Robert the Doll
Robert, who is supposedly cursed, has become a fixture of ghost tours in the Key West area since it was inducted into the Fort East Martello Museum. Aesthetically, Robert resembles an early 20th-century American Naval officer. Contrary to popular belief, however, the doll's hair is not made of human hair, but rather, it consists of a synthetic material resembling wool yarn.
According to the lore, the doll was given to Eugene in 1906 by a Bahamian servant who was skilled in black magic and voodoo and was displeased with the family. Soon afterwards, the family became aware of Robert's "eerie" qualities. Eugene's parents often heard him talking to the doll and heard the doll responding. Although they assumed that Eugene was simply answering himself in a changed voice, they later came to believe Robert was actually speaking.
Neighbors witnessed Robert move from window to window in the family's absence. Neighbors claim to have heard the doll emit a terrifying giggle, and, additionally, the Otto family caught glimpses of it running from room to room. Guests often insist they observe Robert blinking and his expression changing.
When Eugene died in 1974, the doll was left in the attic until the house was sold again. The new family included a ten-year old girl, who became Robert's new owner. It was not long before the girl began screaming out in the night, claiming that Robert moved about the room and even attempted to attack her on multiple occasions. More than thirty years later, she still tells interviewers that the doll was alive and wanted to kill her.
The doll is annually rotated to the Old Post Office and Customhouse in October. Strange activity in the museum supposedly increases during such times.
Robert made an appearance at Taps CON, a paranormal convention held in Clearwater, Florida in May 2008. This was the first time that it had left Key West, Florida in the 104 (at the time) years of its existence.
For individuals who visit Robert in the Fort East Martello Museum and wish to take a picture of him, the person must ask the doll politely. If the doll feels disrespected it may choose to curse or follow a person. If he does not agree (by tipping his head to one side), and the individual takes a picture anyway, the doll will curse the person and their family.
- Robert The Doll
- Robert The Haunted Doll HauntedAmericaTours.com
- Robert the Haunted Doll - Shows - Coast to Coast AM
- The Official Website Of Joshua P Warren Paranormal Investigator Broadcaster and Author
- David L. Sloan, Ghost of Key West, Phantom Press, 2003
- Robert The (Devil) Doll: A Case of Tourism Motivated Fabrication and Superstitious Irrationality ~ The Thoughtful Gamers
- Moran, M, Austin, J, & Sceurman, M. (2006). Weird hauntings: true tales of ghostly places. New York City, NY: Sterling Publishing Company. p. 212.
- http://tapscon.com Taps CON Site
- The Curse of Robert The Doll
- http://www.robertthedoll.org/ - Official Robert The Doll website, hosted by the Key West Art and Historical Society