This goes out to Dangle, who did great work with his Werewolves of Greece blog in dedication to global legends and folklore.
I love to study this kind of stuff, same with cryptozoology and other subjects I've mentioned in previous submissions. Taking Dangle's lead, this may hopefully get the ball rolling on a series of informative blogs of an educational and entertaining nature.
In 1896, it was known that the expensive Key West home of Mr. Thomas Otto and his wife was not filled with happiness. The Ottos greatly mistreated their servants, which could explain what was to come...
One of the Ottos' maids was rumored to be involved in voodoo and witchcraft. Tasked with being a nanny to the Ottos' son Robert Eugene, she decided to give the young boy a doll.
Gene loved the toy, as it was painstakingly designed to be extremely lifelike. He decided to name it "Robert". Soon afterward, Gene's parents could swear they heard their son talking to himself, yet answering in a completely different voice. But then, they would report hearing Robert giggle, darting around the house on his own, and often receive warnings from neighbors, who claimed they'd seen Robert staring at them through windows as they passed by.
Gene increasingly suffered from nightmares, resulting in the couple entering his room to find furniture overturned. Gene would only repeat "Robert did it!"
Years later, the Otto home was willed to an adult Gene, who moved back into the house with his wife. Exploring the attic, Gene found Robert, placed up there long ago. He moved the doll to his turret room in order to have it present when he worked on his paintings... and immediately, the doll seemed to have a strange hold on him.
The wife would move Robert to the attic only to be scolded once Gene found out. But soon, the house was deemed "scary" by neighbors, and all of Key West alike. People reported seeing Robert in the window mocking them. Schoolchildren became afraid to pass by the house on their way home. Even Gene himself complained of Robert appearing in his rocking chair, pestering him about not enjoying his accommodations.
Eventually, Gene finally placed Robert back in the attic, although guests to the home refused to return after hearing footsteps and giggling from above.
Gene died in 1972. His wife immediately put the house up for sale. A new couple moved in, and their 10-year-old daughter found Robert while searching the attic...
Same as with Gene, the little girl would have nightmares, only this time, she claimed the doll was trying to kill her. Over 30 years later in interviews, she still to this day claims Robert the Doll was possessed and hell-bent on harming her.
Today Robert the Doll resides behind glass in a well-protected area of Key West's Martello Museum. Employees and guests alike are adamant in their claims that Robert is just as haunted as he always was, making sounds, speaking words, and moving of his own accord in the presence of visitors.
One such visitor of the Martello Museum had this to say:
Also, the servant who made the doll used Gene's hair for
the doll. It's a known fact that once a person's hair is
cut it can't change colors(of course!), however, the doll's
hair is now white. If you choose to visit Robert in the
museum and want to take a picture you need to ask politely
and do NOT make fun of the doll! If he allows you to take a
picture he will tilt his head to the side, if he does not
tilt his head and you take a picture anyway bad things
happen to not only you but to anyone you were with or family
members. The walls in that room of the museum are covered in
letters from people asking Robert to please take the curse
off, and apologizing for making fun of him.
Creepy as hell. I'd love to take a visit to Martello Museum myself one day.