• Christina Corsetti, H.S.

Robert the Doll

A wealthy family moved into Key West, Florida in 1896-1897.

Mr. and Mrs. Otto were well known to be cruel and abusive to there servants.

There youngest child, Robert Eugene (Also called Gene and born in 1900) was always watched by a certain older Behamian servant girl.

This girl was treated the worst of all servants, because Gene adored her and thought of her as a best friend. Because of the abuse, the girl was planning revenge on the Otto family.

She stayed up late at night, secretly creating a special “present” for Gene for his 6th birthday.

The Otto family didn’t know that this servant girl practiced voodoo.

And this is were Robert the doll was born.

The servant girl sewed the doll by hand and adding a porcelain head to it.

It was believed she has put a curse on the doll.

Filling the doll with evil relics and very tiny animal bones.

At the time, it was a very nice doll.

New, shiny, and sewn with a lot of craft work.

The next day, she gave Gene the doll with hugs and smiles, and Gene was very happy for the wonderful gift. He was after all, a playful little boy.

Gene decided to call the doll by his real name. Robert. And the name has stuck ever sense.

As time went on, the Otto’s noticed something very strange and wrong with there son.

Gene was so fascinated with his new doll.

Gene would spend hours long in his room, all alone, talking to Robert.

What puzzled the Otto’s even more, was that they could hear answers.

A voice that was completely different from there sons.

When Gene went to sleep in the evening, he would always awake the family with his screams of fright.

When Mr. and Mrs. Otto got to his room, they would find Gene’s furniture overturned, and Gene in his bed, trembling in the center of it all. Robert, would be sitting upright at the end of Gene’s bed, glaring at Gene’s parents.

The little boy shouted:

“Robert did it! Robert did it! Robert did it!”

Then, things got worse.

As conflict became frequent in the house, or if Gene ever misbehaved, the little boy would always have the same person to blame.

“It was Robert,” he sobbed. “Robert did it! Robert did it!”

When Gene’s father died, Gene got the will of the house and he moved into his family home.


He got married and had a wife named Annette, otherwise known as Ann, and becoming a famous artist. Now just calling himself his middle name, Eugene Otto.

Eugene Otto always preferred to do his artwork alone, secluded, with Robert at his side.

Talking to it as if the doll could speak back.

Eugene’s wife, Ann, never liked the doll from the first time Eugene introduced it to her.

It gave her the chills just to look at it, and she hated how obsessed her husband was with it.

It frightened her in some way.

Eventually, even though it deeply upset Eugene, Ann told her husband she was going to give Robert a room of his very own, in the attic.

Which is were he stayed for a few years.

Those years later, Eugene spoke up. He repeated over and over again. Warning his wife “how angry Robert was.”

Eugene even demanded that Robert have his own room. A proper room with a view. The guest room that looked out above the street. Ann disagreed greatly, but gave up the fight to please her husband.

Kids walking by Eugene’s house to school always looked straight ahead.

For each day, they saw Robert leaning face down up against the guest room window on the 3rd floor. Glowering at them, mocking them, and dancing around!

Inside the house, Eugene and Ann’s marriage was slowly deteriorating. Eugene was screaming and lashing out at his wife. Smashing things and running around the house like a mad man.

And then…all of a sudden he was fine, back himself again. And he always apologized with the same statement.

“It was Robert, Ann. Robert did it!”

Ann had finally began to question her husbands sanity.

A plumber working on the house, who was allowed to take a rest in the upstairs guest room, ran screaming from the house.

He said he heard “the doll giggling and saw him scowling at him.”

In the early 1970’s, Eugene became ill. Instead of spending time with his wife and excepting her comfort, he locked himself all alone in the guest room.

With Robert by his side.

In 1972, Eugene died. In the guest room. Obviously, with Robert beside him.

Ann, relieved but heartbroken, quickly sold the house, and left. But not before leaving Robert behind stored buried under what seemed like a million boxes.

Several years later, another family bought the home. Shortly after moving in, the new family discovered Robert. Nearly squashed beneath the boxes. Which probably resulted in one of his broken off ears.

The couple of this new family took one look at Robert and knew that they didn’t want something like this in there new lifestyle and home.

The 10 year old daughter of the family, surprisingly, liked the doll and added it to the collection of her china dolls and stuffed animals!

It didn’t take long for the family to realize that was obviously something very wrong with the doll.

Like, Eugene, the little girl would wake up in the middle of night screaming a crying. She said she saw Robert running and jumping up and down around her room. Then climbing on her bed and attacking her.

To his day, after more than 30 years, this woman now in her 40’s still claims “that the doll WAS alive and wanted to kill her.”

Shortly after this occurrence, the family got rid of it for good and brought it to the Key West Florida Martello Museum. Now, Robert is displayed in a glass case for all visitors to see his scary face.

Robert is still at the museum, in his little sailor suit, holding a little stuffed lion that he, appears to be attached too. Employees always remember to introduce new recruits of the museum to Robert. Some visitors laugh at the stupidity of being afraid of a stupid doll, but many change there mind….when they see Robert’s angry look starring back at them.

Others try to take pictures of Robert in his case, and there cameras will not turn on. They replace the batteries thinking that was the solution, but the new batteries are not working either! When they leave the museum, there cameras turn on and the batteries fully charged.

One male visitor, who didn’t believe the curse was true, videotaped his entire day at the museum. When they got to the area were Robert was, the sound on the camera turned off and couldn’t be turned back on! He turned around to talk to a employee close by, and the sound on the camera was turned up all the way. Blaring in his ears.

Ann’s ghost has been sighted in Eugene Otto’s old house. Guarding the house in case of the return of Roberts evil spirit. A man who dose the tours of the house claims he has seen her. He says she frequently descends the staircase to the attic. Were Roberts evil form was stored for so long.

Other employees say that when they lock up for the night, they leave peppermint candy’s in his case as if to bribe him to be good and not disturb anything during the night. They swear when the return in the morning the wrappers are left behind at Roberts feet.

The guest room where Eugene died is haunted too. A large bluish-green orb is seen floating throughout the room. The tour guide believes its Ann.

A psychic who visited the museum tells the employee’s and manager that the energy of the spirit inhabiting Robert is slowly dying. Maybe she’s right. Because Robert appearance is indeed becoming worn and old. As I said before, one of his ears is broken off, his face has chips and tiny holes from being moth bitten, the paint that was added to his lips and eyebrows has faded drastically, his hair is actually turning white!

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