While many people may not think of a modern superstore as
Toys’R’Us haunting reminds us that every plot of ground has a
Built in 1970, the toy store is a 60,000 square foot one story
is located thirty miles South of San Francisco, at 130 East El
Sunnyvale, CA. This was once an apple orchard, and part of a
owned by John Murphy during the late 1800s.
Paranormal activity occurs regularly at this site. Typically,
unlock the store in the morning and find toys and books
they had been neatly shelved the night before. Sometimes,
through the air or simply end up in a different place. People
being touched when no one is around. Also, some have heard a
didn’t recognize calling their name. Aisle 15C sometimes
Many employees and customers have reported incidents that have
the women’s bathroom. The water faucets start pouring when no
around. If turned off, they go on again. Women have reported
the shoulder. Those with long hair sometimes feel it being
someone that they can’t see.
Though incidents had been occurring for some time, the store
investigated until 1978, when local writer An-tionette May
in the ghost. May invited psychic Sylvia Brown, a
others to spend a night at the store.
The group expected the ghost to be of John Murphy, the lands
The first impression that Brown picked up was of a tall, lanky
hands jammed in to his pockets. The ghost spoke with a Swedish
said that his name was Johnny Johnson. He warned Brown that if
want her feet wet she had better move. (Records show that a
on that spot.) She reported that Johnson was waiting for
Johnny Johnson lived in Pennsylvania before coming west
mid-1800s. While in California he worked as a circuit
became inflicted with encephalitis (inflammation of the
him with a mental handicap. Because of this he was called
Johnson ended up working as a hired hand on the Murphy ranch.
The woman that Johnson is waiting for was Elizabeth Yuba
otherwise known as Beth. Johnny apparently had a crush on this
find that she had left the ranch to marry a lawyer from the
Johnson died in 1884. He bled to death when he accidentally
chopping wood. (Some versions of the story say it was his
occurred on the spot where the Toys’R’Us stands today. Though
about eighty when he died, he has appeared to witnesses as a
his twenties or thirties.
At this writing the store is still haunted and the management
to get rid of the ghost. While some employees are afraid,
enjoy Johnson’s residence. The manager claims that sales
the media reports on the ghost.
This haunting has been very well documented. Sylvia Brown has
the store many times. Johnson’s activities have been written
and newspapers, and the store has been featured on several TV
Myers’ book The Ghostly Register includes some
photographs taken during one of Sylvia Brown’s investigations.
The Shadowlands has some first hand accounts
in the Real Ghost
Page 4, dated 11/9/97
Page 5, undated
Page 6, dated 11/1/98.