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Published on Aug 21, 2010
Robert, sometimes known as Robert the Doll, is a doll that was once owned by Key West painter and author Robert Eugene Otto. The doll, which is allegedly cursed, has become a fixture of ghost tours in the Key West area since it was inducted into the Fort East Martello Museum.
Eugene was given the doll in 1904 by a servant who, according to legend, was skilled in black magic voodoo and displeased with the family. Soon afterward it became clear that there was something eerie about this doll. Eugene's parents said they often heard him talking to the doll, and that the doll appeared to be answering back, and although at first they assumed of course that Eugene was simply answering himself in a changed voice they later believed that the doll was actually speaking.
Neighbors claimed to see the doll moving from window to window when the family were out. The Otto family swore that sometimes the doll would emit a terrifying giggle and that they caught glimpses of it running from room to room. In the night Eugene would scream, and when his parents ran to the room they would find furniture knocked over and Eugene in bed, looking incredibly scared, telling them that "Robert did it!"
When Eugene died in 1972, the doll was left in the attic until the house was bought again. The new family included a ten year old girl, who became Robert's new owner. It was not long before the girl began screaming out in the night, claiming that Robert moved about the room and even attempted to attack her on multiple occasions. More than thirty years later, she still tells interviewers that the doll was alive and wanted to kill her.