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.

801 Comments on “The Curse Of Robert The Doll

  1. Dear Robert I too choose to believe forgive me for looking you up I was unaware of needing your permission please I beg your forgiveness .

  2. Hi Robert,

    I apologize for looking you up without first asking permission. I hope you will forgive me. I was already partway through the article before I thought to ask you permission. Wishing you all the best and hope to come visit you someday in the museum.
    Thank you.

    • I too am sorry for looking you up Robert. I hope also to one day visit you in the museum. Awesome sailor hat by the way!

  3. Dear Robert
    I’m sorry for looking at photos of you and reading your story, please forgive for I did not know I needed to ask for permission first. From now on I will always ask permission first before viewing any photos, articles and videos about you
    -scencerly Andrew

  4. I’m sorry for looking u up. I didn’t realize I needed permission. I didn’t understand and apologize

  5. i’m sorry robert for reading seeing photos about you i didn’t realize it would hurt your feelings please forgive me

  6. Dear Robert,

    I’m incredibly sorry for invading your privacy by reading articles of you online. I did not know that by looking at images of you online or by reading articles about you was not allowed.

    I respect your decision to choose and I hope you can forgive me.

    • I am sorry, Robert, for viewing your story and image without permission. I didn’t realize what I was clicking on when I chose this article. Please forgive me.

  7. Dear Robert,

    Im very sorry that I saw your story and photos online without your permission,
    Please forgive me, as no harm was meant as I didn’t realise.
    One day I would like to visit the museum you are in, where I would ask before taking your picture.
    Great that you are being looked after, thank you Robert

  8. Dear Robert,
    When I first read and saw you, I did not know to ask permission.
    Please forgive me as I did not mean to offend you at all.
    Thank you and please forgive me.

  9. I would also like to apologize for looking at videos about you online. Your story was very interesting to me, but I assure you I mean no disrespect. I hope you can please forgive me for all of this. I never meant any harm to you or offense.

  10. Dear Robert,

    I am truly sorry my curiosity about you lead me to research you online. I did not mean to upset you by reading about your story or looking at your photos. Please forgive me.

  11. I’m sorry Robert for stumbling upon your picture without your permission I’ll never do it again, please don’t hurt me or my family or any of my true friends.

    • Sorry for looking at your picture and your story I was curious to learn about you and I hope you have a good day


  12. Sorry Robert, I did not mean to look you up. I was curious to read more about your story. I learned about the ghost story in Key West. I will be sure to never do this again.


  13. Dear Robert I am sorry for obsessing over you and unintentionally mocking within my mind. I ask for forgiveness and wish that nothing bad happens to me.

  14. i am so sorry robert that i looked you up without permission.
    i am sorry and i ask for your forgiveness.

  15. Dear Robert,

    I would like to apologize to you for watching videos about you, reading articles about you and looking at pictures of you. You see, I didn’t know about your existence until yesterday when I came across a video on a French Youtube channel (they talked about you in the video), and I found your story so interesting that I wanted to know more about you. And so I looked you up several times yesterday and today. Please forgive me Robert, I thought I only had to ask permission to take a picture of you at the museum and I didn’t mean to upset you by looking you up on the internet. I promise you that I will never ever do so again, and if I ever see or hear anything about you again, it will be an accident and I will cover my ears and/or close my eyes right away. Robert, I don’t know if the lady who gave you to Gene otto is still alive (I highly doubt that she is, but who knows…), but all I can say is I find it truly horrible how she’s been treated by the Gene family especially Mrs Gene. The poor woman didn’t deserve this, not even after what happened with Mr Otto (I hope I understood that correctly, she did have Mr Otto’s baby that died after two months, right?). I hope that she is happy now wherever she is. If you are able to communicate with her, could you please let her know that wish her all the best?
    Again, I am really sorry for looking you up on the internet, reading articles, looking at pictures, and watching videos. I absolutely didn’t mean to upset you or to invade your privacy. I believe everything that is said about you and I highly respect you. Please forgive me for what I’ve done Robert. Please do not hurt me, my family or the people I care about. Please forgive me.

    Lorraine from Switzerland

  16. Dear Robert,
    I’m so sorry that I look you up online and saw your picture without your permission. I was just curious. Please do not harm. I am really sorry and ask for your forgiveness.

  17. I am sorry Robert for looking you up online and watching your videos without your permission

  18. Dear, Robert
    I am sorry I looked at your pictures and searched you up. I was curious

  19. Dear Robert sorry for searching you on the internet i just found you on facebook so i got curious and searched you sorry if i offend or hurt your feelings sorry for what ive done and iwont do it again.


    • sorry Robert i saw your picture again in my friends fb account i hide it so dont worry its all right now


  20. Dear Robert,
    I sincerely apologize for searching you up on the Internet and looking at your photos. I was just curious about your story and I am so sorry for doing this without your permission. I hope I haven’t disrespected you in any way. I will refrain from looking at any photos or stories of you in the future.


    • Dear Robert,

      I am so sorry for searching you up on the Internet and looking at your photos and reading the stories about you. I was very curious. I decided to believe that you were real. I shall never look at photos and stories of you ever again, without your permission. Thank you for reading my letter.May you accept my apologies. Thank you.

      -With thanks, Josh

  21. I apologize for looking up your pictures and reading about you Robert without your permission.

  22. Dear Robert

    Please forgive me as I looked at your pictures.I am sorry & not intended to disappoint please its my heartily request to forgive me.
    I did not mean to upset you.
    I promise to never upset or disappoint you again.


  23. Deare Robert
    I am extremely sorry for looking at pictures, vidoes and writing about you online without your permission to do it. I ask for your forgiveness for this and I didn’t not mean to upset you at all as I was unaware. I shall never look or read about you again unless you give me permission. Please accept my apology for my terrible mistake.

  24. Robert, sorry for researching and looking at pictures of you without your permission, i hope i have not offended you.


  25. Dear Robert,

    Many apologies for looking at your photos before asking for your permission. I stumbled upon your story accidentally and did not know what it meant until now. I will refrain from looking and reading again and fully will respect your privacy. I hope you find it in yourself to forgive me (or my family for that matter) for my curiosity and foolishness.

    Once again I apologise profusely. I hope you are being looked after well.

    Thank you,


  26. im sorry robert for researching about you and for looking at your photo.

  27. I’m so sorry Robert for looking at photos of you online please I ask for your forgiveness I do not mean to upset you please forgive meI will not do it again.

  28. Alyssa

    July 2 , 2016

    Dear Robert

    I am deeply sorry for searching you and accidentally looking at your photos I didn’t meant to offend you and I truly believe
    That your not fake I’m sorry .

  29. Dear Robert,

    I’m so sorry for not believing your power was real originally and I’m sorry for thinking you and those who believe in you must be fake. I have great respect for every entity and you are obviously not just a story told on the internet, but a real life entity deserving of respect. Please forgive my disbelief and forgive me for disturbing you in the first place by researching you and looking into your eyes through your photos.

    Apologies & Cheers,

    • Dear Robert,

      I’m sorry for bothering you and searching you up on the Internet. Please forgive me for this idiotic act that I chose this night.

      Thank You


  30. Dear Robert

    Please accept my apologies, I never should have searched you up without your permission. Please forgive me. I promise I wont do it again.

  31. Dear Robert I apologize for looking at your pictures without permission please forgive me

  32. I apologize for being my nosey self and being curious about who you were and what you were about Mr. Robert. Please accept my deepest regrets of doing so without your permission. LlV

  33. Dear Robert,
    I’m sincerely sorry I forgot to ask permission before reading up on you and looking at videos and images on Google. I didn’t visit and take your picture without permission though- and if I were to visit I promise to ask first- so I hope you will be able to forgive not only me, but my family as well.
    Thankyou, Robert.

  34. Why is everyone apologizing? He only curses you if you don’t ask before you take a picture, or if you don’t get his permission.

  35. Dear Robert

    Accept my apologies, I shouldn’t have looked you up on google and look at pictures of you without permission. I shall refrain from looking at any more photos, or literature about you.

  36. Dearest Robert,

    I Apologize For Seeing And Watching Your Photos Without Your Permission And Form Hereby I Should Not Do It

  37. Dear Robert I am really sorry for searching you up on Google and watching you on YouTube without your permission please forgive me.

  38. Dear Robert I would like to apologize, because about 3 months ago I saw you’re pictures without permision. But most of all I want to apologize because I showed you’re picture to my ex wife even dough she didn’t want to see it. So sorry for looking at you’re picture and for showing her you’re picture with out permision.

  39. dear Robert,
    please accept my dearest apologies, I shall reframe from looking at any photos and literature about you. again I am sorry

  40. Robert,

    Please accept my deepest apologies. I shall refrain from looking at any more photos, or literature about you.

    • I’m so sorry Robert at looking at photos of you online please I ask for your forgiveness I do not mean to upset you please forgive me I will not do it again.

    • I am sorry Robert ,I saw your pictures without your permission.Please forgive me I will not see or read your story anymore .I was aware before,so please forgive me I did not mean to hurt you.

      • I am so sorry that I looked you up without permission, I am aware of your existence. Please do not harm. I am so sorry and I ask for your forgiveness.

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