The Tale of Whistling Shirley

Informant: Female/61/Portuguese-mixed ancestry
Location: Kapaa, Kauai

This story comes from my mother. I've heard it enough to tell it to you properly, I feel.

When my mother was a little girl, there was a terrible accident in her community. A little boy had drowned in a nearby reservoir. Shortly after his death, they started to hear rumors that his younger sister was able to communicate with him in the afterlife through whistling. She would speak, and he would whistle back.

It wasn't just a whistle the sister could hear, everyone nearby could also hear the whistling. People started to go to the house to see this "miracle" as they called it. My grandma forbade my grandpa from going to see it because she did not believe it was a miracle like everyone else believed (she was a very staunch Catholic). But my grandpa went anyway with my mom in tow.

When they got there, he told my mom and her cousin (who was also with them) to stay in the car while he went to the house. Not only did my grandpa hear the whistling in the house, my mother also heard it in the car.

My grandpa realized that something was not right and quickly returned to the car. They started to drive away and could still hear the whistling. They drove a few houses away and could still hear the whistling. They could hear the whistling all the way back home, as if it was in the car with them.

Needless to say my grandma was furious, and I think it's safe to say that my grandpa learned his lesson.


Unknown said...

This happened in the early 50s. I remember running into the house to listen to the radio. They broadcast at their home. They would ask the spirit questions and the spirit would reply in. A whistle. Shirley finally went to Oahu to live with rev Kiesel up in Palolo. If anyone has heard of this story please add your Macao.