Haunted America: Robert The Haunted Doll
Robert The Haunted Doll
There are certain paranormal things that are just down right creepy. Haunted Dolls just might be one of them. Whether paranormally active or not I have never held a found place in my heart or worse, my home for beady, black eyed, creepy little dolls! And Robert The Haunted Doll is no exception!
So what exactly causes an inanimate object to become haunted or possessed? Or rather imbued with the power to create havoc or harm? No one can really say for sure. It has only been speculated that black Voodoo, as in the case of Robert The Doll, is one of many explanations for haunted dolls. Child's play? Technically, voodoo dolls (or similar forms there of) once acted as messengers to the spirit world in Haitian cultures. Voodoo Dolls were said to be the link between lost souls and the after life. Many of which, mainly in black voodoo, were used to harm or bring bad luck to their unfortunate victim. Therefore a black voodoo hex placed on a simple benign doll is not so far fetched after all.
That still leaves the question: How does a spirit or any other paranormal entity attache itself to this type of inanimate object? In some voodoo practices a small crystal or "soulstone" is used to imbue an object, such as a voodoo doll, with the power of attracting souls. Robert, whom is speculated to have one, is capable of taking a soul of its own.
I'll let you decide.
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"Robert did it!"
The dark story of Robert The Haunted Doll begins at the turn of the century when the eccentric artist, Robert Eugene Otto, took up residence in the famous Artis't House in Key West Florida. Settled down and married, his wife, son, little Eugene, and servants settled into a slow and unhurried lifestyle in the heart of the city.
The legend states that the Otto's were known as stern people who held their son to rigid expectations and expected strict obedience from their staff. Traveling the world left no time for parenting young Gene, as they called him, and it is said they hired a Bohemian servant as a caregiver for their son. Gene and his nurse became quite close as she was his primary care giver for quite some time. But alas all things must come to an end . After getting on the bad side of Ms. Otto (it is said Ms. Otto caught the women chanting and practicing a form of mystical voodoo late one night in the servants quarters) the nurse was promptly dismissed from the house. But before leaving she endowed young Eugene, her favorite charge, with a gift. A doll, a hand sewn homemade doll. The doll was made in the likeliness of 5 year old Gene and was said to be 3 foot tall, made with the human hair of Gene himself and was likened to that of a voodoo doll. A slightly imperfect replica who Gene took to immediately.
Gene decided to name his doll Robert. Gene and Robert were inseparable and could often times be seen strolling in town together. They ate together, they bathed together, and they dreamt together. Whatever Gene did Robert was sure to follow. It seemed as though the little boy had found his perfect companion. And it would have been had the story not taken a troubling turn.
Young Gene was frequently heard talking to Robert . Most of the time, his parents chalked it up to simple imaginary fun, a conversation with an imaginary playmate if you will. Until a voice was over heard answering young Gene. However, the voice was not Genes. Sinister and much more deep in nature than young Genes' the Otto's found it disturbing. This however, was the preclude to even more strange occurrences in the Otto household.
As time went on neighbors claimed witness to the doll moving. It was said that Robert could be seen moving about from window to window from outside when the family wasn't home. People began to whisper about the frightening occurrence happening at the Otto house. Many were afraid to walk past the turret room, where Robert was kept, for fear that they would catch a glimpse of the doll moving. He was even said to stop in front of the window, glare down and mock people as they passed. The Otto's themselves claimed to hear the doll giggle and noisily move around at night in the turret while they slept, constantly finding him the next morning in a new position or space that he was not previously in. Sometime they were heard saying they caught glimpses, out of the corner of their eye, of Robert running about the house.
Eventually, small mishaps became a frequent occurrence in the Otto household. Gene had frequent nightmares. He could be heard screaming at night from his room. Upon his parents entering , they would find over turned furniture, their child half scared to death, and Robert sitting menacingly at the foot of the bed , his beady , black eyes glaring at them. Usually, Gene was blamed and upon accusation would exclaim "Robert Did It"! Eventually, exhausted and out of options the Otto's placed Robert in the attic, locked the door, and there is where he sat for over 20 years.
Gene eventually grew up and married. With the passing of his parents the Otto property was passed down to young Gene and his new wife. Rummaging through the attic , Robert The Doll was rediscovered. Once again reunited with his long time companion Gene welcomed Robert back into the lower rooms of the home..... but it wasn't long before the frightening occurrences began again. Robert would often times be found in the turret room, rocking back and forth in a chair in front of the window. No matter how many times he was moved he somehow always ended up back in the same room, rocking away slowly with each creek. The doll became unsettling and once again was locked in the attic.
This time however, not even the confines of the attic could silence Robert's actions. They became increasingly more frightening and menacing. Guests no longer wanted to visit the house as the pacing footsteps, menacing giggles, and voices coming from the attic were too much to bear.
Eventually things calmed down for Gene and his wife and in 1972 Gene peacefully passed away leaving behind the doll he so once cherished.
The Otto house was later sold to a new family. Robert the doll, waited patiently in the attic to be discovered, once again.
Eventually new owners arrived, and Robert was quick to be found by their 10 year old daughter. It was not long before Robert unleashed his displeasure on the child... The little girl claimed the doll tortured her, and made her life a living hell. Even now, more than thirty years later, she steadfastly claims that "the doll was alive and wanted to kill her." Least to say it didn't take this family long to find Robert a new home and it wasn't in the attic!
Roberts Final Resting Place
Should you ever have the pleasure of visiting Key West, Florida you might want to make a pit stop at the Fort East Martello Musuem. There you will find one of their most cherished historical artifacts, Robert. Still dressed in his white sailor's suit and clutching his stuffed lion, he lives quite comfortably, though well guarded, at the museum. . He currently resides here and has been keeping people paranormally entertained for quite some time!
Although kept in a glass case, Robert, from what visitors and staff have said, are still up to his old tricks! Ghostly giggles can often times be heard out of nowhere. Staff have on several occasions noticed changes in position of Robert within the glass case as if he moves on his own. He said to move his toy lion from one knee to the other and has been heard many times tapping on the glass case display in which he stays.
Have You Had The Pleasure Of Meeting "Robert The Doll" ?
Have you had an encounter with Robert The Doll? If so, would you consider sharing your story? I would love to add your personal encounter with Robert to this hub... If you would like to submit your encounter with Robert - please jot it down and send it to me via HubPages or post it to the comment section below!