[Photo: Courtesy of Cayobo/flickr]

Everyone has heard the story of the haunted doll, Annabelle.  But many have not heard of the doll that was haunted way before Annabelle.  His name is Robert, he is a little boy doll dressed in a sailor suit.  His face doesn’t even look human.  His face is worn from how many years old he is.  You see Robert the Doll is 111 years old.  He is currently on display in a museum in Key West Florida. The name of the museum is Martello Museum.  This museum was originally a fort protecting the coastal water ways of Key West Florida.  This building was once owned by Robert’s original owner, Robert Eugene Otto.



[Photo: Courtesy of]

Robert Eugene Otto was considered an “eccentric” in his peers eyes.  His family was a prominent family in Key West Florida.  The doll is said to have been given to Mr. Otto by his grandfather as a birthday gift.  The grandfather reportedly bought the doll on a trip to Germany in 1904.  The sailor suit that Robert the Doll wears is reportedly an outfit that Mr. Otto wore as a child.  There are many legends associated with Robert the Doll and the legends are what attract the attention of people.


There are many legends that are related about this doll.  One of the legends is that there was a voodoo curse placed on the doll by a disgruntled servant of the Otto Family.  It is rumored that the Otto family were very cruel to their servants even to the point of treating them inhumanely.  Supposedly one of these servants was a Haitian woman that was hired to take care of young Robert Otto.  Mrs Otto (the mother) reportedly caught this servant practicing black magic in the back yard of the family’s mansion.  Mrs. Otto fired the woman immediately.  The story goes that before the woman left she gave young Robert the doll that today is known as Robert the Doll.  It is rumored this servant had placed a voodoo curse on the doll.  It is said that the young Robert was terrified of the doll.  His mother is reported to have related that she would abruptly enter Robert’s room only to find him cowering in a corner while the doll was sitting in a chair or the bed staring at him menacingly.

The doll was moved into a room in the attic known as the Turret Room.  This room had many windows in it. Witnesses have claimed to have seen the doll move from window to window, this is another legend.  Another of the legends is that after the death of his father Robert was willed the home that was his childhood home.  Robert was married at this time.  Despite his wife’s vocal protests, Robert soon became attached to the doll again.  Robert’s wife could not stand this and verbally told Robert this.  The doll was taken with Robert & his wife everywhere they went.  Mrs. Otto had enough of this situation and moved the doll back to the Turret Room.  After this happened, Robert and his wife’s marriage began to go bad fast.  Mrs. Otto  as the story goes went insane and died of unknown causes. Robert Otto soon died not long after his wife.

The next legend is that upon the death of Robert, the mansion was sold to a new family.  They bought the mansion and lovingly restored it.  Never knowing they had a doll in their attic room.  The story is the family found the doll and left it where it was.  But they reported they would find the doll all throughout the home in various rooms.  But the scariest story they related was late one night.  The owner was asleep in the bed when they reported that the doll was found at the end of the bed with a knife in his hand and giggling maniacally.  This was the last straw, the new family ran out of the home in the middle of the night never to look back.

So you see legend has it that Robert the Doll has some form of paranormal abilities that cause him to move, change his facial expressions, and he is said to giggle maniacally.  Legends are also associated with Robert that says he has caused broken bones, car accidents, marriages failing.  It is said that the movie, “Child’s Play” is based on the Robert the Doll.  So if your ever in Key West Florida, go by the museum and say hi to Robert.


[Photo: Courtesy of Key West Art & Historical Society]