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Jacob Johnson, played by Whit Hertford, initially appeared in A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child.

Jacob is the son of Alice Johnson and Dan Jordan. After being defeated by his mother in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Freddy Krueger returns in Jacob's dreams before he is born and feeds him the souls of his victims. The spirit of Jacob as a young boy appears to his mother, although she is initially unaware of his identity. When she is freed by Yvonne Miller, Amanda Krueger's soul tells Jacob's spirit to use the power which Freddy gave him. After releasing the power, Jacob forces Freddy to revert to an infant form (which is absorbed by Amanda); several months later, Jacob is born. In the original script for Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, Alice is killed by Freddy Krueger and Jacob is the main protagonist.

In the 1991 anthology The Nightmares on Elm Street: Freddy Krueger's Seven Sweetest Dreams, Jacob (a young boy with heterochromia) is the protagonist in Philip Nutman's "Dead Highway, Lost Roads." After Alice is involved in a serious accident, Jacob enters the dream world in search of his mother. He befriends Joe Bob (an anthropomorphic armadillo) and serial killer Karl Stolenberg, who was en route to his execution before the accident. They eventually find Alice ensnared in a strange version of the Mad Hatter's tea party in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Joe Bob is disemboweled by Freddy, and Karl attacks Alice in a psychotic rage; Jacob hits Karl in the back of the head to return him to his senses. Alice and Karl defeat Freddy, and Karl is killed; Jacob and his mother return to the real world.

In Natasha Rhodes' novel, A Nightmare on Elm Street: Perchance to Dream (published by Black Flame), a now teenaged Jacob Johnson is a Westin Hills patient. The book mentions that he was raised by his grandmother Doris Jordan after she stole custody from Alice. Jacob was eventually placed with foster parents, whom he killed by accident after hallucinating that they were Freddy. Jacob was institutionalized as a result and Alice went missing. To protect everyone from Freddy, Jacob has stopped himself and others from dreaming for a month by using his dream powers; however, this makes the residents violent and paranoid. It is revealed that anyone who is aware of Freddy's existence is quarantined in the institution. Upon escaping Westin Hills, Jacob sees visions of Alice at certain points of the novel, and one shows his mother suffering voicelessly in the dream world (supposedly killed by Freddy, though it is not clarified whether it is truly her or just an apparition conjured up by Freddy to torment Jacob). There is no doubt that his father Dan is dead, and Jacob's need for a father figure makes him susceptible to his mentor and caseworker Jack Kane's manipulation—as Kane aims to steal Freddy's powers in order to make up for his own feelings of rejection and powerlessness. Most likely in reference to the events of The Dream Child, Freddy also perversely considers himself a father to Jacob.

Jacob's future is explored in the first story arc of Innovation Publishing's Nightmares on Elm Street comic series. He returns to Springwood with his mother at age six when his grandfather dies. Freddy tries to manipulate Jacob to help him enter the real world with the promise to resurrect his father, Dan. Jacob learns about Freddy's plans, and defeats him with help from Alice, Dr. Neil Gordon and the spirits of Dan and Nancy Thompson. He and Alice reunite with Dan, who returns to life in Neil Gordon's comatose body. Jacob later appears in the crossover Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash: The Nightmare Warriors, where he is kidnapped by Freddy to lure Alice. Alice (who is terminally ill) allows Freddy to kill her so she can pass her powers to her son, who summons the spirits of Freddy's victims to fight him.