Pele, Goddess of Fire
The most famous legend in Hawaii relates to Pele, the goddess of fire. She is said to live in Kilauea, an active volcano that sits on the flank of the huge Mauna Loa volcano. Legend has it that she is agreeable enough if respected, but woe be to anyone who takes her rocks or otherwise disrespects her. Bad luck--and possibly fire and lava--will rain on that person until the rocks are returned.
Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park, home of both Mauna Loa and Kilauea volcanoes, is also considered to be part of Pele's home turf. That means: Don't take any of her belongings or suffer the "curse" of Pele.
Sacred places in Hawaii are called heiaus and are often related to death, war and other aspects of the state's history. If you see lava rocks forming a circle around an area, don't disturb the area and don't step over the rocks (you could be disturbing some visiting spirit). The penalty for disturbing these sites is $10,000.
Ohia Lehua Trees
Legend says that Pele's sister, Hiiaka, goddess of lightning and overseer of the sacred Ohia Lehua tree, became romantically involved with Pele's lover, Lohiau. A furious Pele destroyed the beloved trees. Today, lava flow continues to kill the red-blossomed trees, which are found at altitudes between 1,000 and 9,000 feet. Not only should you avoid Pele's wrath by leaving the trees alone, but you can also avoid a fine. The trees are protected under state law.
Every Hawaiian island has its own haunted places. On the Big Island in Volcanoes National Park, ghosts are said to appear often in lava fields.