There are superstitions which seem to intrigue the interests of people. This unusual story is no different; this takes obsession to a new level, especially for an inanimate object. Its name is Robert, a rather unusual doll one which resembles an early 20th century American Naval officer. The doll has become a fixture of several ghost tours. It can be seen at the Fort East Martello Museum located in Key West, Florida.
The story is rather strange, as Robert the doll was previously owned by Key West painter and author Robert Eugene Otto. He was obsessed with this doll, it was his friend and even real to him from his imagination. Perhaps this doll was also inspiration for his artistic work as well.
The background about the dolls origination is interesting; Eugene (Robert) was given this doll back in 1906 by a Bahamian maid. The legend goes that this maid practiced black magic with voodoo. She apparently was angered with the family, so this doll was cursed with a spirit. Eugene’s parents often heard him talking to the doll and the doll appeared to be talking back…as eerie as it seems.
(His parents thought that Eugene was simply answering himself in a changed voice; they later believed that the doll was actually speaking back to him)
Both Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Otto didn’t treat their servants well, back in 1896. It was customary to have servants during this time period. People believe that this was part of the origination of the dolls existence as a curse laid upon the family.
Neighbors claimed that when they passed by the home, they could look up and see the doll moving from different windows. Some nights they could hear a scream and Eugene claimed that “Robert did it!” This was a recurring theme for Eugene over his lifetime even with his wife later in life, who absolutely despised the doll.
When Eugene died in 1974, the doll was left in the attic until the house was bought again. The new owners had a ten-year old girl; she became Robert’s new owner.
Not long after the girl began screaming out in the night, she claimed that Robert moved around the room evening attacking her on several occasions. Now, more than thirty years later, she still mentions that the doll was actually alive and desperately wanted to kill her. Once a year, in October, Robert the Doll (in his case) is taken to the Historic Custom House where he is placed on display. As time has passed people have been dropping peppermints by Robert the doll (in the display case). It is believed that this will keep him from wanting to roam at night and cause trouble. If you enjoyed this, try reading this story HERE.