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World's Most Haunted Object

Updated on April 25, 2016

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!


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    • profile image

      femmeflashpoint 6 years ago


      I'm a Marine's "kid" ... I'm not nearly as brave as my dad and my God-fathers, lol.

    • JY3502 profile image

      John Young 6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Do I hear the Twilight Zone theme playing in the background?

    • efeyas profile image

      Elizabeth 6 years ago from Some Sunny Beach, USA

      I actually visited the East Martello Museum in Key West not that long ago. I was actually able to take several pictures of Robert. Of course I asked permission first :) That same day it stormed and continued to rain for the last 2 days of vacation (which is unusual for Key West), our Rum And Reggae trip was canceled, my facebook wouldn't post his pictures until I asked out loud if it was ok,I couldn't see my posts on Facebook because they kept disappearing, oh and I got a parking ticket all on the same day!!

    • Daffy Duck profile image

      Daffy Duck 6 years ago from Cornelius, Oregon

      Holly crap! That would be eerie as hell to experience. It does sound like there should be a movie documenting that story and not just a movie resembling it. I would watch it (and then leave the light on at night).

    • JY3502 profile image

      John Young 6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      A Marine scared of a little ol doll...what's the world coming to?

    • profile image

      femmeflashpoint 6 years ago


      I'd never heard of this doll before now. And, if I ever have opportunity to visit the East Martello Museum, I don't wanna see Robert, nor do I want to take his picture, lol.


      Excellent hub!


    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 6 years ago

      As LillyG said, I'd like a bit more investigation into this doll...

    • profile image

      Lynn S. Murphy 6 years ago

      I have heard about Robert and I don't know if I'd want his picture.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 6 years ago from North Carolina


    • profile image

      LillyG 6 years ago

      Very nice hub. I am a firm believer in the paranormal and have witnessed firsthand, voodoo ritual; however, in this story's case, too many of the events are easily explained away thus would need deeper investigation to substantiate the claims. Wonderful research you have done here. The way you have presented the story had me hooked. Thumbs wayyy up!

    • JY3502 profile image

      John Young 6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      I don't either, I just report on what people have said.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 6 years ago

      I don't know if I believe this...