Thursday, July 10, 2008

Robert the Doll is really, really spooky!

I have a confession to make: I've never liked dolls. Never played with them, never carried them around, never liked the ones who blinked, or cried, or drank from fake baby bottles. I never played with Barbies like all the other little girls. My mother, who LOVED collecting dolls, tried to give me one now and then, but I always preferred a cute, cuddly stuffed animal of some kind, and still do.

There is one particular doll that gives me the complete and utter creeps. His name is Robert, he's over a hundred years old, and he's quite famous in his own right. He's a bit of a paranormal celebrity, you see, and is kept in a museum in Key West, which is where he was "born" in 1896. He's so creepy, in fact, that I can't bring myself to post a picture of him on my blog, because I don't like looking at him. I will, however, post a link to a YouTube video that explains all about this weird little supernatural icon. You can see and hear all about him right here: Robert The Doll.

I'll give you his background in a nutshell: He was given to a Key West artist named Robert Eugene Otto, when Otto was a child, by his nanny (who was rumored to be into Voodoo). Otto became extremely taken with the little boy doll (who he named Robert, after himself), but his "imaginary" friend soon became a problem to the Otto family. Strange voices, strange happenings, nightmares, moving furniture, reports of the doll peering out the window all by itself, making faces at the neighboring children. When questioned by his frantic parents, Otto's inevitable reply was "Robert did it." Robert the doll was banished to the attic, but he didn't stay there. When Eugene Otto became an adult, he found the doll again, and apparently became mesmerized by him all over again - he brought him downstairs and gave him his own room, kept him by him while he painted, talked to him, and if reports are to be believed, would engage of bouts of bizarre behavior that would always be explained away with the phrase, "Robert did it." After Otto's death, Robert was once again banished to the attic, and the house sold. The new owners reported hearing a child giggling and running in the attic, and eventually Robert was rediscovered. When their 10 yr. old daughter began having fits of hysterics, claiming the doll was "alive and wanted to kill her", Robert was banished to the attic once again.

Interesting how no one could ever bring themselves to destroy the creepy little thing, isn't it? Eugene Otto's wife hated it, everyone who saw it was afraid of it, and there are reports of its face changing and its stuffed body moving before people's eyes. I'm not sure how Robert ended up in a museum, where he sits to this day, looking much as he did in 1896. A three foot, straw-stuffed boy doll with a crudely carved wooden face, dressed in a little sailor suit, clutching a stuffed lion.

I dare you to watch the video and not be creeped out.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

That's really creepy! I used to like dolls as a kid, but not the super-realistic ones. The ones they have no that look just like actual newborns creep me out.

I wonder if Robert the Doll was the inspiration for the Supernatural episode "Playthings." There was a whole roomful of dolls in the episode.