The Curse of Robert The Doll

The Curse Of Robert The Doll

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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.

435 Comments on “The Curse Of Robert The Doll

  1. Hey Robert sorry for not getting your permission to look at your photo I was just curious please forgive me!!!!

  2. Dear Robert,
    I am sorry for reading this post and looking at your pictures without permission. Please forgive me.

  3. I’m sorry Robert for not asking permission to see your photo. Please forgive me.

  4. Are u people serious? Why are you apologizing? Even if the dolls’ haunted (doubt it) it’s not like it’s here to see you read about it.

  5. I’m sooo soo sorry Robert for reading and looking at your pictures without your permission I’m really sorry i didn’t mean to offend you hope you can forgive me Robert i was just curious that’s all please forgive for am i really sorry.

  6. Dear Robert,
    I’m very sorry for reading your story and looking at your pictures without your permission. I did not mean to affend you in anyway

  7. I am very sorry for looking at your pictures and reading about you without your permission. I was just curious to know about you.

  8. Robert, I apologize for looking at your photo and reading more about you. If you could please forgive me I would be so greatful.

    Sincerely, Autumn.

  9. Sorry Robert it wasn’t my intention to see your picture and read your story, I apologize, I wasn’t aware, please forgive me.


  10. I apologize for looking at photo without permission I only did it out of curiosity. I only wanted to learn more about you. Please forgive me. ?

  11. Please forgive me about reading your story I was just curious about it. I am truly sorry.

  12. I’m sorry robert for looking at your photo and reading about you I was ignorant and did not know please forgive me

  13. Dearest Robert,

    I apologize for reading about your story and looking at your picture without permission! It was only out of genuine curiosity and admiration.

  14. Sorry Robert, did not realize you might get upset if we look at your picture or look on more about you without permission! Sorry again, hope you can forgive me. Might meet you soon!


  16. Dear Robert the doll, I am so sorry for looking at your picture and trying to know about you. I am a curious girl. I am so sorry. It was not supposed to be offensive. I did not mean to offend you if I did. I hope you can forgive me and not bring harm to me or any of my friends or family. Please forgive me and if you want I could be your friend.

  17. Sorry Robert for looking at your picture and reading your story without permission!
    I hope you will forgive me and I think of you very highly so please don’t curse me! I was just curious!

  18. We are sorry for looking at your picture. We are just idiotic kids. We are very sorry. Please forgive us.

    • Sorry Robert i didn’t mean to offend you and read your story with out your permission I’m really really sorry please forgive me

  19. We are sorry for looking at your picture. We are just idiotic kids, who were curious. We are terribly sorry. Please forgive us.

  20. dear robert,
    im sorry for looking at you without your permission
    i just curious about you and wanted to learn about you more
    i didnt mean any offense to you,and if i did make u offended,im sorry
    please forgive me

  21. Hi, im so sorry that i wanted to learn about where you are from wihout your premission. SOOOOOOOO sorry

  22. I am so sorry Robert for looking at your picture and videos. I am just curious dumb kid! I hope i did not disturb you too much. I hold you in high regards and most respect.

  23. dear Robert ,

    I’m sorry for look at your picture without your consent . I hope you will forgive me and me wanting to learn about you . Again I’m sorry .

  24. Sorry Robert, for looking at your picture. Hope you can forgive me, and my brother. Did’nt mean any harm. Just wanted to look. Thanks

  25. Dear Robert,

    I am so sorry for looking at your picture; I just wanted to see you and learn more about you. I was just wondering who you were, I’m so sorry.

    Sincerely, Katie

  26. Dear Robert, I’m so sorry for being so disrespectful towards you, I’m sorry because mocking you and asking for your forgiveness has been the worst habit that i have, I’m sorry because I’m so disrespectful, I know, Robert, I keep on asking for your forgiveness and I apologize for that as well, I’m sorry for all the thing that i did that offended you, I’m sorry

  27. Dear Robert,

    I, with all sincerity am sorry that i looked at your pictures and read about you. As i am very curious and interested in you. I beg for forgiveness from you and hope you accept my apology as my actions were just out of interest. I mean no harm to you nor do i intend to offend you. I hope my message finds you well, and again i sincerely apologize

  28. Dear Robert
    Im sorry for looking at your pictures and reading about you with out permission i just got curious please forgive me

  29. dear robert,
    my sincerest apologies go out to you, as i was curious of your story and where you came from. please forgive me for looking at your pictures without being given permission. hopefully you understand the natural curiosity of a human being, and that i mean no harm in becoming fascinated with your origin. i do hope you see the genuine respect i have and that it brings no harm to me or anyone close to me. no offense was intended here at all.

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