Well, I guess it wouldn’t be fair to call this a creepypasta, but more of a “mysterypasta”. My name is Nick Hayes, a private investigator in Sacramento, California. While I’ve been asked by the same family multiple times to investigate Donald’s, to try to find some evidence about the murders that happened there decades ago, I’ve yet to find some information about it. I’ve been hired by the Manning family, specifically Sara Manning. Her grandfather was found dead in a Donald’s pizzeria in 1991. Some publicly known information I have to disclose:
The first “known” Donald’s location opened in a fairly rural location in Eureka, California in 1981. I have also heard some rumors that they came close to changing their name because of well, McDonald’s. However, they never did.
Down here in Sacramento, we never had a Donald’s, instead it was a Chino’s. The full name according to the now outdated website, was “Chino’s Funtime Pizzeria” or something among those lines. The last Chino’s to close, however, ceased operations in 1997. I need some revenue searching and found they had their peak in 1992, a year after Donald’s acquired their whole business. This saved the company from their bankruptcy in 1989.
Anyhow, I drove to a abandoned Donald’s about 3 months ago. It was a 6 hour drive, and probably wasn’t worth it. But I was getting paid big buck for this case, so I pretty much had to. As you would expect, nothing out of the extreme happened, and everything looked well, abandoned.
During some prior research, however I read that only two animatronics were present at this location compared to four or five at most of the other locations. I also figured out that most of the locations had the same layout besides size and location. I took a picture of the kitchen, which was in fairly good state for a pizzeria that closed in 1988. I also found something out of the usual, an animatronic. It looked like a very old model of Wendy the Cougar. The 2.0 versions were introduced in the new location in 1990, however this one looked outdated and even as I don’t study animatronics or anything like that, I could tell it was missing a lot of circuits. Only one eye was intact, which was a cheap decal attached over it’s circuits. It was very tall, about 7 foot, and was located in the back room, I’m assuming the parts and service or some sort. I went out for some lunch at Taco Bell, the nearest fast food restaurant to Donald’s, and found that the animatronics collecting dust in the backroom wasn’t the one that fell off the stage in 1983.
Even though the incident was heavily guarded by Donald’s corporate, it still made its way through some print in the Eureka Times, the local news coverage. I could only find one article posted online about it, however some rumors I heard was it was covered in some other newspapers that couldn’t be found, especially with the fact that this happened almost 40 years ago.
Some off topic things I have to cover, Donald’s was very competitive with other animatronic pizzerias, or something like that. Frankie’s Fun Place was also located in Humboldt County, however was never actually as big as them, and all their locations closed down in 1993, the closing reason was never disclosed, however most people speculate it was because of budget issues and revenue.
That’s where my visit to Donald’s ended. I found out that information during my lunch break, and I told the Manning family that I would continue to look into the case, especially if I found a lead. Even then, that’s not where my case ended. Sara Manning asked me if somehow I could speak to the resigned CEO of Donald’s John Hasley. While I couldn’t exactly say no, because of the extraordinary pay she was giving me, she gave me a speech about how I’m her only investigator that accepted the case and closure about how her grandfather actually died, and after that, I was back on the case.
This would be probably the hardest part. If you didn’t know John Hasley, after he resigned over the “incident(s)”. Well, no media coverage could get a word out of him, it was rumored he moved out of Eureka, hell, even California, and moved to New York. I don’t know how I would be able to contact him, but maybe I could talk to one of his family members…
I found somebody. Clint Hasley, John’s half-brother. He lived in Willow Creek, and was a big Bigfoot enthusiast. He had many Bigfoot figures and paintings, sighting on his Dell laptop and such. Well, it’s correlation of him living in Willow Creek is humorous because not only is it called “China Flat”, but Willow Creek is also called the “Bigfoot Capital of the World” because of its sightings there.
Anyways, Clint gave a lot of helpful information towards my case. He said that John probably had the “best house” in Eureka, it was a 26-acre equestrian home with 10 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms in the middle of nowhere. He said John drove about half an hour to the old Donald’s almost everyday in an old 1967 Mustang Shelby.
But this information drew me in. He said once he entered into one of John’s “guest” bedrooms. He said his family was in town and he was very tired and just wanted to sleep in John’s huge home. John agreed and told him to sleep in one of the bedrooms, it didn’t matter. Clint walked into one of the bedrooms, and found at least “100” pictures of just animatronics. These animatronics ranged from ones at Donald’s, Showbiz, Chino’s, Chuck E Cheeses, Frankie’s, and even ones that were drawings and such. In the corner of the room, he saw what he said at least a 10 foot tall animatronic, with a hippo mask and no torso, just circuits, standing there, lifeless. On the table next to it, were a huge range of different meats. All had signs on it. From teriyaki and deer all the way to dog and regular steak. All had some sort of transparent foil on it, he guessed was to preserve it. There was also list of names on the wall. With a stapled piece of paper, on it was the script “Future employees” on the wall written with black sharpie. Clint said after seeing this, he felt very uneasy, and had trouble falling asleep.
He also told about his working experience there, he said he started working there in 1984, and also worked in the other more updated location until 1993. Clint told me that they had a inside joke about why he hired security guards. He would basically hire them for a week, give them a $100 paycheck, and then fire them, and keep repeating. Which was very strange, I questioned him about why didn’t he just keep one security guard, and Clint said, “I wish I knew the answer to that.” He then said it stopped being funny when the security guard Danny was murdered. I stopped him there. “Murdered?” I mean don’t jump to conclusions now, Clint. The case was never actually fully solved. That’s why I’m here in the first place.
At this point, I started jotting down notes for every word he said. “Listen, these animatronics… They were something else. Remember that room I told you about? I remember that day, April 7, 1986. Two days before the security guard was murdered. Whenever I worked, I had these malicious feeling about these animatronics when they looked and had direct contact with people. He made these animatronics for a reason. I’m not sure what. Yet again, I have no proof, I’ve just always stuck with my gut feeling.” I told him, he was onto something. I had to be professional, so I couldn’t just assume that these security guards were murdered, but I’ve also always felt like these animatronics were the suspects.
These animatronics had very advanced intelligence, especially for the time. Wouldn’t people think that a security guard is very unnecessary? Who would think of breaking into a pizzeria targeted for children? If I was a criminal, I would rather break into a corner store or deli. Clint said that HE worked the night shift, for one night. Nothing out of the usual happened, and there was two power-controlled large metal doors, on the left and right side of the security office. Of course, it would be regular to check the security cameras throughout the day to check on mischievous children or shoplifters or something like that, but during the night when no one is around? Strange, right? Also, what the hell is the purpose of the doors, to defend yourself from intruders? You’re telling me that there is no alarms or weapons to defend yourself with? This is really sketchy.
Clint told me to talk a man named Gerald Brooks. He was an engineer who worked at Donald’s who worked there from opening day to closing day. He worked on the animatronics, and did the night shift for a brief time. Strange how a animatronic engineer was required to do the night shift. Also very sketchy as well.
Clint offered me to stay in his house for the night, I said yes, however I probably would’ve declined the offer when I realized I had to sleep in a awful, tiny recliner. Worst sleep I’ve had in a while. The next day, I woke up, ate some breakfast and got some details about where Gerald lived. Clint said he would be expecting me. I said bye, and was on my way.
On my way to Eureka, (where Gerald lived) I passed by a Donald’s on a backroad. It wasn’t the one I visited a few months back. This one seemed a bit larger, but in worst condition, and a very small parking lot. I just continued to drive, not knowing there was any other locations similar to the first one in that area.
The sun was setting when I pulled into Gerald’s wooden cabin. He was actually working on his car. “Hey, are you Gerald? Um, Gerald Brooks?” He said yes, and asked if I was the “investigator guy” Gerald was very tall, I was 5 foot 10, and this guy looked like 6 foot 10 or something. He looked like he could take on the animatronics himself.
Gerald gave me a lot of helpful information. He said that the animatronics had very weird features on them. They had the ability to say things like “feed me” and such. Of course, this guy is a primary source, because he worked at Donald’s, but even then, you can’t be exactly sure that this guy is telling the truth, and that’s the hard part about investigating stuff like this.
Gerald also said that it was very easy to tamper with them. In his words, “I’m sure kids or people with no experience working on this stuff could tamper with those robots, easily” He also said there was a lot of switches, for example, you could make their free roam look more smoother in some type of way, or make their mouth not move when they say their vocals, very unnecessary things. “What’s the point of adding all these features?” I asked him. “Well, he asked me to, simple as that. He gives me the paycheck, I give him the work,” he said.
I asked him about his nightshift. He told me it was one of the creepiest experiences of his life. Gerald told me even though he was 56, he still gets mildly freaked about it to this day. He said he had hallucinations of the robots moving. I asked him kind of a comedic question. “Are you sure those were hallunications?” You might be less crazier than you think. He said he wasn’t sure although. He said John didn’t let him use the security cameras for some reason. Gerald said he didn’t argue because he didn’t see the point of them at night time anyway. I thought so too, the building seemed too be very small, in fact this seemed to be the case for all the restaurants. I’m assuming that from the security office, you could see everything. Although, I might be wrong.
A very intriguing thing Gerald told me, is men in black suits would walk into the restaurant near closing hours once or twice every month. This was a big game changer, so I needed some proof. He didn’t have no pictures or videos, nothing of the sort. If I could find some evidence then maybe I could get a lead towards solving this case.