If there’s one thing that I can’t stand and that really freak me out it’s dolls. Not your average Barbie, Ken or Action Man kind of doll, but the ones that are supposed to be pretendy babies. Those things give me the proper wiggins. Take ‘Robert the Doll’ for example. He is the perfect example of why children should NOT be allowed to have dolls. Adults shouldn’t be allowed to have dolls. Hell, no one should be allowed to have dolls!
Robert the Doll currently resides in a museum in Key West, Florida. Museum staff claim that mysterious things happen around him and advise visitors that if they wish to take a photo of Robert that they must ask him permission first. If he inclines his head, they are okay to take the picture. If he doesn’t move and the visitor takes a picture anyway, it is said that Robert will curse that person and their family.
All sounds a bit far fetched for a doll? I agree. But the story gets weirder.
Robert is 109 years old and originally belonged to a painter and author who lived in Key West, called Robert Eugene Otto (called Eugene by his parents). The doll was given to Eugene when he was a young boy by a Bahamian servant in the employment of Robert’s family. It was said that the servant was angry at the Otto family after being ill-treated and cursed the doll using voodoo magic before giving it to the child under the guise of a gift. Eugene thought that the doll resembled himself and so called it Robert (his middle name).
Almost immediately, strange things began happening in the Otto household. Eugene’s parents would hear him talking in his room alone, they assumed, to the doll. They were amused when he began putting on a voice and pretending to be Robert answering him. However, the more and more they listened, the less like Eugene the voice sounded and they eventually had the unnerving thought that the doll could actually be talking back to their son.
Servants would report seeing the doll moving from window to window of the house when the family were out. High pitched giggling could be heard from rooms where Robert was put. Some visitors claimed to even see Robert’s facial expressions change before their very eyes and caught glimpses of him running about the house from room to room.
Eugene began to become scared of his doll. He would wake his parents up in the night screaming and when they came to his room, they would discover furniture moved or destroyed, Robert on his own at the end of the room and Eugene, wide-eyed and terrified in bed staring at the doll. When asked what happened, Eugene would always give the same reply, “Robert did it!”. Eventually, the doll was placed in the attic and all but forgotten about and Eugene Otto’s childhood continued without incidence.
As Eugene grew into an adult and got married, he and his new wife moved into his childhood home. Whilst looking through junk in the attic one day, Eugene came across the doll. He sat with Robert for hours and during the months and years which followed, his wife noticed him becoming more and more detached from their life and spending more and more time in the attic, which he had converted into a bedroom complete with child size furniture and fixtures for Robert. He became moody and angry until his death in 1974, whereupon Robert the Doll was kept in the attic and left until the house was bought by a new family.
The doll was soon discovered by the new family’s little daughter who brought Robert everywhere with her. Back to his usual tricks, Robert soon began terrorising the girl; she would scream out at night and when her parents rushed in to see her she would be crying that Robert was moving around the room and trying to kill her. The girl, now an adult still claims this is true.
Robert was eventually donated to the Key West Museum where he continues to intrigue people today. He was even the inspiration for the series of films “Chucky”.
I did notice one cool thing that the museum had, which is a miniature doll of Robert, available to buy for $22 on their website