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 Lyons

Battle Ground, Indiana

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.



The Curse Of Robert The Doll

1,297 thoughts on “The Curse Of Robert The Doll”

  1. I’m sorry Robert for
    reading about your
    history and
    searching up pictures of you without
    permission, your really interesting to
    learn about ,I just ask for your
    forgiveness I’m so sorry please

  2. Dear Robert,

    I am sorry for looking you up without your permission, I just wanted to know your back story. I apologize again.

    Sincerly, Sydney

  3. Robert, I am sincerely sorry for looking you up. I didn’t know anything about needing permission beforehand. Please accept my apology and you have my word I won’t ever do it again without your permission first.

  4. Dear Robert,

    My family has been through so much since we’ve seen you. On their behalf and my own, i’d like to sincerely apologize and ask you to forgive us for looking at you, taking your pictures and videoing you, not believing and even googling you.

    Thank you

  5. Dear Robert I apologize for looking you up and looking at your picture without your permission please accept my apology
    Sincerely serenity

  6. Robert, I’m so so sorry for looking you up/reaseraching and looking at your picture without your permission.

    Sincerely, Jessica

  7. Dear Robert,
    Sorry for looking up your photo i just really wanted to know the story im very sorry i will never do it again,samantha

  8. Dear Robert,
    I am very sorry that I was looking at your pictures online without your permission. I was looking up how to apologize to you. I would first like to say that I am very sorry for taking pictures of you without your permission. I am also very sorry for being in any pictures of you Robert, I am sorry that I never asked your for permission. I am very sorry that I looked at the picture of you without your consent in the text messages that my mom sent me. I am very sorry Robert. Please, raise this curse that is upon me. I am very sorry. I used to not believe in ghost but now I do. I believe in ghost. I tell people that I don’t but I really do on the deep down inside. I used to not believe in ghost until I meet you Robert. You changed my views on ghost and what I think about them. I now believe in them. I promise I’ll start telling people that I believe in ghost from now on. I am so so so sooooo sorry that I took pictures of you, looked at pictures of you and have taken pictures with you. I am sorry I never asked you for your permission on anything. Please Robert, please raise the curse that is on me. I sincerely mean everything that I have said. I am so so so sorry.

    -Alex Moore

  9. Dear Robert, I am so sorry I saw the picture without your permission. I was looking up how to apologize to you and didn’t know if this website was going to help me out. Once again I’m sorry for looking at your picture without permission.


  10. I’m sorry for looking you up. It was a random search. If u are.offended by my interest, I do apologize; I meant no harm. I was interested. Thank you for your forgiveness.

  11. Sorry for looking you up. If I knew I had to have your permission to do that I would have asked….some how. I like your story it interests me…soon I hope to see you when I get old enough to travle

  12. Dear Robert, I only thought that you didn’t want your picture taken without permission. If looking up your story and photo’s is upsetting to you, I sincerely apologize. I respect your privacy and ask for your forgiveness, if I have offended you.
    Most Sincerely,


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