Publication Date: Friday, September 03, 2004
(September 03, 2004) Teens look for ghosts, religious messages
By Astra Bryant, Brady Ruebusch and Chris Perry
Every city has its secrets and unconfirmed rumors. To find out more about Mountain View's underground stories, we embarked on a mission that took us around the city and through several decades.
A popular haunt
Rengstorff House, located in Shoreline Park, is Mountain View's original haunted house. In 1972, a resident of the house told the Palo Alto Times that he had found a pair of leather handcuffs in one room and a hospital bed complete with restraints in the attic. He also reported hearing the sounds of children crying late at night.
Visitors to the house told of seeing a young woman with long dark hair standing at a front window. On Friday the 13th last month, we did our own investigation. We felt an undeniably eerie feeling as we walked around the house, but our only truly frightening moment was the appearance of a skunk.
If Rengstorff House isn't haunted, it should be.
The gospel of In-N-Out
Since its arrival in Mountain View, In-N-Out has gained immense popularity among local teenagers. In-N-Out combines low prices with food that actually tastes good. While there aren't any spirits we know of at the In-N-Out on El Camino, its white burger wrappers and cups sport small biblical notations in inconspicuous spots.
We stopped off there to grab some munchies and brush up on our biblical knowledge. As soon as we downed our sodas, we flipped over our cups and examined the underside closely. Upon this examination we noticed the inscription John 3:16.
Since we had brought a Bible with us, we found that the passage named reads: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Soda cups are not alone in their biblical inscriptions. Milkshake cups, hamburger, cheeseburger and Double-Double wrappers each have a citation of their own. Don't believe us? Go see for yourself.
What lies beneath
There is a quiet rumor passed around by young teenagers concerning the presence of bodies underneath Pioneer Park. As it happens, this is not a rumor but a fact.
From 1860 to 1906, the land which Pioneer Park, the library, and the Civic Center are built on was used as the Pioneer Cemetery of Mountain View. In 1959, a proposal was put forward urging that the cemetery be the site of a new civic center.
A fierce battle between the city and the descendants of those buried in the cemetery ensued, resulting in the removal of the buried bodies and the construction of the Center of Performing Arts and City Hall. It was thought that all of the bodies had been removed; however, during construction of the library, more than 25 new graves were found.
In an attempt to see for ourselves if there was anything paranormal or interesting there, we drove to the library's underground parking lot. That is where the latest graves were found but we didn't see anything unusual. Nonetheless, it is still believed that some of the graves have been left undisturbed under the grass of Pioneer Park.
Johnny, be good
Though not in Mountain View, the local Toys-R-Us is well-known, at least among psychics. While visiting the Sunnyvale store, we inquired about a ghost named Johnny who supposedly hangs around the store.
It was explained to us that Johnny, when he was alive, was a laborer working at a ranch where Toys-R-Us stands today. Johnny fell in love with the daughter of his employer, and while attempting to show off his manly prowess by chopping wood outside her bedroom window, he accidentally chopped off his own leg and bled to death.
Since the store opened in 1970, Johnny has allegedly amused himself by pushing toys off shelves, pulling fire alarms, talking to employees and manipulating the interdepartmental phone system. It is said that whenever you get the chills inside the store, you are walking through Johnny.
The authors are Mountain View residents who are starting college this year. Astra Bryant attends Bryn Mawr College; Brady Ruebusch heads to UC San Diego; and Chris Perry is enrolled at UC Davis.
E-mail a friend a link to this story.