Robert the Doll is a life-sized doll who resembles a burn victim, and has a reputation for cursing people who disrespect him. The first hint that something out of the ordinary was happening was one night when Gene, who was only ten years old, awoke to find Robert the Doll sitting at the end of his bed staring at him. Ghosts & Gravestones is a service mark of Historic Tours of America®. He's said to be cursed and has been the inspiration behind Chucky from child's play. Robert, the famous haunted doll that resides at Fort East Martello, gets a break from his protective exhibit case on Thursday. Robert The Doll sits inside a glass case; but it doesn’t seem to stop him from inflicting fear and discomfort to museum staff and visitors. Robert did it”. Follow the rules and don't cross him. Solares Hill reporter Malcolm Ross visited Robert and said: “It was like a metal bar running down my back. A BOY & HIS DOLL Robert’s Creation Robert is one-of-a-kind, handmade by the Steiff Company of Germany around the turn of the century. While he seemed like an ordinary cloth doll, it wasn’t long before Robert was involved in strange and somewhat terrifying events. Once he was put on exhibit, cameras and electronic devices malfunctioned in his presence, and soon letters began arriving addressed to the doll offering apologies for disrespectful behavior or … Once he was put on exhibit, cameras and electronic devices malfunctioned in his presence, and soon letters began arriving addressed to the doll offering apologies for disrespectful behavior or asking forgiveness. She awoke often in the middle of the night screaming in fear and told her parents that Robert had moved about in the room. But to his complete shock, when he opened the door to the bedroom, there was Robert, sitting in the rocking chair by the window. Robert’s expression turned to one of disdain. Robert now resides in the East Martello Museum in Key West in a glass box. The Robert the Doll Experience ghost tour packs history, mystery, and paranormal exploration, into an intimate 75-minute encounter. View our ADA Accessibility Policy. Robert Haunts the Artist House B&B and the East Martello Museum. Robert the Doll of Key West, Florida now resides in the East Martello Museum, but he formerly belonged to a very eccentric artist called Robert Eugene Otto, who seemed to think the doll was alive and designed a scaled-down room for him in his house, now called the Artist House. Many have reported their cameras becoming inoperable when they tried to take a picture of Robert, only to begin working again when they left the museum. Or perhaps just a doll joined by the spirit of his lifelong companion? When Gene heard this, he immediately went to investigate, knowing that he had locked Robert in the attic and there was no way he could be sitting by the window of the upstairs bedroom. They reported seeing the doll speak and witnessing his expression change. Arguably Key West's favorite haunted attraction, Robert the Doll has been wreaking havoc since the early-1900s. It is said that young Gene would shift blame when he misbehaved as a child, pointing to the doll and saying, “I didn’t do it. var CurrentYear = new Date().getFullYear(); document.write(CurrentYear). By using our site, you agree to our. The Key West Art & Historical Society maintains the culture of the Florida Keys through exhibits and education programs. If you don’t know about Robert, listen closely to the Key West folklore of the haunted doll! “There was some kind of intelligence there. It was here that Eugene was given Robert The Doll and where a friendship that lasted throughout his lifetime… and beyond was forged. The doll took Robert as his name, while the boy simply went by ‘Gene’. It wasn’t long before Robert the Doll was given away – and today he lives in the East Martello Fort where visitors from all over the world come to see him. In 1994, the doll was donated to the East Martello Museum in Key West. Robert the Doll is a 41” stuffed doll, given to a boy named, Robert (Eugene) Otto in 1904 by a household servant from the Bahamas. Together they would go on to make history. The home where Eugene lived, now called the Artist’s House, is located at 534 Eaton Street and was built between 1890 and 1898. But the weird and inexplicable didn’t stop at that one occurrence. Fort East Martello Museum: Robert the Doll! Robert the Doll, who's been featured on The Travel Channel among other TV programs, "lives" in a glass display at this Museum. This woman was supposedly mistreated by her bosses and to punish them it is believed that she cursed the doll with Voodoo and Black Magic. Click here to sign up forScary Good Offers, Check out what the ghosts are saying on TripAdvisor. Gene Otto died in 1974 and when a new owner moved into the house on Eaton Street, their ten-year-old daughter was delighted to find Robert the Doll in the attic. In the early 1900's, a rich man by the name of Dr. Otto lived in Key West, and took several 'servants' (i.e. One of the men made a comment about what an old fool Gene Otto must have been. All rights reserved. It was at this point Malcolm noticed a change in the doll’s expression as if he was following the conversation. At first when we walked through the door, the look on his face was like a little boy being punished. Neighborhood children reported seeing Robert watching them from the window in the upstairs bedroom and told accounts of the doll actually mocking them as they walked to school. His unusual size indicates he may have been fashioned in the image of his constant companion – a boy named Robert Eugene Otto. We're now open! When she finally was able to wrench the locked door open, she saw poor Gene curled up in fear on his bed, his room in shambles and Robert The Doll sitting at the foot of the bed. Fort East Martello Museum, 3501 South Roosevelt Boulevard, Key West, Florida 33040 Standing 40 inches tall and stuffed with wood wool known as excelsior, he is dressed in a sailor suit and once bore painted features not unlike those of a jester. Robert the Doll in his glass case in Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, FL This haunted doll receives tons of fanmail every day asking for his forgiveness for museum goers taking his picture. More than 42 spirits have been documented in Key West' haunted Fort East Martello Museum, including soldiers, slaves, and yellow fever victims. Get up close and personal with the world’s most haunted doll in the shadowy halls of his haunted 1862 Civil War fortress. The doll was listening to us.”. Susan Smith/Flickr Robert the Doll now lives at the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West… People’s luck has turned dramatically to the unfortunate. Many years after her death the doll was found and donated to the Key West Art and Historical society. Or better yet, the story behind it. This website meets WCAG 2.0/2.1 AA standards set by the ADA. Visitors are welcome to view Robert in his special case at the museum and of course encouraged to try and get a photo. There’s an eerie toy doll on display at the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, Florida, that many believe is either cursed by voodoo or inhabited by a ghostly spirit. A plumber heard giggling and turned to find the doll had moved across the room on his own. Thriving on the energy placed upon him? Robert the Doll is over 100 years old and resides in a glass case at Fort East Martello Museum. Address: Fort East Martello Museum 3501 S Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL 33040. The Key West Art & Historical Society maintains the culture of the Florida Keys through exhibits and education programs. See Robert the Enchanted Doll at the East Martello Museum in Key West, Florida. Ghost Tour, Ghost Hunts, private Eugene, who everyone called Gene, named the doll Robert and quickly became attached to his new friend. Sign up to receive the scariest of offers and stay current on sales and events. Robert is one-of-a-kind, handmade by the Steiff Company of Germany around the turn of the century. Museum staff noticed a shift of energies at the Fort East Martello Museum. Gene decided that the doll needed a room of his own and placed him in the upstairs room that had a window overlooking the street. She became Robert’s companion and kept him when she moved to Von Phister Street six years later. Robert continued to live with Gene throughout his lifetime and after Gene’s parents died, he moved back into their home with his wife, Anne. Frightseeing, Old Town Trolley Tours and Transportainment are registered trademarks of Historic Tours of America®. The story of Robert the Dolldates back to the early 1900’s when a young boy named Eugene Robert Otto was given a one-of-a-kind handmade doll by a servant that worked for his parents in his home. Hunt ghosts in the Key West fort USA Today named one of the top 5 haunted destinations in America. But her delight ended soon when she claimed that Robert was alive and that the doll wanted to hurt her. Robert the Haunted Doll now resides in the East Martello Museum in Key West – where employees also occasionally report strange occurrences. Gene and Robert were ‘best friends’ growing up. A misunderstood doll with a playful spirit? Shop Robert’s Online Store Take a journey through fascinating story of the infamous Robert the Doll! Visited the famous Robert the Doll, located in key west. - See 436 traveler reviews, 287 candid photos, and great deals for Key West, FL, at Tripadvisor. Get up close and personal with ME, the world’s most haunted doll in the shadowy halls of my haunted 1862 Civil War fortress. Staff and visitors of the museum have claimed that his smile often turns into a menacing glare. Historic Tours of America Ghost hunters, TV shows, psychics, skeptics and believers visit Robert on a regular basis to witness first-hand the strange stories they have heard. Visit and Experience . Though Robert was not initially on display, he started receiving visitors as word spread about his new residence. Key West Paranormal - Robert the Doll which is housed at the East Martello Museum is one of their eeriest displays. Read about our safety information. The story of Robert the Doll dates back to the early 1900’s when a young boy named Eugene Robert Otto was given a one-of-a-kind handmade doll by a servant that worked for his parents in his home. The Haunting Story of Robert the Doll. Though, most who’ve tried have been unsuccessful. Myrtle Reuter purchased the Otto home in 1974. Key West’s Haunted Museum & Civil War Fort Ghost Tour will turn you into a Robert the Doll authority. Though Robert was not initially on display, he started receiving visitors as word spread about his new residence. You may visit him at the East Martello Fort! Standing 40 inches tall and stuffed with wood wool known as excelsior, he is dressed in a sailor suit and once bore painted features not unlike those of … Apparently the doll is still known to be haunted and possessed with some sort of evil energy. Many have even reported seeing the doll move. Key West's new Robert the Doll Experience ghost tour packs history, mystery, and paranormal exploration, into an intimate one-hour nighttime encounter. Many believe that the origin of Robert’s evil lies in the one who originally gave him to Gene Otto – the servant who worked for Gene’s parents. Some staff at the museum have said that they sometimes hear tapping on the glass of the case that holds Robert – others claim that the doll often rearranges his positioning without the case when nobody is looking. Home of Robert the Doll. Robert the Doll is an allegedly haunted doll exhibited at the East Martello Museum. Anne felt uneasy with Robert in the house and although she couldn’t put her finger on it, she wanted Gene to lock the doll up in the attic where he could do no harm. Robert the Doll now lives at the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, Florida, where some believe his hair color and his soul are both slowly fading. Is Robert cursed by voodoo? Eugene, who everyone called Gene, named the doll Robert and quickly became attached to his new friend. If nothing else, get a close look at Robert and watch him carefully, try to catch a glimpse of him smirking at you, moving about in his case or watching you as you watch him. Legend speculates voodoo played a part in Robert’s formative years, while interviews with those close to the Otto family indicate a great deal of emotional energy was placed upon the doll during Eugene’s lifetime. She donated Robert the Doll to a local museum to get him out of the house, but his spirit and story lives on. Gene cried for help, begging his mother to rescue him. We use cookies to give you the best experience. He designed the gallery at the Fort East Martello Museum and had plans to make his own home a museum complete with a wax imprint of ‘the artist’s hands’ as a focal point. The doll took Robert as his name, while the boy simply went by ‘Gene’. Anne loathed the doll and after her husbands death she demanded that the doll stay in the attic in a cedar chest. Gene conceded and as one could imagine, Robert the Doll was not happy with his new digs. Museum staff noticed a shift of energies at the Fort East Martello Museum. Robert and his toy lion Leo will travel to Las Vegas during the last week of October with Key West Art & Historical Society Curator Cori Convertito, PhD, to be featured on Travel Channel’s new television program ‘Zak Bagans: Mystery Mansion.’ Photography by Michael Blanchard, John W. Penney and Historic Tours of America, Inc. ©var CurrentYear = new Date().getFullYear(); document.write(CurrentYear) Copyright. In Key West, many have not only experienced that feeling, but have also witnessed it when viewing the famous toy – Robert The Doll. “Robert did it,” were the only words Gene could get out – the same words he would later use, many times throughout his childhood, when something strange, mysterious or destructive would happen. A real-life Chucky doll? Robert the Doll. This is now Robert’s permanent home and is a popular and unsettling attraction. The Key West Art & Historical Society has cared for the antique doll since 1994, when Myrtle Reuter, who had purchased the Otto family home, donated Robert to the Fort East Martello Museum, claiming the doll was haunted and had locked her in a room in her house. Staff members report that Robert’s facial expression changes, hearing demonic giggling and have even seen Robert put his hand up to the glass. We’ve all experienced it: That eerie feeling that something or someone was watching us; that an inanimate object had, in actuality, come alive. Gene went on to become a prominent artist. slaves) from the Bahamas. Meet Robert at the East Martello Museum. Though this dream was never realized, his home became known as the Artist House and stories of the doll’s strange behavior became commonplace with those who encountered him after Gene’s death in 1974. Privacy Policy   Terms & Conditions. A rare instance when Robert's out of his case, Visit Robert at his home in Key West’s Fort East Martello Museum. The home where Eugene lived, now called the Artist’s House, is located at 534 Eaton Street and wa… He is widely accepted in paranormal circles as the world’s most haunted doll. Gene locked Robert back up in the attic several times; each time discovering him again sitting by the window in the same upstairs bedroom. Gene’s parents would often hear their son upstairs talking to the doll and getting a response back in a totally different voice. Robert the Doll has beady black eyes and an impish expression on his face, which is … This doll was given to artist Robert "Gene" Otto, the famous painter, as a small child by the daughter of a poorly treated servant. Seating aboard vehicles operated in interstate or foreign commerce is without regard to race, color, creed, or national origin in accordance with Title 49 CFR 374.103. No one really knows for sure. The creepy story of Robert the Doll began when he was gifted to a young boy named Robert Eugene Otto in 1904 — and this haunted toy has brought horror to Key West, Florida ever since. Letters continue to arrive daily. In 1994 she donated Robert to the Fort East Martello Museum claiming ‘he moved around her house on his own and was haunted.’ Myrtle died a few months later, but Robert remained active. Together they would go on to make history. Attn: Guest Relations St. Augustine, FL 32080. if(typeof showNum != "undefined") showNum(); Presented by Historic Tours of America® Inc. All rights reserved. Tenants heard footsteps in the attic room above them. Visitors to the museum and staff members alike report seeing Robert move, change expression and even faintly giggle. Nobody knows for sure why or how this child’s plaything could actually wreak havoc on a child’s bedroom or do anything at all; after all, it was just a toy, right? Learn more on our Fort East Martello page. Ross’ friends told him Robert’s back-story and pointed out the children’s furniture. Stuffed with straw and meticulously hand sewn by a family servant, the doll was given to Robert Gene Otto as present. 108 Sea Grove Main Street, Giggling and sightings of Robert running up the steps or staring out the upstairs window were also reported. Learn more on our Museums page. Fort East Martello Museum: Respect Robert the Doll - See 436 traveler reviews, 287 candid photos, and great deals for Key West, FL, at Tripadvisor. The 100+ year old antique stuffed doll can now be found at the East Martello Museum in Key West near the Key West Airport. It was as if he was asking himself, ‘Who are these people in my room and what are they going to do to me?’. But one thing remains constant: Robert The Doll continues to taunt and scare those who come to view him – especially guests to the museum who attempt to take photos. Robert is 111-years-old and lives at the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, Florida. Robert was once owned by Key West, Florida painter and author, Robert Eugene Otto. That might explain the many mysterious and frightening experiences people have had with Robert the Doll; but if so, wouldn’t the haunting end when the owners died? Yes, even more haunted than Annabelle. Moments later his mother was awakened by his screams for help and the sounds of furniture being overturned in her son’s bedroom. Robert the Doll Fort East Martello Museum, Key West, Florida, United States Made in 1904 as the life size effigy of the 4 yr old son of the Otto family in Key West. If you do, your life will never be the same. Soon, visitors to the home heard footsteps in the attic, the sounds of someone pacing back and forth and devilish giggling. 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