By Nicolle Bryson.
Robert is a 20 century handmade doll that stands over three feet tall and is stuffed with wood shavings, he is dressed in a very old fashioned sailor suit which people suggest was an outfit the owner had worn as a young boy he also has black buttons for eyes and allegedly has human hair (believed to be his owners also). The doll is 111 years old.
This doll was the property of a young boy called Robert Eugene Otto, it was brought as a birthday gift from Otto’s grandfather in 1906 although there is also rumours he was given as a gift from a woman who looked after Otto shortly after being fired. From the Key West area of Florida the Robert doll became a best friend to Otto who would take the doll everywhere, have private conversations and even had himself a seat at the dinner table. Although Otto lived in a mansion with his parents he was a very lonely boy, his child home was always filled with maids and servants who reportedly were not treated well at all. A woman was hired to take care of Otto and help with general duties around the mansion, one day Mrs Otto witnessed the woman practicing black magic and voodoo in the back yard. It’s been alleged she was so angry and upset at being fired and treated unfairly that she put a curse on the doll to punish those who lived in the house.
The doll was like a member of the family going on shopping trips with Otto and being tucked into bed each night with the boy, it was an innocent relationship until creepy things started happening around the home. Otto’s bedroom would be found with items and toys mutilated and thrown everywhere, servants and family members would here Otto talking to Robert and Robert would reply in a childlike voice and a lot of the time getting very angry. People would burst into the room to find the doll Sat in a chair and the young boy cowering and shaking in the corner as if being told off by Robert and sitting in a naughty corner. Neighbours claimed they saw the doll moving across the bedroom throughout the day when no one was home. The doll would allegedly lock people in the attic of the home and physically attack servants, maids and guests. It’s also reported Robert was found at the end of Mrs Otto’s bed with a knife in his hand. The parents had no choice but to put the doll in a box and leave him locked away in the attic where he would stay for years to come, although that didn’t stop the creepy things from happening because people still reported voices and manic laughter coming from where Robert was.
In years to come when Otto died a new owner took over the house and kept Robert for a few years where she claims there was still a lot of activity happening around the doll , in 1994 she donated Robert to Fort East Martello Museum in Key West where he is kept protected in a large glass case as a main attraction at the museum.
There is a lot of energy that resides around the doll today and people from all over the world go to the museum just to see Robert, they always ask permission before taking photographs as it’s claimed if you take one without permission the doll will put a curse on you. Many people are also too scared to look the doll in the eyes through fear of what will happen to them. Robert receives thousands of letters every year from visitors apologising for not asking for permission before snapping pictures with the doll and claiming they’ve had creepy and unusual things happen around them because of the doll. Do you dare visit? Is Robert scarier than Annabelle?, thats for you to decide.