‘Tis the season for toy shopping, so of course I thought, how do toys
and ghosts connect? Fabulously, it turns out.
For one thing, there was once a haunted Toys R Us location. I don’t
remember what city it was in, but I do remember that the haunting was a TV
story at one point. Employees were uncomfortable in certain aisles, and the
toys themselves would move when the store was closed and deserted, as shown on
security camera footage. I think it’s probably tough to haunt a store during
the madness that is Christmas shopping. After all, who could overcome the
noise, the aggressiveness, and the extended hours? Even the living have trouble
coping with that.
On the other hand, the toys that are in your house and hanging around
your children’s play areas and bedrooms? Those are another thing altogether.
When my grandson was a really little guy, he received a Tickle Me Elmo
for Christmas. I don’t know if they’re still around but if they’re not, it’s
probably because they’re possessed. This thing used to laugh and giggle its
little heart out at about one in the morning when it was sitting by itself in a
mound of other toys. It’s not like my grandson had it in bed with him and accidentally jiggled it into activity. No, this thing was on its own, among other
“inanimate” toys, and would party away in the dark hours. My daughter wound up
shoving it into a bag and hiding it in the closet, and we’d still hear it chuckling
and carrying on from within its dark and hidden confined. YIKES.
My other daughter, who sadly lost her best friend from childhood during
the month of December, also experienced the undisturbed-but-talking-anyway toy.
Her son had received an interactive device that said certain phrases and played
little bits of song, and this too would sing and talk when no one else was
around. She would hear it from the kitchen as a song started up, or it began to
chatter. One afternoon, just on impulse, she called out her friend’s name and
asked her to stop. The toy promptly answered, “I love you!” and went silent.
Longer ago, there was a toy called “Speak and Spell.” Anyone remember
those? I recall a stand-up comic referring to it as “Spell and Speak With the
Devil” because it would begin spelling random words during the night.
Some people say that these things are activated by a truck rumbling by
in the distance, or by some kind of radio signal the toys mysteriously pick up,
whether from a neighbor’s baby monitor or someone’s garage-door opener. I
suppose that’s possible. But I can’t help feeling if that’s what’s going on,
the activity should happen with a great deal more frequency, and not so often
in the dead of night, “dead” being the operative word here.
And then there’s the dolls. I won’t even start on those except to say
that I’ve been in stores that carry not only dolls, but clown dolls. I have to
Toys are meant to entertain and teach the young and the innocent among
us, so it’s a bit ironic to me that at the same time, toys can be scary in
their own right. On the other hand, when it comes to paranormal and unexplained things, kids can be far scarier than the toys…