Robert The Doll Curse

Robert The Doll Curse

The history surrounding the Curse of Robert the Doll started during the early 20th century with the Otto family in the town of Key West, Florida.

The doll’s involvement surrounded Mr. and Mrs. Otto’s young son, Robert Eugene, with whom the doll was eventually gifted to.

The cursed doll was made in 1906 by one of the family’s Haitian servants before she was dismissed by the household over allegations of practicing black magic and voodoo.

The Otto family were known to not treat their servants well and were reported to even mistreat them. It is believed that for this reason, the dismissed Haitian servant had placed a curse upon the doll before presenting it to the Otto’s young son as a gift.

The Doll

The doll stood an estimated three feet tall dressed in a sailor’s uniform and decorated with beaded eyes and straw-colored hair.

The DollHe appears with his own doll, a small stuffed animal that he holds underneath his arm. Due to the mistreatment the former servant endured, it is thought that she constructed the doll of human blood, hair, and clothes saturated with liquid of the deceased.

It was also thought that she infused the doll with dark spirits and the famous curse as an act of revenge against the Otto’s mistreatment of her.

She then presented the doll to the young family’s son as a parting gift. The Otto’s son took an immediate liking to the doll, naming it after himself and treating the doll as his constant companion.

Robert the Doll accompanied the Otto’s son on family outings, sat at the dinner table with them and even slept in the bed of the family’s son. This companionship continued throughout the boy’s childhood and into his adult life.


As the boy got older, he started to refer to himself by his middle name, Gene, after believing that the name Robert was that of the doll’s and not his to have.

Gene often had closed door conversations with Robert the Doll, in which servants sometimes noted a deeper voice answering to the son’s higher voice.

The Otto’s themselves witnessed moments in which their son was found cowering in the corner in apparent fear of the doll, with Robert hovering motionless above him in a menacing manner.

Gene was also becoming increasingly agitated, having outbursts towards his parents and the family’s’ servants in which he always connected to Robert the Doll.

Strange occurrences began to happen, with objects being thrown across the room apparently of their own volition. Additionally, the son’s other toys and possessions were often found mutilated.

When the Otto’s questioned their son about any of the strange events, he was always quick to blame the mischief on Robert the Doll, often quoting “Robert did it”. The boy’s aunt decided to pack up the doll and store him in the attic, to which the mischief resided.

Adult Life

Robert the Doll appeared in Gene’s life many years later after he inherited the Otto family home due to the death of his father. Having grown up to become an artist, Gene moved into his childhood home with his new wife.

Upon moving back into the house, Gene resurfaced his childhood toy and his attachment to Robert the Doll resumed as it had in his younger years.

Gene continued to have Robert the Doll attend outings with the couple, evening dinners and even sat him in a bedside chair next to the newlyweds’ bed.

Gene even built a specific room for Robert the Doll in the turret of the Otto’s home, and eventually Robert spent much of his time there.

Gene accompanied him, spending time on his paintings while conversing with the doll. Neighbors reported seeing the doll move around in the turret windows, and servants spoke of evil laughter or footsteps coming from the apparent uninhabited room.

There were even reports of people being locked in the room against their will…

Fort East Martello Museum

Gene passed away in 1974 in which the Otto house sat empty for a number of years, with Robert the Doll still residing in the Turret Room.

The tenants to follow continued to hear sounds and reported strange happenings with the residing doll, including sounds of demonic giggling and seeing the doll’s facial expression change.

In 1994, Robert the Doll was moved to a local museum, the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West. He sits in a glass box still holding his toy for visitors to see.

Museum staff warn visitors of the continued curse on the doll. The staff notify curious visitors that they must ask Robert to take his photograph, and only to proceed if he has nodded back.

If he has not nodded, a curse will be set on any person who photographs Robert without his permission.

Robert the Cursed Doll’s glass box is decorated with letters from unfortunate visitors who took his picture without his consent, in which they beg Robert to remove his curse upon them.

22 thoughts on “Robert The Doll Curse

  1. Dolls have this ‘uncanny valley’ creepy things.
    I’m not really scared when I’m reading this but usually its when I’m about to fall asleep, I start to think about my day, walk the dog on the woods, remembering that pretty face on Facebook…. then I went to see some random site and it was about a certain doll…

    It’s when the effect of reading this stuff rushes in!
    A bit of adrenaline in the bloodstream and the sounds seem higher, any movement makes you cold.

    The dog scratches the door outside…
    The dog licks my hand under the bed…
    I only have one dog…

  2. Wow, what an interesting story! I find dolls really creepy and Robert the doll is certainly a creepy little fellow (wasn’t there a film on him not so long ago?)

    I always find it amazing how objects can take on so much energy and mystery – this isn’t the only haunted doll report out there is it? I’m sure I’ve come across others in the past!

    You certainly tell the story very well. I can’t wait to check out some other paranormal stories on your site – this kind of stuff makes my day mate!

    Great article, great site and great subject – my new favorite website! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing

    1. Yeah a couple of films included Robert the doll about a year back Steve – unfortunately only one of them was any good (the other was low budget s##t that wasted an hour and twenty minutes of my life!).

      There are many other reports of haunted (or possessed) dolls out there Steve – we have a couple more of them on this site!

      So glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit here and you are planning on reading more of our stuff – cheers mate! 🙂

  3. Dearest Robert,
    I am so so sorry for looking you up online without your permission. I have learned my lesson and will never do so again. I believe in you.

  4. I’m sorry robert i never mean’t to offend you in any way by looking at your photos online i believe in you forgive me.

  5. Robert, I am so sorry for looking up information about you online. I came across a video about you and viewed it and I wasn’t aware about needing to ask permission before I saw the video. now I know that I need to ask permission. please forgive me!

    1. robert, i am so sorry i searched you up i didnt know we needed to ask for permission.. hope you forgive me i wont do this again.

  6. Sorry Robert, I should have asked for permission to view photos and videos of you and your story but wasn’t aware of the rules until I did further research. Please forgive me, Robert.

  7. Wait.. I am doing a whole research speech on Robert the Doll… does that mean looking up information, stories, videos, pictures… without Robert’s consent means I have the curse on me now?? nice time for me to get an eerie vibe in my room… will praying lift any curse? I kind of want to go to Key West and test that theory of bad things happening to people… see if its actually true or not…

    I’m kind of scared now…. my last name is Roberts… EEG!!! great…. oh well… I lived a good short 15 years of my life… for those of you who know how to pray, pray for me… please…

    1. I think it’s more specific – taking a photo of him yourself. I’ve used photos in this article – but I didn’t take them!

  8. Dear Robert,

    I’m sorry I was reasearching you online. I didn’t mean to look at you without your permission.

  9. I actually met Robert back in 1979. I used to go to the First Baptist Church next door on Eaton Street. I went to see Ms. Reuter, that lived in the house and she introduced me to Robert when he stayed in the attic (turret room). It was on a Sunday morning after church was let out. On the Friday before, at about 5am, We had youth group sleepover at church and heard some noises in the back and we (Youth group leader) went to the back to check it out and that’s when we saw Robert walking by himself. Scared the daylights out me.

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