The Folklore of Robert the Doll


Horror movies and urban legends always talk about haunted and cursed objects, from the Anguished Man painting — supposedly painted with the blood of the artist who committed suicide shortly after painting it — to the Busby Stoop Chair — which is currently mounted on the wall of the Thirsk Museum so that no one may sit in it and, according to legend, die.  But what about dolls? Haunted dolls have been a fascination of the public for years, and one of the most infamous haunted dolls out there is, of course, Robert the doll.

The story behind the doll is this: The Otto’s had a son named Gene who was given the straw-filled doll by the family maid.  Gene became attached to the doll, even naming it after himself: Robert. However, shortly after receiving the doll, the family would hear Gene in his bedroom, talking to himself, though there would be two entirely different voices speaking.  The doll began to becomes mischievous as the years passed, and the family would wake up due to hearing Gene screaming in the middle of the night. When they would go and check up on him, all of the furniture in the room would be overturned, the doll staring at him from the foot of the bed.

The mischief progressed.  Mutilated toys would be found throughout the house, and the sounds of giggling could be heard throughout the rooms.  People began seeing the doll moving from window to window as they passed by. Eventually, the doll was moved to the attic.

After Gene inherited his parents house, he moved back in with his wife, taking Robert out of the attic and putting him back into his old bedroom.  Of course, once Gene and his wife passed away, the doll was brought to the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, Florida. Though people claim that his hair color — and, in turn, his soul — are slowly fading, there are still mysterious happenings at the museum.  Lights flicker, cameras malfunction, and curators claim to hear giggling coming from the doll.

robertAs if this wasn’t bad enough, there is a curse surrounding the doll.  According to many who have sent in photos accompanied by a letter of apology, anyone who takes a photo of Robert without asking for permission supposedly befalls terrible luck and tragedy.  In order to break the curse, they send back the photograph with a letter — these letters line the walls surrounding the doll at the museum in which people beg for Robert’s forgiveness and ask that the curse be lifted.

Maybe Chucky might not have existed, but Robert the doll is very much real.  If you wish to see him, the Museum still has him contained in his glass case.  Though, do err on the side of caution and ask the doll for his permission to snap a photo, lest the curse of Robert the doll befall you.

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