Robert the Haunted Doll once belonged to Robert Eugene Otto, a Key West author and painter. Robert the Doll,who resembles an American Naval officer from the early 20th century, is supposed to be cursed and possessed by something evil. The doll was a gift for young Eugene from a Bahamian manservant who had knowledge of black magic and voodoo and was holding a grudge against the family.
The existence of something sinister about the doll became clear soon afterwards. The boy was often heard by his parents talking to the doll and the doll answering back to him. The parents supposed it was only Eugene replying to himself in a changed voice but later trusted it was the doll that spoke. The doll was claimed by neighbours to have been moving from window to window when the Ottos were not present. The family attested to the doll giggling in a terrifying manner sometimes and also changing rooms when not looked at. Eugene often shouted during the night and when his parents came to see what’s going on, thе furniture would be knocked over and the boy would be scared to death, telling them that “Robert did it”. Also, family guests claimed that Robert’s facial expression would change in front of their eyes.
After Eugene’s death in 1974, Robert was all forgotten about in the attic until the house was purchased by another family. They had a 10-year-old daughter who, unsurprisingly, became the doll’s new holder. Soon, it all started again : the girl was shouting in the night, terrified that Robert was moving and even trying to harm her. Many years later, the now older woman is still telling stories about the living murderous doll.
Robert the Haunted Doll is displayed in Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, Florida. Museum stuff reports some unexplained activity during the doll’s annual rotation to the Old Post Office and Customhouse (another Key West museum). The legend says that if you want to take a picture of Robert, you should ask politely and if he tips his head to one side it means you’re not granted permission. If you take a picture anyway, you and your family will be cursed.