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Key West’s Robert the Doll

Robert the Doll photo by Rob O'Neal from Key West Art & HIstorical Society press release dated Sept. 20, 2004

Robert the Doll photo by Rob O'Neal. Obtained from Key West Art & Historical Society press release dated September 20, 2004.

It depends on who you talk to in Key West, but some know one of their more interesting characters as Robert the Haunted Doll, while others prefer to call him Robert the Enchanted Doll. No matter what adjective they ascribe to him, they all know about Robert the Doll.

As I wrote about in “Beating Winter’s Cold in Haunted Key West,” I knew nothing of him until I stopped and talked to the man manning the Key West Ghost & Mysteries Tour kiosk. In that same article, I also promised to write more about Robert because he deserved his own post.

I’m making good on my word. Here’s what Kiosk Man told me.

ROBERT’S HISTORY

Robert the Doll was made by a servant to a rich woman. The rich woman was not very kind to her servants, and supposedly this servant also happened to be wise to the ways of voodoo. The servant made the doll for the rich woman’s son and it became his companion –and then some!

Anyway, the man eventually grew up and Robert was put in the attic. But when his parents’ died he inherited the home and moved back in –and rediscovered Robert.

Much to his wife’s disapproval, he gave Robert his own room and placed him by a window so he’d have a view. That’s when the rumors started.

People walking by the house often said they heard noises coming from Robert’s room, not to mention they claimed they’d see him moving. He also got a reputation for being evil.

ROBERT AS HORROR MOVIE INSPIRATION

But the neatest thing I thought Key West Ghost & Mysteries Tour Kiosk Man told me (besides his company does sometimes coordinate daytime ghost tours for travelers on cruise ships who sail out of port before nightfall) was that Robert the Doll was the inspiration for Chucky! (As in the doll from the movie Child’s Play.)

I did not know that! That movie was silly, yet still creepy. Now it’s even creepier to know it had real-life inspiration!

SEE ROBERT THE DOLL

To see Robert the Doll in person, visit him at Fort East Martello Museum and Gardens. (Sometimes he’s also at the Custom House. Be sure to check his site, link below, for where to find him.)

Or you can always visit him virtually via:

  • His website
  • His blog
  • His Twitter page
  • Watch a clip from Travel Channel featuring Robert the Doll (It’s really good. Chilling, yet also sad. It recounts tales of people who purported to have experiences with the doll, but also relates how a psychic says Robert’s soul is slowly dying.)

RECOMMENDATIONS

If you’re into creepy doll stories, Autumnforest on Ghost Hunting Theories has recently posted a couple Dale the Doll stories. See: “Welcome to My Entry and Beware!” and “How to Scare Humans by Dale the Doll”.

Also, check out my “Haunted Doll House Cam” post. It explains about Ghost Walk Live’s Doll House Cam and the four dolls in a rural Pennsylvania farmhouse that are under constant web surveillance.

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