The story of the Haunted Toys R’ Us in Sunnyvale, California.
Although many people
don’t often associate major toy store chains with otherworldly
beings or happenings. However, there is a Toys R’ Us store in
Sunnyvale, California that has its staff and local residents
thinking differently. These folks may not be coming here to buy the
newest action figure or bicycle; they may simply be coming for the
The store was built in 1970 and is
massive in size at 60,000 square feet. It lies thirty miles south of
San Francisco and the land that the store was built on once served
as an apple orchard to John Murphy, the owner, in the late 1800s.
The ghostly activity that is most often reported is that the store
will close at night and the staff will place books and toys neatly
on the shelves where they belong. When the staff arrives again in
the morning, the items will be thrown carelessly throughout the
store. Objects have been known to travel across the room with no one
holding onto them and sometimes an item will simply appear in a very
People have heard someone calling their
name but there’s no face attached to the voice and it’s not a voice
they are familiar with. Other people have felt as though they were
being touched by someone they could not see. Taking a walk down
Aisle 15C can sometimes be like walking through a floral shop as the
scent of fresh flowers is very strong. The women’s washroom is a
popular place for paranormal activity, especially the water taps.
These faucets will turn on and off without anyone touching them,
women sometimes feel as though someone is running their hands
through their hair, and others have claimed that they have felt
someone laying a hand on their shoulder when no one was there.
The odd occurrences had been happening
ever since the store was first built but it wasn’t until 1978 that
an investigation was called. This was due to Antoinette May, a
writer in the area who found the stories within the store
fascinating. May asked famous psychic, Sylvia Brown, a photographer,
and some other people to stay with her overnight at the store to see
if they could determine what was happening. After some time was
spent investigating, Brown could make out the shape of a man who was
tall and thin and had his hands in his pockets. The man had a
Swedish accent and told Brown that his name was Johnny Johnson. He
told Brown that her feet would get wet unless she moved and this was
due to the fact that she was standing in the area that once been a
well. She told the group that the man had informed her that he was
waiting for Beth to come back.
Johnny Johnson was a man who had lived
in Pennsylvania until the middle of the 1800s, when he decided to
come west. After he started living in California, he was diagnosed
with inflammation of the brain and was mentally handicapped
afterwards. From that time on, he was referred to as “Crazy Johnny”
and he was left to work on the Murphy ranch. The Beth that Johnny
told Brown about was Elizabeth Yuba Murphy Tafee, the daughter that
lived on the ranch. One day she left to go east and marry a lawyer.
In 1884, Johnny Johnson was chopping wood and fatally cut his leg.
He died on the spot where the haunted store is today. Johnson was an
old man approximately eighty years old when he died. His ghost
however, appears to those who can see him as a youthful man of about
twenty or thirty.
Johnny Johnson still calls the store
his home today and Sylvia Brown has been back several times to
document recent activity. Some of the staff at the store are
frightened by him but others have become so accustomed to Johnny
that they find his presence comforting.
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