Silicon Valley

Sunnyvale’s Haunted Toys R Us Story

ghostly weirdnessDo you ever visit Yelp? It’s a place where I’ve offered some restaurant reviews. Today I found something on ghosts and Silicon Valley, and thought I’d share the haunted experiences with my readers here. Enjoy!

Haunted Spots in Silicon Valley

Four Weird HousesLocals who have a penchant for hearing ghost stories have heard for years about the haunted Toys R Us in Sunnyvale, the moved-but-still-haunted Rengstorff House in Mountain View, the nationally known weirdness and haunting at the Winchester House in San Jose, and perhaps also the Coleman Mansion in Menlo Park (now the Peninsula School). Wave Magazine did a really good piece summarizing all four of these and you can read it online here:

The Haunted Bay Area Apartment

Guest Post by Pete Chen
Pseudonym for a San Francisco Bay Area Realtor

I walked back into my apartment from the balcony.  It was a still and sunny day but since I was on the third of six floors there was never that much light inside.  I really should have been outside enjoying the weather but I was feeling pretty low-key that day.  So I turned on the TV and flipped repeatedly between something boring and something uninteresting. Bedroom

I did manage to get off the couch, if only to walk to my bedroom for a quick nap.  As usual, it was surprisingly dark but I managed to find the edge of my bed to sit down and take off my socks.  For some reason, I peered up at the bedroom door, which had begun to close.

It’d never really been drafty in the apartment and the door usually stayed put.  Whether it was the hinges, airflow, something unlevel didn’t matter.  It was no big deal and I was more interested in my nap.  But then I noticed that the door didn’t shut, it gently swung open again, then moved back as if it were going to close.  It did that two or three times before I walked up to it.  It kept going.  In a firm but almost a half-joking way, I asked, “What do you want?”  Then it stopped.  The door never moved on its own from that day forward.

Buying & Selling Haunted Homes: Going High Tech

Bonnie Vent, of SD Paranormal, emailed me yesterday about her new approach to helping buyers and sellers of haunted real estate, so I thought I’d pass this on to you. I have her OK to copy and paste from the email. – Mary Pope-Handy

Hi Mary,

I have taken my haunted house listings to the next level.  I have a radio spot called “Paranormal News” and I am selling ad spots for those that wish to sponsor the show.  The first ad sold was from a woman in Indiana that has a haunted house for sale.  She is thrilled with the results since the ad goes out to the paranormal enthusiast communities; a targeted audience for any haunted property. 

The audio feeds are currently playing on:  

Para X Radio network –

Ghostly Talk Radio –

Coming soon will be Planet Paranormal –

As well as ITunes, Yahoo and Google and several podcast directories as podcasts.

The feeds are also stored indefinitely on my own podcast page:

The text feeds are seen by thousands as they are on many paranormal websites, several Yahoo Groups also receive the feeds and some people also subscribe via email.  They all receive updates automatically every time I update the feed. 

Here are a few examples: 

Please pass this along to clients and fellow agents that are interested in buying and selling haunted property.  If they are interested in sponsoring a broadcast or placing an ad they can reach me at  I can do the ad for them or they can send a mp3 file which I will incorporate into the show. 

There are plans to turn this into a radio show.  This will of course depend on how much of a response we receive. 

Thx so much,

Bonnie Vent

San Diego Paranormal Research Project

Thank You, DAR in San Jose!

The Daughters of the American Revolution in San Jose, CA, had a talk on Haunted San Jose and the panelists were Deb Wible, Adrienne Foster, and Mary Pope-Handy

The San Jose chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution asked my friend Deb Wible to speak at their meeting last Saturday about “Haunted San Jose”. Deb invited me, and her good friend Adrienne Foster (who does wonderful reviews of haunted hotels on to join us and make it a panel presentation.

It was lots of fun, and the members of this group had a lot of details on the historical aspects of the locations discussed.

Thank you, Daughters of the American Revolution, for hosting us. We truly enjoyed our visit with you.

Radio Interview Tomorrow
on Stigmatized Homes & Haunted Houses

Recently I was contacted by Patty Burgess, a warm and fascinating realty agent & investor in the Philadelphia, PA area, who hosts a real estate radio show.  Having found my blog on this subject, Patty asked if I’d like to be included in tomorrow’s session on haunted and stigmatized real estate. She will be interviewing psychic medium Joseph Tittel and broadcasting from a haunted hotel in Ocean City, New Jersey!  The show will be aired live on the web, so no need to be in PA or NJ to hear what’s happening. I hope you will be able to join us – it will be fun!!

Haunted & Stigmatized Properties Interview Particulars:
Monday, March 10th 4pm EST (1pm in California/west coast)
Show begins at 4pm but the interview will start a little later, around 4:10? 4:15?
Listen live at

Want more?  Both Patty and Joseph have blogs!

Patty’s blog: Blog, Blah, Blah….
Joseph’s blog: Spiritman Joseph

Please join us tomorrow!

Vallco Shopping Center in Cupertino:
Is It Haunted?

Awhile back, I got an email from someone about a childhood experience of this person’s involving ghosts at Vallco.  One other person, whom the first one knows, also had a similar experience there. I will remove the store name so as not to create a fuss for the current owner….but if this is familiar to you, please let us know!

(I was) downstairs in the basement, I saw a group, yes group, of spirits, ghosts, I don’t know what to call them. There were about 20-25 of them, all different ages and sizes, all dressed from the previous century, and all with a far look of dread on their faces. They were standing at the glass doors that lead out to the underground parking lot…”.I’ve been there as a child, and as an adult, but did not pick up on anything. Anyone know about these ghosts from Cupertino’s past?

Hauntings on Senter Road House in San Jose (continued)

In July we had a flurry of comments here from a post about the haunted house on Senter Road in San Jose. Recently I met again with some Silicon Valley ghosthunters, some of whom were familiar with it but at that time, no one had the address – though at least one knew where it was.

Today I was doing some surfing and found a site that claims to have more info on this apparently notorious place. The address was actually on Hellyer (not Senter) but it may be the same story. Looks like an exact address had, at one time, been posted and then removed.  And it’s for the best to not include the precise address, I think, because you don’t want to be guilty of stigmatizing a house or causing the owners trouble.

Right now I’m in a transaction for a darling old Spanish style home in San Jose’s Japantown (one of only three Japantowns left in the U.S.). I was in the home with my buyer and a worker, who was giving us an estimate on some work, when a creepy looking guy decided that the “for sale” sign in front constituted an invitation to saunter into the back yard and have a look. What is wrong with people?!

So it’s bad enough in the case of some real estate sales. With ghosthunting, you just don’t want to give people a reason to poke around uninvited. Some folks do not understand the concept of private property (haunted or not). You don’t go into someone’s private home or yard without permission – whether it’s for sale or haunted or anything else.

For that reason, I’ll not repeat the address I stumbled upon here and will ask participants to NOT give the precise address, but I would like more info in case the Hellyer Road addressed haunted house is the same as the Senter Road one.

Info, anyone?

Looking for Haunted Places in Silicon Valley

I’ve attended a couple of Bay Area Ghost Hunters meetings and I have to tell you, this is a really nice, warm, “together” group of people.  Tonight we met at the Starbuck’s in downtown Los Gatos to do some organizational planning, but also to share some stories over a latte or two.

There were some great tales told tonight!

So what does a group with a quirky interest in investigating the paranormal do, besides sipping on sodas and a little java while shooting the breeze about things that go bump in the night?

They plot. They plan.

We’re ready for an outing (in my case, a first field trip with the group – for others, it’s “another outing”).  A visit to a creepy place that harbors more than what usually meets the eye. A haunted place. A haunted building or house.

Bay Area Ghost Hunters are involoved in researching hauntings in and near Silicon ValleyGot ghosts?

We are looking for haunted places in Santa Clara County (or nearby counties) to check out. Do you know of anywhere with a ghost or more in San Jose, Campbell, Santa Clara, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Los Gatos, Los Altos or Palo Alto? The spooky site could be residential or commercial. We’re talking haunted apartments, houses, restaurants office buildings – anywhere the owner or manager would be willing to have a group come in and investigate.
Got ghosts?

Silicon Valley DOES have ghosts.

Let’s hear about ’em.

Winchester House in San Jose:
Haunted or Not Haunted?

My friend, Deb Wible of San Jose, also collects local ghost stories. She sometimes gives tours of the haunted places of San Jose – with the proceeds going to charity. She is a preservationist and her interest in history nicely intersects with her interest in ghosts.

Window to nowhere at the San Jose Winchester Mystery HouseOne of my more interesting emails this week came from Deb and it was regarding the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose (the very heart of Silicon Valley).  Thought I’d share with you her words about whether this famous landmark is haunted.

When I tell people I do ghost tours, the FIRST thing they always ask me is if Winchester is haunted. I’ve heard yes and no. One authority said no, my son, who was a tour guide there for 6 months, said no.

Another worker there told me yes, and a man who used to work for BFI there told me yes.

Odd doors at the haunted Winchester houseAt a Preservation Action Council ( event, I met an older man named Julius.

He lives in that DeAnza twin tower, which used to be (or is) a medical building with flats above.

When I told him that I wasn’t certain if Winchester was haunted, he told me it most assuredly is.

I asked him why.

He said he was walking by the front gates of Winchester, and heard Sarah, in her own voice, complaining about the “surly union workers” !!!!!

This had a ring of truth to it for a couple reasons.

One of the many stained glass windows from Sara Winchester's Daisy Room in San Jose, CAI’d heard a story that Sarah used to keep close track of her hardware. She was not happy when her workers used her solid gold bolts on the front gate!

Also, her house was being built as America was becoming unionized.

Sorry I don’t have more details, but there’s one Winchester haunting story. J

Welcome Note!

Welcome to the Haunted Real Estate Blog. If you'd like to share a story, please email me, Mary Pope-Handy:
Since I get a lot of spam, please be sure to write something in the subject line that references what the email is about. Thanks!

Alternatively, you can send me snail mail here:

Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030

Or phone me at
408 204-7673
(please, no sales calls).
DRE # 01153805

Stories shared &
opinions are mine
and do not necessarily
reflect those of
Sereno Group.