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. Dear Robert,
    I am really sorry for researching you and looking at your pictures. I heard about you and was interested to find out more about you. Please forgive me as I will respect your wishes and no longer look at your pictures and respect your privacy

    Sincerely Amy

  2. You should believe, he is an amazing, mystical piece of artwork… You’ve all been warned I suppose. You should always believe. Does he have a nice view in the museum…? I had read up on him in a few articles and it said he was given the room with a view, oh how it would break my heart to know he and his companion don’t have one):

  3. Sorry Robert just stumbled upon your movie wanted to know more about you please accept my apologies I mean no harm may you have a blessed day

  4. I am so sorry Robert for looking at you and reading about you. I was just very very intwrested in learning more about you. Please forgive me. Please

  5. If I am supposed to apologize for looking at your pic and reading about you I apologize…however, you are very interesting may I read more about you?

  6. I am sorry Robert for researching after I stumbled upon a video of you on you tube I didn\\\’y k now I was to ask your permission but since watching it I wanted to look up more on your history you are very interesting. I did not mean any disrespect thank you! Jennifer.

  7. Dear Robert, please forgive me for researching you. I just watched a movie they made based on you and you intrigue me. I would love to get to know more about you. please forgive me for my curiousity. but if you like you can curse my son’s evil dad and evil stepmom. I give permission on that. take care Robert.

  8. Robert,

    I’m sorry if you are offended by me researching you and looking at your pictures without your permission. I think you’re awesome, please forgive me. I didn’t know that It was an offense to look at you without your permission, forgive me for invading your privacy.
    P.S. I really hope to meet you someday!



  9. You all are a bunch of idiots there is no curse and any way how can it be true? that is right it is not so stop being idiots and saying you are sorry to an inamint object!
    To think this is the world we live in where grown men and women are scared of a bloody DOLL!
    I mean you really believe these story’s?
    Come on it is just a tall tale.
    Just grow up and take some responsibility for once!

  10. im am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo sorry robert please forgiv me my dumb friend hates u and call u dumb her name is Alianna S. Reynolds she didnt belive u i do im sorry pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee forgive me i toook ur pic at the place u were without asking u to take ur picture

  11. Im sorry Robert for researching you and looking at your pictures without your permission. Will not happen again without your permission. Please, do, truly forgive me.

    • we are sorry Robert for researching you and viewing some of your pictures we were just curious because of the movie that was based on you. we respect your wishes and didn’t realise that it was an offence to view your pictures from cara and sophie

  12. Sorry Robert it’s my first time hearing of you today and I really wanted to know about you .

    Chiana, Alia, and mostly Alexis

  13. Apologies for invading your privacy! I was unaware that this could be an offense. I am sorry for researching you and looking at photographs of you without your permission, and will not do it again. I hope you and your wishes continue to be respected!

    Best wishes,



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