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World's Most Haunted Object
The 1988 horror film, Child’s Play featuring a demon possessed doll named Chucky, was inspired by a real one known as “Robert the Haunted Doll.” Some call him “Robert the Devil Doll” and claim it is the world’s most haunted object.
The evil dolls’ tale began in the early 1900s with a disgruntled family servant adept in the arts of voodoo and black magic. The servant is said to have created the doll out of wire, cloth and straw, cursed it and gave it as a gift to the family’s son, Robert Eugene Otto. Gene, as he was referred to by family, grew up to become an author and artist in Key West, Florida.
As the story goes, the doll was dressed in a sailor’s outfit and made in Gene’s likeness. From the start, friends and neighbors felt something wasn’t right about young Gene’s attachment to the doll and the feelings they got when near it. Gene’s parents would often hear him having conversations with the doll, which he had named after himself.
Soon after the doll’s arrival in the household strange things began to happen. Neighbors said they saw the doll moving from window to window when no one was home. The mischievous doll was heard to emit spine tingling giggles as well. The Otto’s said they frequently caught a glimpse of the doll darting from room to room…and it wasn’t their son.
Throughout the years the doll’s features slowly seemed to change. Its eyes became more prominent and expressive. And whereas before, the head was practically unmovable, it somehow became able to be shifted in almost any position.
Even after Gene reached adulthood Robert was rarely found away from his side. Some would say Gene had become something of a recluse as he scarcely left his house and would paint in seclusion with only Robert to keep him company.
Eventually, Gene married a woman named Anne. Unfortunately, she grew to loathe her husband’s strange obsession with Robert. Gene was often prone to fits of erratic anger and hostility. But, once he quieted down Gene would blame his behavior on Robert. It wasn’t long before Anne grew tired of her husband’s childish behavior and moved Robert to the attic. Gene told Anne, Robert didn’t like living in the attic and was angry. Gene transferred his companion to another room with windows facing a street where children often played.
Many of the kids frequently reported seeing Robert pace from window to window on their way home from school. They said Robert would stop at one of the windows and glare menacingly at them. Anne eventually reached a point where she was declared officially insane. Not long after the diagnosis she passed away, leaving Gene alone once again with Robert. One day Gene locked himself and the doll in Robert’s room. That’s where he was found dead.
Reportedly Robert was left abandoned in the room until a family bought the home in the early 1970s. The new owners had a 10 year old girl which took possession of Robert as a new toy. But, soon afterwards she too, like Gene, would be found screaming in the middle of the night. Robert was blamed, as usual, for making a disaster of her room. But, this time Robert was also accused of attacking the young girl on several occasions. As of this writing, she still tells of her terrifying encounters with Robert.
Robert is now kept under lock and key in a glass case at the East Martello Museum in Florida. The museum staff often claim hearing faint giggles and say sometimes Robert’s facial expression changes right in front of them. Over the years witnesses say his hair color has changed to almost all white as if he has aged.
Visitors are advised it’s permissible to take Robert’s photograph but should ask him first. Legend states, misfortune befalls those who don’t. It’s claimed if Robert doesn’t feel like getting his picture taken, his head tips to one side. A number of photographers say their camera equipment malfunctioned when they took video or photographs without his permission. Smile…say Chucky Cheese!