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.

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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

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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 Booking.com, Hotels.com, or HotelsCombined.com. 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.

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1,159 Comments on “The Curse Of Robert The Doll

  1. Dear Robert, Im sorry i didnt ask for permission before searching your name and looking at pictures of you, I didnt know until now that i had to. I wont do it again, please forgive me.

  2. Dear Robert,
    I am so very sorry that I searched up pictures of you without permission. I don’t wish to offend or anger you. My deepest apologies.

  3. I’m so very sorry for watching videos about you and reading articles I hope you forgive me I did not know that I needed permission for this – Natalia

    • Robert I am so sorry for looking up your photos without your permission I believe in you completely and I was just curious as to your backstory.
      -Sophie

  4. Dear Robert I’m sorry for searching you up without permission please forgive me I won’t do it again I just wanted to know how to ask you for permission soon didn’t offend you I’m so sorry

    • Dear Robert,
      I’m sorry for searching you up and looking at your picture without your permission. Please forgive me. I won’t do it ever again. I’m so sorry.

  5. Sorry for searching you up Robert without your permission.
    I didn\’t mean to offend you and I don\’t doubt you.

  6. Dear Robert, sorry for searching you up without permission and looking at photos of you. I won’t do it again please forgive me.

  7. Dearest Robert,

    My sincere apologies for looking at your pictures without your permission. I was just curious as to who you were. Please forgive me. I respect you.

    • Dear Robert, I’m very sorry about researching you without your permission. I hope that you forgive me and let no curse or harm be done. Have a very nice day.

      • Dear Robert,
        I’m sorry for searching you up and looking at your picture without your permission. Please forgive me. I won’t do it ever again. I’m so sorry.

  8. Dear Robert,

    I’m sorry for looking at your pictures and researching you without asking first
    I was ignorant and I apologize I hope you can forgive me, i’ll Delete all my history if it’ll make things right

    • Dear Robert (Gene),
      I just wanted to say we respect you. I felt your energy and I hope it was okay to meet your acquaintance and say hello. I hope the museum continues to preserve you. Take care.

  9. Dear Robert,
    I apologize for taking pictures and researching you before asking permission. I was unaware that you were not supposed to do those things before asking. Please forgive us and let no harm be done.

    Thank you,
    Marla and Jordan

  10. Dear Robert

    I deeply apologize to you if I offended you by searching about you. I wasn’t aware about the fact that it may hurt you. Very sorry. I appreciate that you will read this comment. Thank you for your precious time.

    Yours faithfully
    Bhavya gautam

  11. Dear Robert,

    I am sincerely sorry if I offended you doing research on you today. I take the time to say that I am sorry for what happened to you. Please forgive me, I did not know until now. I know this sounds crazy, but if you don’t want me to search you up anymore, tell me politely.

    Thank you.

    Jaci

  12. Dear Robert,

    I’m sorrry for looking you up without permission, I didn’t realize I was supposed to ask you first. I hope yOu can forgive me.

  13. Dear, Robert. I apologize deeply for not ask permission to see your photos. I hope you can forgive me. Thank you.

  14. Dear Robert I’m so sorry for not asking permission before researching you and watching videos. Please forgive me, I did not know until now. I’m sorry if I offended you

  15. Dear robert im sorry i looked at your pics without your permission.i was watching a stupid video amd learnt about ur story.please forgive me i didnt mean to defend you in anyway thx

  16. Dear Robert, I’m extremely sorry I looked at your pictures without asking your permission first. I did enjoy your story and am deeply terribly sorry if I have offended or cause any sort of discomfort from viewing your images or searching you up online. My sincerest apologies,
    Stephanie

    • Dear Robert, I’m sorry too , I clicked on a link without realising what it actually was . Sorry if I offended you and looking at your picture online without asking for your consent first. My sincerest apologies Lauren

  17. I’ve only heard that you had to ask permission for photos, but I feel like I will write this just in case.
    Robert,
    I’m sorry I did not ask permission before looking you up online and looking at photos. I was just curious as to who you were due to the fact that I had learned about you recently. It’s upsetting what has happened to you in the course of your history and I wish you the best.

  18. Dear Robert,
    I’m sorry I viewed pictures and articles about your permission. I was just interested in you and your interesting backstory. I didn’t know I had to ask, I thought that was a photo thing. Please forgive me. I’m sorry about your past and the stuff you had to go through. I hope everything gets better. Thank you!

  19. Hey Robert, I’m just your average joe with a vast interest in the paranormal and I just enjoyed reading about you because I was simply interested in your story. I didn’t know about the needing permission part and I apologize if you felt negatively. I respectfully ask if your willing forgive me and let my misdeeds go as I never meant any ill will and I feel bad that Gene made you his scapegoat for such a long time instead of owning up to his own blunders. I’ve been in similar spots and they are not fun. Thanks so much! – Hayden Draycott

  20. Dear Robert,
    I am sorry for looking you up and looking at your pictures without prior permission. I just clicked a link in an article. I did not understand before. I am extremely sorry.

  21. Dear Robert,

    I am so sorry, I in no way meant to offend you, I followed a link because I was curious about you. I didn’t realize you want people to ask permission first.

    With the utmost respect,

    Meaghan

  22. Dear Robert,

    Sorry I didn’t ask for your permission to research you, your story came across my feed and my curiosity just took over. Please don’t be mad at me

  23. Dear Robert,I’m sorry for researching about you I was just curious. I apologize please forgive me

  24. Dear Robert,I’m sorry for researching about you I was just curious. I apologize

  25. Robert,

    Please forgive me for researching you. I am very sorry. I should have asked your permission. Please remove any curses following me or my family.

    Thank you

  26. Dear Robert
    I apologize for researching you without your permission, I was just very curious to understand your origins, I’ll try not to go too deep into the far corners of the internet too much.

  27. Dear Robert,

    I apologize for researching you and looking at your pictures without your permission. I was curious to learn more about your history and respect you.

  28. Dear Robert, please forgive me for looking you up without your permission and viewing you without your permission. I am so very very sorry.

  29. Dear Robert,
    Please forgive me for researching you without permission beforehand. I didn’t realise. I’m sorry.

  30. Dear Robert,

    I’m sorry for researching you and looking st your pictures without your permission, I’m sorry if I offended you, I will always ask for permission before I do so, thank him

  31. Oh Robert for you I’m not gonna finish or watch another video or pic on you so if I every see a pic I’ll come back here just please forgive me

  32. I’m sorry Robert I didn’t know I couldn’t research this is all my fault I was watching a youtuber and decided to do research on you this is all my fault and I feel your pain I’m always blamed on too just I wouldn’t do what you do I’m sorry please forgive me.

  33. Im very sorry Robert for not asking you a permission to look up on you, search you and watch videos of you. Please forgive me.

  34. Dear Robert. I’m so sorry for researching you and looking at your pictures without your permission. I’m sorry

  35. Dear Robert I am sorry for looking you up with out your permission I only knew about you because of a YouTuber, my deepest apologies

  36. Dear Robert I’m so sorry for not asking permission before researching you and watching videos. Please forgive me, I did not know until now.

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