I hope the spirit likes sporting goods! REI will acquire HAUNTED Toys R US in the Bay Area

0

A ‘spooky’ Toys R US in the San Francisco Bay Area where ghosts have been photographed and strange, paranormal activity reported will make way for a REI sports store.

The defunct store at 130 East El Camino Real in Sunnyvale is expected to reopen this fall under the management of REI. Toys R US went bankrupt in 2018.

Employees at the new store will hopefully not have to deal with some of the scary phenomena reported by their toy-selling predecessors.

Ever since the Toys R US was first built in Sunnyvale in 1970, workers there have reported that items flew off the shelves for no reason and that water taps turned on and off by themselves.

A spooky Toys R US in the San Francisco Bay Area town of Sunnyvale, where ghosts have been photographed and strange paranormal activity reported, will give way to a REI sporting goods store

A ‘haunted’ Toys R US in the San Francisco Bay Area town of Sunnyvale, where ghosts have been photographed and strange, paranormal activity reported, will give way to a REI sporting goods store

A famous photo distributed by Ashley Hall, who runs a website called Paranormal Guide, shows a séance in the store.  ¿Taken with an infrared sensitive camera, the photo shows the seated group, along with a figure looking in the back, ¿Hall writes

A famous photo distributed by Ashley Hall, who runs a website called Paranormal Guide, shows a séance in the store. “Taken with an infrared sensitive camera, the photo shows the seated group, along with a figure looking in the back,” Hall writes.

The defunct store at 130 East El Camino Real in Sunnyvale is expected to reopen this fall under the management of sports retailer REI.  Toys R US went bankrupt in 2018

The defunct store at 130 East El Camino Real in Sunnyvale is expected to reopen this fall under the management of sports retailer REI. Toys R US went bankrupt in 2018

A famous photo distributed by Ashley Hall, who runs a website called Paranormal Guide, shows a séance in the store.

“Taken with an infrared sensitive camera, the photo shows the seated group, along with a figure looking in the back,” Hall writes.

“No one in attendance remembers anyone standing during the séance, and other cameras recording the same image all failed to capture this figure.”

Legend has it that the store has been around since 1881, when a farmer by the name of Jan ‘Johnny’ Johnson died of ax wounds while working in an orchard on the site that would later become the store.

Johnson accidentally stabbed himself with the ax after being rejected by his unrequited love interest – his boss’s daughter, Elizabeth Murphy.

John’s appearance would have been seen in the aisles of the old toy store, although largely harmless to the employees and customers.

The story was reenacted for a made-for-TV movie created by Sylvia Browne, the late author who claimed to be a psychic medium.  The actor above portrays Johnson

The story was reenacted for a made-for-TV movie created by Sylvia Browne, the late author who claimed to be a psychic medium. The actor above portrays Johnson

Johnson's death from a self-inflicted ax wound occurred on the Northern California ranch that once stood where the store was eventually built

Johnson’s death from a self-inflicted ax wound occurred on the Northern California ranch that once stood where the store was eventually built

Since the Toys R Us was first built in Sunnyvale in 1970, workers there have reported that items flew off the shelves for no reason and that water taps turned on and off on their own

Since the Toys R Us was first built in Sunnyvale in 1970, workers there have reported that items flew off the shelves for no reason and that water taps turned on and off on their own

The scene in the movie above shows toys playing on their own without the help of humans

The scene in the movie above shows toys playing on their own without the help of humans

The story was reenacted for a made-for-TV movie created by Sylvia Browne, the late author who claimed to be a psychic medium.

But an investigation through SFGATE.com shows that the details of this urban legend cannot withstand criticism.

Elizabeth Murphy did not run out to marry a man in the early 1980s. Instead, she was already married in 1863.

California census data also does not reveal a farm worker named Johnson. Nor have there been any reports of anyone dying from an injury caused by an ax owned by Murphy.

So that’s good news for the new tenant, REI, who didn’t mention the infamous past of their new location when announcing the opening.

“Our retail team is incredibly excited about the move and eager to become more involved with the Sunnyvale community,” said Kirk Peterson, REI’s regional director for Northern California.

The Sunnyvale location will provide more than 1.4 million REI members in Northern California with the equipment and resources to enjoy the outdoors in the South Bay.

‘We look forward to welcoming the community to the new space and having the opportunity to connect, inspire and enable even more people to live outside.’

.