Spooky NC: Robert The Doll

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Before I asked Permission. Can you tell?

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!

 

A Very Random Halloween Vlog

Ho Boy am I going to probably regret posting this one but I love the season so much, I think this video expresses that feeling far more than words can. I was in the moment this past week so I decided instead of three videos I could just cover everything in one. I haven’t really watched it all the way through because I would most likely not post it. So here is to being an idiot!

Enjoy and enjoy the last weekend of October. I am off to Vegas for business so my last week will be weird at best. Make sure to do something spooky!

I love how the freeze frame of Videopress always manages to get me in a worst position. Assholes.

Party City vs Kmart is to Evander Holyfield vs Steven Hawking

I have amazing memories as a kid, strolling the aisles of Kmart looking for the perfect costume or Halloween decor. It was the king of the super store back then and if you wanted to dress as Chewbacca or E.T. there was no better one-stop-shop than the well recognized large red K. But like any strong racehorse, eventually there is a faster more sleek horse that will do it better, more elaborate and in this case, far more Halloweenie and make the racehorse look like the smelly pony that gives all the kids at the party a rash. This is how I compare Kmart to Party City. But in all fairness, you can’t by a toaster at Party City. Let’s take a look at the faster horse first. This is Part City. GET DOWN!!!

Here we are and don’t they all look the same. I don’t know about you but I am never too excited about Party City. You can find them in most all large strip malls that include a Ross, Target and Babies-R-Us so if you are like me and may get stuck on a shopping excursion, this is the time of the year that Party City can save ass. In April…shoot me.

Great Nell Carter’s Ghost! This is how you do Halloween! The smell of rubber and latex permeates the air as the musical score of the moment is a cheesy 1990’s Nightmare On Elm Street rap. It wasn’t blaring loud like a Hot Topic but I could definitely tell it was about Nightmare On Elm Street by the Fresh Prince style lyrics, “…burned up like a weenie and his name was Fred.” This is something to be blogged about!

With so many different Halloween items all thrust together in a couple aisles, it’s easy to have it turn into a casserole of nonsense but it blends really nice. You have the gore with the gore, the zombies with the zombies and the cutesy with the cutesy without having to search through mounds of severed heads and viscera just to find a bunny in a pumpkin.

Zombies are still a huge hit I guess. The store is about 3/4 zombie while the rest is fog machines and plastic axes. It amazes me how desensitized zombies have made young kids. I saw a mother holding her, I guess, three-year-old and asking her if she wanted the zombie window cover or the ghosts. The zombie window cover was this:

Cute! Her arm is almost chewed off

Well, I guess that is the way kids are these days with there Iboxes and there Xphones. Had I seen that on someones window as a kid I would have skipped the house and gone right to therapy. Long over are the days when Tim Curry blended in with his green screen asking if anyone has seen his tambourine.

"Mr. Lucas, this is an ARF Troooper. It's also dog talk."

For the kids and adults who would rather just pick out an already manufactured costume, Party City is renown for having about three hundred different themes and characters. This one caught my attention because as a kid who grew up in the eighties and absolutely hate the direction George Lucas took Star Wars, I couldn’t help notice this kid’s costume of an Imperial..ARF Trooper? What the hell is that? Are they the K-9 unit of the universe? God, I just don’t know the world anymore. Luckily they still sell these:

Ah the oldie and goodie. It’s nice to see the old masks are still a seller here and above all else, the villains like Jason, Pinhead, the weird Motel Hell pig mask and Mike Myers are among the most popular. I especially love Chucky with his mullet.  To cost justify one of these, though, a kid at age twelve will have to be Freddy until he is twenty-seven.

Well, leaving Party City you have to dodge a swipe by the new Freddy. To be honest, he’s no Englund but I kind of like him. The movie made me a believer that a new generation of kids need to die in their sleep. Especially the ones who are responsible for Twilite and hipster apparel.

Now that we have seen a brief part of Party City’s Halloween presentation, lets take a look at the girl who still wears her high school letter jacket to the bar…Kmart.

Right away I knew Kmart was not the place to be by the mostly vacant parking lot on a Saturday afternoon. It is almost sad in a way because on my way in there were three employees smoking around the coin-operated rodeo duck and the sound of a rolling soda can blowing through empty lanes of the lot. This was the sign of a department store put out in the pasture.

As I went in there were no signs stating it’s the Halloween season like Target. No, I had to wander for a while before eventually finding it. I actually have a video of me doing so. Enjoy.

As you can see, there is less fanfare about the holiday Kmart used to own. Perhaps it’s just this particular Kmart but I really have a sense that this company is circling the drain and forty years from now I will be telling my grandkids that there was time when I used to ride my bike to the Kmart to buy slap-bracelets for five bees. Because that was the style at the time.

As you can see, the licensed Halloween ‘Totally Ghoul” is still putting out everything and anything for this asthmatic contender of a department store. I really like Totally Ghoul too because it is not cheap in design and it is cheap in price. Without breaking myself I can buy enough pumpkin lights to trick a 747 into landing on I-40.

This is proof that “Totally Ghoul” has nothing new in it’s product line for 2011. I remember Matt writing about these years ago and while I find this comforting to see a demon clown from years past, it is also a sign of the times. I don’t know why but I really love that guys tongue and his ability to floss with rope.

But this trip was not all for not! Oh no, it has inspired a new costume idea. Remember that disfigured white tiger in a zoo? Yeah, I thought it was pretty funny too. Imagine if he had a best friend who was a gorilla?

 

Whatever. I already know I’m going to hell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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