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So I don’t know if you guys know a lot about Key West but they have quite an interesting history. One of their most famous ghost stories involves Robert the Doll who I was lucky enough to get a picture of. This is the cursed doll that the painter Eugene Otto was given as a boy. Here’s Wikipedia’s version of Robert’s story:

“Eugene was given the doll in 1906 by an African servant who, according to legend, was skilled in black magic and voodoo and was displeased with the family. Soon afterward, it became clear that there was something eerie about the doll. Eugene’s parents said they often heard him talking to the doll and that the doll appeared to be talking back. Although at first they assumed that Eugene was simply answering himself in a changed voice, they later believed that the doll was actually speaking.

Neighbors claimed to see the doll moving from window to window when the family was out. The Otto family swore that sometimes the doll would emit a terrifying giggle and that they caught glimpses of it running from room to room. In the night Eugene would scream, and when his parents ran to the room, they would find furniture knocked over and Eugene in bed, looking incredibly scared, telling them that "Robert did it!”. In addition, guests swore that they saw Robert’s expression change before their eyes.

When Eugene died in 1974, the doll was left in the attic until the house was bought 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.“

What that version didn’t include was that when Eugene was married he got even more weirdly attached to Robert and built him a room of his own and insisted that Robert sit at the table with them for dinner every night. Eugene also became violent and abusive towards his wife, especially when she would insult Robert. 

So now that you know a little history, you can go see Robert at the East Martello Museum in Key West. When you go to see him make sure you treat him with respect! Visitors that have NOT asked permission before taking his photo have for lack of a better word, been cursed. There’s a wall of letters from people claiming to have a ton of bad luck after meeting Robert and even some very lucky ones from people who had been kind to him. 

The first time I saw Robert I was with my mom and sister and just as we walked out of his room a car alarm went off in the parking lot. We were the only ones in the museum so we went to look and sure enough my mom’s car was going off. All the doors were unlocked however and the keys and her wallet had been sitting in the front seat. There was no one else in sight. We took that as a heads up from Robert, considering that the alarm wasn’t on and no one set it off. Thanks Robert! The next time I saw him was with my sister and Aaron. As soon as we walked into his room, all the lights in the building shut off! Again, we were the only ones there! They came back on after we said hello to him though. Finally the last time I saw him was a few days ago and we did it as part of a ghost tour because you got to go in the museum at night. On the tour they gave us EMF meters. The meter stayed inactive until we got right up to Robert’s case and when we got near him it’d flicker to the red! Now that was just a flicker, still cool but the interesting part comes in when Aaron held the meter up and said, "Robert, I’m trying to get a picture can you make this go up again?” To which the meter went all the way to the red and stayed there until he got the picture. After he took the picture it went right back down to green. Creepy right? 

If you guys ever go to Key West make sure to see Robert, he may be a bit creepy and tends to give you that weird scary feeling but really he’s a good guy!