Robert the Doll has caused fear to people everywhere. At the surface, Robert seems like any other antique doll out there. But behind those beady dark sockets, sailor suit, and the straw material is a sinister history. For years, he not only tormented a family but has reportedly caused car accidents, divorce, death, and a number of misfortunes to those who dared to disrespect him.
Robert the Doll: A Story of Curses and Demonic Possession
Robert the Doll is currently kept in Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, Florida. The 111-year-old relic was manufactured by Steiff, a German plush toy manufacturer that created the very first Teddy bear. It is said that Robert was never really intended to be sold as a toy, so how it ended up in the hands of a scorned servant is still a mystery.
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The Otto family were wealthy plantation owners that lived in the Key West back in the year 1897. They appointed several slaves to work for them, and many of these servants were treated badly. In a fit of rage, one servant girl cursed a doll and gifted it to the family’s son, Robert Eugene Otto.
Robert decided to name the doll after himself. He and Robert the Doll would later become eerily close to the point that it became his only confidante. The young boy would go on to include Robert in his daily routine, from his shopping trips to even sharing his bed with the doll. At first, the family shrugged off their son’s behavior, but as time passed, the relationship started to become disturbing.
First, Robert demanded that he give up his first name to his doll. From then on, the people around the boy addressed him as Gene. Strange things also began to happen in the Otto household. Reports of Robert the Doll moving around from window to window started to surface. Gene seemed to acknowledge that his toy did have supernatural abilities as he often placed the blame on Robert whenever things would go wrong.
At one point, Gene began to have recurring nightmares. When his parents entered the room, they would find the furniture turned upside down and their son on the corner petrified in fear. Gene would cry out, “Robert did it!” while pointing at Robert the Doll who stared glaringly at the foot of the bed.
The Ottos finally decided that something had to be done. Robert the Doll was moved to a box in the attic where he was kept for many years. With the terror seemingly gone, Gene grew to become a respected artist in the Key West. He inherited his family home after his father’s demise and lived there with his wife. But Gene and his childhood toy would find a way to reunite, and the cycle of terror would begin all over again.
The curse was believed to have befell upon another family whose daughter was unlucky enough to come across the Robert the Doll. The girl began to experience all the things Gene did when he was younger, from nightmares to moving furniture. She even claimed that Robert was alive and wanted to kill her. Her parents quickly removed Robert from their home and donated him to the East Martello Museum where he continues to reside to this day.
If you think his reign of mischief and terror has ended, think again as Robert continues to haunt the employees and guests of the museum. Today, Robert the Doll sits perched in a glass box, clutching a stuffed lion, waiting to cast a curse upon yet another victim.