The Curse of Robert The Doll

The Curse Of Robert The Doll

I snapped a photo of Robert The Doll before reading that he puts curses on anyone who takes his photograph. Uh oh. Surely it’s just a myth, I thought. Curious, I began reading about the doll’s history. In 1903, Robert was given to four-year old Gene Otto, who lived in Key West. As Gene grew up he blamed everything bad that happened on the doll. By the time Gene was married, Robert had taken the blame for a lifetime of lies, misdeeds, and mischief.


Robert The Doll is on display at the East Martello Museum and Fort in Key West

Some say Robert’s face had begun to change by the time Gene died in 1974, that his eyes grew more expressive. People insisted that the doll moved around and could be heard giggling behind their backs. Many who came in contact with Robert experienced bad luck, as if the doll was getting even for all the years he had been made a scapegoat. The curse of Robert The Doll grew into such a well-known legend in Key West that whenever things went wrong, locals would simply shrug and say, “Blame it on Robert.” But Robert’s real fame came when the “Chucky” horror film series (Child’s Play, Child’s Play 2, Child’s Play 3, Bride of Chucky, Seed of Chucky, etc.) came out, as they were said to have been modeled on the real-life story of Robert the Doll.

There are many theories about why Robert behaves the way he does. Some believe it is an ancient curse. Others say it is voodoo. Still others insist that Gene Otto’s ghost has returned to the doll whom he loved so much. The museum cats seem to believe in Robert’s dark powers – they keep their distance when staring up at the glass case in East Martello Museum where Robert is enthroned. People, on the other hand, tend to doubt the legend, and have suffered the consequences. Letters scattered at Robert’s feet and tacked up on an adjacent wall are testimonials from dozens of unbelievers who were cursed by Robert The Doll, such as this one:

Since our visit to the museum, we’ve been under a dark cloud.

I began to develop a rather severe toothache. Two days later, Hurricane Charly cut our vacation short and we joined the parade of evacuees leaving the islands. We were evacuated from our vacation spot three days early with my mouth in tremendous pain. My sister-in-law was also having female health issues. We were all forced to make alternate travel arrangements on the run.

My sister-in-law lives in Clearwater. After a problem laden and horrendous trip, she finally got home, only to be evacuated from there too. She packed up her two cats and headed for her parents house in Winter Haven and ended up in the middle of the storm there. They lost power for two days.

When we arrived in Miami for our flight back to Indianapolis, the plane broke and they had to “find” a different one for us. The following day, back in Indiana, I went to the dentist to learn that my tooth had abscessed and I had to have a root canal.

Last night we had a huge thunderstorm. Our house was hit by lightning – not once, but TWICE! We were unplugging things, but not fast enough. We lost three TV’s and a large satellite dish. The first hit, which sounded like a gunshot in the house, took one large TV and the satellite dish, and the second hit got two more TV’s. Again, the sound was horribly frightening.

Please do me a favor and tell Robert that we did not mean to anger or offend him and we’re sorry if we did. His photo did turn out good, so he sat very nicely for me. Would he like it back?

Yours sincerely,

Cindy Lye


Hundreds of letters have been sent to the Museum by visitors who beg Robert’s forgiveness and ask him to remove his curse

As for me, well, Robert and I were introduced several days ago and so far I’ve suffered no ill effects. But then, I’m not taking any chances. Like the cats, I choose to believe.

Check prices for accommodations in Key West at,, or Read reviews about hotels in Key West, Florida at TripAdvisor.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links to hotel booking sites. If you click on any of the links and make a booking, I may earn a small commission, which keeps this blog free to read.



1,195 Comments on “The Curse Of Robert The Doll

  1. Hello Robert my dearest apologies this was a complete accident and i also say that i am very sorry on behalf of my family and friends for i desire no ill effects. I will surely be careful next time and I would just like to send my greetings to you. The paranormal just tends to spark my curiosity but i will be cautious.

    Thank you


  2. Dear Robert,

    I am sorry for looking at pictures of you online. I wasn’t aware you didn’t like that either.

  3. Dear robert, i apologize for viewing your photos online. I was unaware that we had to have permission.

  4. Dear Robert,
    I am very sorry for looking at your pictures online. I was just very curious about you. I dont mean to disrespect you in any way. Please forgive me.


  5. Dear Robert,

    Very sorry for looking at your photo in the article without permission, had no clue we had to ask for permission for the online ones as well.

    No disrespect intended.

    Sincerest Apologies,

    • dear Robert,
      I’m very sorry for not asking permission to look at your photo online. I ask for forgiveness and I wasn’t aware we needed permission for pictures online as well.
      no disrespect intended.


  6. Dear Robert
    I ask for your forgiveness for looking at your image online. I was completely unaware that I must ask for permission when looking at online photos. Please forgive me.
    Courtney Nguyen

  7. I’m so sorry Robert for looking at your pictures I didn’t mean to but I accidentally took a glance at it please don’t curse me and my family

    • Dear robert,
      I sent my dearest apologies for being so inconciderate and rude,I unfortunately was unaware that I had to ask for permission to view any online pictures of you.And the one in the article wasn’t the only one,And i am deeply sorry.In truth i did it because I’m scared,I’m always scared of things I cannot grasp(no offense).And i sincerly hope I don’t offend you,I’m just an anxious teen who spends her time overthinking about things.I’m scared.I’m worried.I’m sorry.Please,Please forgive me.
      -Adora bekanich

  8. Dear Robert

    I am sorry For looking at your pictures without your permission I didn’t mean to I just wanted to know more about you Can you please forgive me

    Marcia Sithole

    • Dear Robert
      Forgive me for looking at your picture. I was completely unaware because I was attempting not to find more information. To specify looking at your picture online. I apologize for not asking for permission.
      Courtney Nguyen

  9. Dear , Robert I’m sorry for searching up your picture in online and looking up you in videos without your permission . I’m sorry . Please forgive me Robert

  10. Dear Robert,

    I’m sorry for looking you up and looking at your image without your permission, please forgive me. I mean no ill intentions.

    Thank you,


  11. Dear Robert I\’m soooo sorry for looking you up online and at your pictures without your permission please forgive me I meant no harm not did I want to disrespect you in any way I\’m sorry for what happened to you. Hope things get better my deepest apologies to you please forgive me..

    Sincerely, Mrs Evans!

  12. dear robert,
    im sorry for looking at pictures of you online. i was just curious. i didnt know i also had to ask permission when it came to pictures on the internet as well.

    a very curious and unemployed girl ;(

  13. dear robert,
    im sorry for looking at pictures of you online. i was just curious. i didnt know i also had to ask permission when it came to pictures on the internet as well.

    a very curious and unemployed girl

  14. Dear Robert,
    I am very sorry for looking you up online and looking at your pictures without your permission. I hope you can forgive me. I did not mean to disrespect you in any way, please forgive me. I was just curious about you. Please forgive me robert.

    Carolina Arreola

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *