If you like strange spots like Glass Beach, but think that Glass Beach is too mainstream for you, I have another strange and lost spot for you: the old McBryde Sugar Company Cemetery; or, as the Internet knows it the “Japanese cemetery” of Glass Beach. When I was exploring Glass Beach and looking at the various items I could find, I couldn’t help but notice that the hill above the beach had some unmistakable headstones planted on it. Since I’m the curious sort, I headed up the road, and found myself wandering around the cemetery. The first thing I noticed that piqued my interest was that the stones all seemed to be written in Japanese (I later realized that I was in the Japanese portion of the cemetery; toward the back were separate areas for other ethnic groups). The second that I noticed was that this cemetery was old – with dates in the late Nineteenth century – which made it very old in terms of the history of Hawaii (foreigners were not common in Hawaii until the nineteenth century).
The third thing I noticed was that the cemetery was very peaceful and quiet. As I sat there, I heard the grass rustling against the old, cracked stones, accompanied by the leaves of the trees whispering in the early morning ocean breeze. In the distance, I could also hear the waves breaking along the coast. Aside from that – I heard nothing. As I sat, and listened and looked, I felt at peace, and I’ll admit – a little envious. Obviously, none of us want to go ever, but since we do have to go, how many of us can say that we’ll end up spending eternity overlooking the beaches of Kauai? Much later, when I did my research I learned that this was the old McBryde Sugar Company Cemetery; and that it was re-discovered recently by locals, and possibly – still maintained by one; which proves that nothing and no one is ever fully forgotten on this planet.
Directions: Follow my directions to Glass Beach as described here. The cemetery is readily visible above the beach and is a five minute walk from the beach on a dirt road.
Tips: As noted in my article about Glass Beach, this is an area that is a little off the beaten path. I felt safe in the cemetery (from both the living and the dead), but I will be honest with my readers: areas of the cemetery did have trash that was clearly brought there from the living. Whether it was from locals who wanted to have a spot away from the city to party with the dead, or uncaring tourists the cemetery had more trash than Glass Beach below. The funniest item of trash I saw? A copy of the movie Constantine (dun dun DUNNNNN!).
It’s also worth mentioning that to me, it appeared that many of the crypts had been broken into. While I can’t comment on when or if this definitively occurred, I’d place my money on the fact that in 120 years, someone definitely did something to some of the graves there. As always with these remote spots, plan your visit and time of visit accordingly. Also, a word about respect: these graves may be old, but they are where people are buried. Don’t litter, trash the area, or otherwise desecrate the graves. I don’t think I should have to say this, but based on the state of the site, I feel like it needs to be said. Finally, for all of you ghost buffs out there: I don’t know if the site is haunted. But I do know @losadventura has some ghost hunter style video of the site, and once we review it, I’ll be sure to post any paranormal findings here!