Sunnyvale Ghost: A Story Behind It

This story is told by a girl who grew up in Sunnyvale, California.


“Ok, so like in Sunnyvale, there’s this “Toys R Us,” and it’s haunted. Like, you can look it up, it’s haunted. Anyways, this is the story I know behind it. So, Sunnyvale is known for its cherry orchards, and there was this, like, big cherry orchard. And um, something happened…the daughter of the owner of the orchard was killed. I think it was because she wanted to marry someone, and the father was like ‘No, you can’t do that,’  because the guy was an Indian or something – Native American – and so she killed herself by hanging herself in the orchard. Then later, the cherry orchard was torn down because the father was full of grief or something. And then, um, the “Toys R Us” was built right on top of it, like right where the cherry orchard used to be. So there are all these accounts of ghost stuff in the “Toys R Us” now, cuz the girl…she lives in the bathroom, in one of the bathrooms. So like, the faucets turn on and off without anyone there, and like it’s always so weird because when you drive by it [the store], the lights are always on – like, all the time…even at night, when it’s closed, because of the ghost. And one time, my mom was walking by one of the aisles and she walked by this toy that wasn’t automated or censored or anything, and the toy just turned on. Like it turned on and started moving all by itself. It was so weird. So we think it was the ghost, but I don’t know.”


This narrative seems very typical of a ghost story. It has the motif of tragic lovers, two people who were separated due to racial differences. The suicide at the now-haunted site is also very typical. The spirit of the forlorn girl now haunts the toy store built on the site of the orchard.

I collected this story one sunny afternoon, so the atmosphere was not what you would typically expect during a ghost story. This probably partially contributed to the girl’s casual and nonchalant attitude while telling this story. She seemed to take it very lightly and just told the story in a matter-of-fact sort of tone. However, when telling the part about how her mom walked by a toy that turned on by itself, she got more animated and into the story. She claims that she “believes in ghosts as a joke.”

It is also interesting to note that she explains, “This is the story I know behind it,” meaning that she acknowledges the fact that may be other stories behind the same haunting.