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.

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1,010 Comments on “The Curse Of Robert The Doll

  1. Dear Robert,

    I am sorry if looking at this article has disrespected you in anyway. I am sorry that the person who took your photo didn’t ask your permission. Please forgive me. I will not disrespect you any further in reading about your past or look at your photos.


  2. Robert,

    Please forgive me. I unintentionally watched a video about you and subsequently went to look up your history.

    I’m very sorry, please forgive me for looking at you, your video, your picture or your backstory, I did not mean to intrude or disrespect you in any way.

  3. Dear Robert,
    I am sincerely apologetic for being nieve. I heard of your legend, curious enough I researched about you. I am truly sorry for being nieve and if I offended you. I am sorry for disrespecting you by looking up your photos and history. I did not mean to offend you. Please forgive me, if I have done so. I really didn’t mean to upset you if I have.

  4. Dear Robert,

    I apologize for looking up information about you and again, watching your video without your permission. I was only curious about your story; I meant no harm. Please forgive me. Thank you.

    • Please forgive me for looking you up with out your permission I’m so sorry please show mercy I meant no offense I just got a little too curious.

  5. Dear Robert,
    I am sincerely sorry for looking at your photos without permission. If I ever look at your photos again without asking, I’ll make a mental apology if I can’t reach my phone. Please, I meant no harm…

  6. Dear Robert,
    Please forgive me for looking at your pictures and reading your stories on the internet without your permission. I did not mean to disrespect you in any way. I did not know that I needed your permission before looking at your photos. Again I’m truly sorry and please forgive me for my mistake.

  7. Robert,
    I\\\’m really sorry for seeing your pictures without your permission. Please forgive me. I had no intention to offend you or anything. I was just curious about you and your history. I\\\’m sorry.

  8. Dear Robert,
    I apologise for reading about you and looking at your picture without permission.
    Please forgive me,

    • Dear Robert,
      I am sorry for being curious and looking up your story and not asking your permission I won’t do it again.

  9. Dear Robert,

    I ask your fogiveness for looking at your picture, video and reading about you. Please forgive me.

  10. Dear Robert,

    I am truly sorry for looking you up and seeing your picture. I hope you forgive me. I was interested in your story and wanted to learn more. I didn’t mean it in any disrespect. I am truly sorry if I have upset you in any way. Please forgive me.

  11. Dear Robert,

    I apologize for looking upon your history without your permission. I don’t meant to offend you, I’m truly sorry. Please, forgive me.

  12. Robert the doll i looked at this story and saw your picture without your permission and want to apologize to you for any disrespect this may have brought to you. And i also saw the episode on ghost adventures without asking you first. Again i do apologize and ment no disrespect to you. Thank you. , chris

  13. Robert
    Please forgive me for reading about you and seeing your picture i don’t mean to disrespect you . I really am sorry . I just heard about you and wanted to learn more . I’m so so sorry please forgive me .

  14. Dear Robert,
    Please forgive me for reading about you, I meant no disrespect. I wanted to learn more about you, and Im very sorry. Please forgive me.

  15. Dear Robert,

    I was interested in your history and wanted to learn more about you and your story. I meant no form of disrespect by looking up you and your pictures online and I am truly sorry if I have offended you. I take you very seriously and am deeply, sincerely sorry if I’ve upset you in any way. Please forgive me.

  16. Dear, Robert
    Do forgive me for looking at your picture and reading about you.

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