5, Link
Waipi’o means curved water in the Hawaiian language.
This valley is on the big island of Hawaii and was the capital and seat of the early Hawaiian Kings. The road down into the valley is the steepest road in the United States; only 4-wheel drive vehicles are allowed to use it.
The shoreline is black sand and many waterfalls pour over the edge into the valley with the biggest one of the back end of the valley.
This valley is haunted by the Hukai’po – The Night Marchers.
Although there have been a few reports of them marching in the day they are most commonly seen at night. The Night Marchers appear to be ancient warriors either marching to or from a battle. They are holding ancient weapons and are dressed in decorated helmets and cloaks. They march to the sound of a beating drum.
They are said to march above of the ground but there have been reports of them leaving footprints behind. They carry torches and are often heard chanting.
Legend says watching the Night Marchers or otherwise attracting their attention is very back luck. Anyone witnessing this paranormal activity is urged to lie on the ground and wait for them to pass. They will not deviate from their path toward living humans.
Many people believe they are forever marching toward an entrance to the next world that they can never find.
Although this valley is the most common place the Night Marchers are found they also can be found other places on the islands.
Hilo on the Big Island
Hokunui on Lanai
Hanapepe on Kauai
Kekaa on Maui
Kahakuloa on Maui
Moanalua on Oahi