Robert, the Haunted Doll

Kamie Berry | September 1st, 2017

We’ve all heard of haunted houses, but have you ever heard of a haunted toy? Visitors to Key West, Florida’s Fort East Martello Museum can see just that: a reputedly haunted doll by the name of Robert.

Gene Otto received the doll (a very expensive one made by the German toy company, Steiff) as a gift from his grandfather in 1904. Gene named him “Robert” and took him everywhere he went. Robert had his own chair at the family’s dining room table, and Gene slept with him at night like many other kids do with a favorite teddy bear. He would also hold conversations with Robert in his room, and he would change his voice to make Robert reply.

static1.squarespace.com

All this sounds pretty typical for a pampered child and his toy, but things were a bit stranger under the surface. Gene had a terrible temper and would often go into violent fits of rage, where he would knock over furniture or destroy things. Gene began to blame the destruction on Robert. People often described Gene’s relationship with the toy as unhealthy. He even referred to Robert as though he were a living person.

Eventually, Gene grew up, got married, became an artist, and bought a mansion that he called the “The Artist House.” Robert ended up stashed away in an unused upstairs room, near a window. Local schoolchildren sometimes claimed that the doll would disappear and reappear at the window, which scared them.

After Gene Otto’s death in 1974, a woman named Myrtle Reuter bought the house and its contents, including Robert. She and her guests claimed to hear giggling and footsteps coming from his storage place in the attic. Some who saw the doll also said it changed its expression when it was angry and that it could move around the house on its own, as it was sometimes found where no one could remember leaving it.

Ms. Reuter eventually decided she could not put up with the stress Robert caused her anymore and donated him to the museum in 1994. He is so popular that he even receives his own fan mail. He recently also got his own Facebook page.

Museum employees do not report any strange occurrences connected with the doll since he has been on display. But just to be sure, they take very good care of him.

Next Article
  • Sundrop Farm Grows Tomatoes Without Any Fresh Water

    One project that is pioneering the world of sustainable vegetable growing is Sundrop Farms. The company operates a groundbreaking greenhouse in North Adelaide, Australia that relies solely on sunlight and seawater to grow tomatoes. The project took several years to build the infrastructure required to get the greenhouse growing and...

    Read More
  • Mantra Rays The Geniuses Of The Sea

    When it comes to the fish family, the overachiever award would have to go to the mantra ray. They are not only giants and charismatic, they are also geniuses in fish terms. Being the biggest fish, they have huge brains and even have specific sections that are developed only for...

    Read More
  • Famous Greek Philosopher Died From Eating Too Much Watermelon

    One famous philosopher and lecturer by the name of John Argyropoulos has an extremely rare cause of death. Made even more surprising when you learned he survived the sacking of Constantinople. Argyropoulos apparently died from consuming too much watermelon. Born in 1415, he was a Greek scholar who is reputed...

    Read More
  • You May Have Talked To Halle Berry Anonymously When You Had AOL

    One film star loves to have normal conversations with new people, unfortunately when you are a worldwide known celebrity this is not always possible. However, with online chat rooms readily available in this modern age, it is easy to go and talk to someone anonymously. Halle Berry was one of...

    Read More
  • Young Abraham Lincoln’s Deadly Sword Duel

    At a young age in 1842, Abraham Lincoln publicly berated by James Shields during a debate about banking in Illinois. The humiliation in public led to James Shields challenging Lincoln to a duel. This was a duel to the end, where the victor would take both the life and the pride of his opponent. [caption...

    Read More
  • Blue Java Bananas That Taste Just Like Vanilla Ice Cream

    When it comes to mother nature there is no barrier on it providing us with tasty delicious dessert flavored fruits, you don’t need to buy a tub of Ben and Jerry's every night. There is one banana that taste just like ice cream, in fact, it is nicknamed the ice cream banana. [caption id="attachment_4900" align="aligncenter"...

    Read More