Hey-O! I am back after a brief break thanks to my company’s annual review which sure did suck the fun out of October. I swear, it’s like they conspired to have this during my favorite time of the year just to say, “we still own you”. But I smoked it and now for these final two weeks of the season, I am all yours.
Today we begin with an eerie doll that is world-famous for giving people the creeps. It even went as far as to inspire the character Chucky from the film Child’s Play. Now that is something! Clowns never bothered me but a doll will take this thirty-six year old veteran and have him walk backwards out of a room holding a broom for defense. I am not joking.
So, back in 1906 a Bahamian servant was practicing black magic and voodoo in the home of the well-to-do Otto family and was let go. In her disdain she made a doll in the likeness to the child, Robert Eugene Otto, and gave it to him before she was dismissed from the property. From that point on, strange things kept happening around the home of the Ottos. Robert changed his name to Eugene at the bequest of his new friend who he named Robert. His parents could hear conversations from Eugene’s room but when Eugene stopped talking, a much lower and sinister voice would answer. When they barged in his room, only Eugene and his doll, Robert, would be in there, sitting on the floor as if they were playing perfectly normal.
As the years went on the Ottos finally had enough of the doll and took it away from Eugene, locking it up in the attic. People walking past the home would report that a childlike shape would pace in front of the windows and even use profanity and giggle at them. The Ottos were well aware of the presence but chose to keep it a family secret until after the parents’ death and Eugene was old enough to purchase the house.
It gets better. Eugene married and moved in to his childhood home. Shortly after, he found Robert in the attic amongst a number of boxes. It was as if time had never stopped between the two. He kept Robert at his side at all times and this creeped his wife out something severe. In fact, she wrote in her journals that she could hear giggling with footsteps all over the house. She even said that the face of the doll would twist and morph into a demonic expression. When she demanded Eugene get rid of the doll he would fly into a rage and then snap out of it, as if it was Robert acting through him. Finally they compromised and Robert was sent to live in the upstairs terrace with a view. But that was not the end.
Eugene’s wife slowly descended into madness and eventually died from unnatural causes. Eugene soon followed but Robert stayed in the terrace. Then a few years later another family moved into the house and Robert became active again. The new tenants had a little girl who quickly took to Robert, even though the parents were not too thrilled with the new playmate. Almost the exact same phenomenon started again. The parents would hear chatter but with an unrecognizable voice. Footsteps would pace above the dining room and even the little girl would become frightened of her new friend. In fact, she is still alive and doing interviews, claiming that Robert would get up and attack here at night. The family did not last long in the home and now that Robert is removed, it’s a cozy B&B. FUCK THAT.
My favorite story, was the one from the museum. It is a detailed police report from a plumber who was working in the home alone. When he went to “Robert’s room” he felt uneasy around the doll. It wasn’t until he was almost done that he heard footsteps running behind him only to find the doll in a different location. When he finished up and headed down stairs he heard it again and when he turned around, Robert was on the floor in a different position. He stood in silence and right behind him erupted a chilling laughter which had him sprinting for the door.
Today, Robert is safe in a glass case and is residing at the Ft. East Martello Museum right next to the Key West Airport. But even though he is in a glass case, employees and lots of visitors claim he is still up to his tricks by turning off lights, giggling and even touching people.
When I was there, I took a number of photos of the doll. Before I could get up to the case one of the museum’s guides damn near bit my head off for not asking for permission. I thought he was talking about himself but then the guide pointed at Robert. Apparently if you don’t ask for permission, not only will all the photos come out blurry but he might put a curse on you. And by the tone of the museum’s guide, he truly believed in it.
In fact, all my pictures turned out blurry until I asked for his permission. coincidence? Possibly but I am not messing around with it. That is one scary little doll.
Here is a quick little video where you can see what I am talking about. Truly the creeps!