Paranormal Travels, Key West, Florida

Sherri Granato By Sherri Granato, 24th Jul 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>Florida

Robert the Doll is one of those Possessed Toys that Can Haunt, Curse, Attack, and Torment You.

Visit the Haunted & Creepy "Robert the Doll" at the East Martello Museum

Pediophobia is the term used for those people out there who are afraid of dolls, and it is more common then any of us fully realize. This deep fear stems from the doll having humanoid features that too closely replicate living people, and this fear can deepen even more so when the doll has moving parts such as limbs, eyes, and mouths. Distressing emotions are even further heightened when it is plain to see that the doll is capable of haunting the living or of putting a curse on humans that come anywhere near it. The film industry has shown us a few examples of what can happen to humans when they are around a doll that possesses bad intentions or murderous qualities that go over and above what we expect from a harmless and blameless toy such as a doll.

Most dolls are adorable, soft and cuddly, and the majority of small children find them to be an acceptable toy that can fill many hours of creative playtime. Dolls have also been known to be used in various other fashions from displaying and collecting them to more intricate reasons like religious and ritual purposes. History shows us that the earliest dolls known to man date back to 100 AD, and were made from clay and wood. Through time a small percentage of dolls were made to stun, mystify and quite simply horrify their larger human counterparts through strange practices and onscreen images that show's the true holy terror that they truly can be when set free from their innocent doll like state.

Many dolls throughout history were designed for creative play and to thoroughly entertain children in a variety of rolls from treating them as infants to using them as companions. Many dolls are treated as though they are human, so much so in fact that the need for a doll hospital became a necessity for avid collectors that needed repairs and restoration done quickly to fix their miniature replica back to its original state. Some of these replicas are so much like their owner that the striking resemblance is so strong that it makes your arm hair almost stand up by itself. Fortunately most dolls have been made for the purpose of comfort and for formulating imaginary friendships that lead to creative thinking within the child.

A few dolls throughout history have had the power to stand out due to extraordinary conditions or circumstances that surround them. Everything from voodoo dolls to cursed dolls has been used in movies in a way that horrifies us with the notion that something so childlike could bring so much harm to any human that dare cross their path. Chucky is one of those dolls, followed by Billy, the white-faced ventriloquist dummy in Saw, and third on the list would have to be Robert the Doll. Unfortunately the last one on the list has the potential to bring real harm to those who dare to meet him.

Robert the Doll is the possessed hell raising toy that was once the faithful companion to Key West painter and author Eugene Otto, and there is no doubt that this miniature terror is cursed even still today. Robert the doll bares a striking resemblance to a commissioned naval officer from the 20th century, but his mannerism exhibits anything but a civilized and well trained citizen. A servant highly trained in black magic gave the doll to Eugene in early 1904 to which he named it Robert. Eugene loved the doll and never went anywhere without him. The family was anything but pleased with his new play toy of choice.

Eugene's neighborhood would never be the same once they witnessed the doll running from window to window when he was left home alone. The irritating giggles that escaped from somewhere deep within the doll were hard to ignore and Eugene's family gave resistance to the doll hanging around during family gatherings. Eugene was the only person in the world that understood Robert, and soon the bigger problems would surface. Upturned furniture in Eugene room became a normal issue that occurred nightly, and when asked, what happened, Eugene always stated that Robert did it.

Eugene grew into adulthood and eventually married. His father left the giant home he had grown up in to him after his death, and Eugene eventually moved his wife into his childhood home where he and Robert had bonded. Robert's hold on his human was strong, and Eugene often did mean and nasty things to his wife, but quickly blamed the doll. Eugene's wife would put Robert back up in the attic in an effort to avoid his hateful glare, only to find him back in their bedroom.

Eugene was forced to deal with Robert one on one, and began to keep him in his studio in the turret room, but his sanity was in question by his wife, and his tie to the doll was anything but normal. He claimed that Robert was not happy with his accommodations, and often found him sitting in the rocking chair by the window pouting. Eugene spent much of his day with the doll consoling him and watching him run from window to window while taunting passerby's who dared to stare up at him with horrified looks on their faces. The neighbors found the whole situation quite disturbing and the rumor mill surrounded the well being of Mrs. Otto's as her appearance was that of a battered woman from time to time.

1974 witnessed the ending to Eugene's tumultuous existence when he passed on with Robert at his side. This marked a new cycle for the cursed doll as he was displaced from his comfort zone, and began having deep fits of rage while placing curses on anyone who he found not of his liking, and he haunted Eugene's wife with his constant running about in the turret room while showing up randomly in other rooms in the house without aid.

These unexplainable and horrendous acts could ever completely be understood unless you were around Robert for a period of time. It just goes above everything that is believed to comprehend that something as harmless as a doll could cause so much mayhem. Distraught with her predicament, Eugene's wife quickly sold the house, and left Robert up in the attic for the new owners to deal with.

The family who purchased the home was totally unsuspecting of what Robert had in store for them found his limp body in the attic and took pity on him. His new owner was a sweet 10 year old girl who simply loved dolls. She imagined tea parties and walks with her new friend, but It wasn't long before the sweet young girl made claims that Robert had attacked her during the night and tried to kill her. The girl's parents realized that Robert simply had to go before their daughter's sanity came into question.

Robert's bags were packed and his new home soon became the storage room at the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, Florida where he still acts up even in the presence of paranormal royalty. By popular demand Robert was put on display, and soon people familiar with the story were flocking in to take Robert's picture. He only allows his picture to be taken by a select few, and he doesn't hesitate to show a total lack of disregard to anyone that thinks he is just a cute doll that has been displaced. Cameras have a way of malfunctioning when they come into direct contact with Robert, and photos are often reported as being damaged or of Robert being in a completely different location then where the original shots were taken.

The fact is that Robert is pissed off by Eugene's passing, and he wants answers as of yesterday. Investigators from TAPS have come to visit Robert the Doll, and are left scratching their heads with Robert's deep penetrating glare that leaves you wanting to run on impulse. Robert plain and simply is not a nice doll, and he certainly isn't one to be reckoned with. He is either on board with you or completely at odds with what you are trying to say to him. There is no in between, and this becomes as apparent as the nose on your face, unless Robert has chose to cut it off in an instant.

Robert draws in crowds of disbelievers every year and while visiting the Atlantic Paranormal Society the creepy little monster had an actual aura that is normally only found among the living. Blue and purple were found all around Robert's person, and pictures captured it. According to the psychic experts dealing with those that are still among the living the colors demonstrated peace, love and spiritual understanding. Robert's energy has been known to flow freely to humans that are in the vicinity of his physical being. Paranormal investigators often comment that he has the feel of an actual live human with the exception of his size, but his presence more than makes up for his height.

Encounters with Robert

Robert does not particularly like his picture being taken, but if you ask him nicely he may tilt his head to one side, which means you may start shooting away. If he does nothing, and you proceed by clicking away, be warned that bad things may happen to you at any time and any place in your near future. Asking Robert questions could also be dangerous to your health. Warning: He only answers when he is good and ready. Visitors to the museum feel the need to question Robert about many topics. He often answers them at night while they are trying to sleep. Yes, Robert favors answering you during your worst nightmare, and he does it gladly.

Robert often curses those people, who openly make fun of him or disregard his feelings, but you can apologize and he might just lift the curse. Giggles throughout the museum are often heard by employees and visitors, and Robert is often missing from his favorite guarded seat. Reports of odd behavior and Robert disappearing have been documented over time from museum workers who have dealt with Robert first hand. At times Robert's face has taken on what can only be explained as facial expressions, and they come off as mean, irritated, misunderstood and downright contempt. Of course you can judge for yourself when you visit Robert the Doll at the place he now calls home. Don't worry, it won't hurt much!


Fort East Martello Museum and Gardens
3501 S. Roosevelt Blvd., Key West, Florida


Open daily from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Price: Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children

For more information: Call: 305-296-3913


Attack, Child, Chucky, Curse, Florida, Ghost, Kill, Museum, Nightmare, Paranormal, Paranormal Investigators, Pediophobia, Possessed, Torment, Voodoo

Meet the author

author avatar Sherri Granato
Sherri has lived in several haunted properties, including a morgue turned basement apartment. Instead of fearing the paranormal, she has opted to embrace, investigate and understand it.

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author avatar Retired
26th Jul 2014 (#)

Interesting stuff.
I gotta wonder, if this was a doll given from one person to another, why wouldn't there be more like it (him?) around ... or might there be?

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author avatar RY
26th Jul 2014 (#)

Now that's spooky but highly intriguing. Thanks for sharing Sherri. Would like to know what are your thoughts about 'Orbs'.

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author avatar Retired
26th Jul 2014 (#)

Yeah. Poor Robert. He's just misunderstood.

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