Robert the Doll - Fort East Martello

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Robert the Haunted Doll is the inspiration for the Chucky doll in the film franchise. The doll once belonged to Robert Eugene Otto, a Key West painter and author. Robert the Doll is known to be cursed, or possessed by evil spirits, and can be viewed at the Fort East Martello Museum and on many ghost tours, although the place where the doll is on display rotates annually. The doll looks like an early-20th-century American Naval officer, and was given to Otto when he was a child in 1906 by a Bahamian servant skilled in black magic and voodoo. The servant was said to have deliberately cursed the family by giving him the doll. Otto’s parents soon noticed that the boy seemed to be conversing with the doll, and that the doll seemed to talk back. The doll also was caught giggling madly while running from room to room, and the neighbors said the doll moved from window to window while the family was out. Robert was also blamed for knocking over furniture in the night. In short, the doll seemed to be alive. Fast forward to 1974 when Otto passed away and the doll was left in the attic. The new family who bought the house had a 10-year-old girl who would often scream at night and say Robert tried to attack her. It is said that 30 years later she still maintained that the doll was alive. This doll was the inspiration for the Chucky film franchise.

Beware! Legend has it that those who want to take a photograph of Robert where he is on display must ask nicely. If he agrees to let you photograph him, he will tip his head to one side. If he does not acknowledge your request and you photograph him anyway, he may curse or follow you.

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Geographic Information

3501 S Roosevelt Blvd
Key West, FL 33040
United States

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24.552212886453546, -81.75494876497396
Monroe County, Florida
Nearest Towns:
Stock Island, FL (1.5 mi.)
Key West, FL (1.8 mi.)
Big Coppitt Key, FL (6.7 mi.)
Cudjoe Key, FL (18.1 mi.)
Big Pine Key, FL (26.5 mi.)
Marathon, FL (43.2 mi.)
Key Colony Beach, FL (47.7 mi.)
Duck Key, FL (55.0 mi.)
Layton, FL (62.0 mi.)

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Please note: It is your responsibility to acquire appropriate permissions before investigating any location listed on this site. Private property should be respected at all times, as should all posted signs concerning trespassing, hours of operation and other local regulations. Many "ghost hunters" have been arrested because they failed to contact property owners and/or local authorities ahead of time.

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Comments (7)

  1. this story has to be true. in 2005 I went to key west with a friend who happened to LOVE haunted places and artifacts, we decided that we would take a ghost tour in keywest, in which we did and we went to robert’s home, just walking by the house, frightened us. there was an eerie feeling around the place. so the next day we decided to go to the museum where robert the doll was kept and displayed. I was a lot younger and didnt really believe a doll could be alive…..I decided to take a photograph of robert without asking him. after I took the shot, i looked at my camera to see the photo of him. it was there alright! I showed my friend to verify that ot was not deleted as some say that once you take a photo of him it might be deleted on its own or disappeared. as soon as we left the museum I decided to look at the photos again and little did I know IT WAS GONE. foruntately, I had a camera which had a menu to see all photos taken or deleted and oddly, there he was in the “off menu” pictures D: I still have the camera to this day and you can find the picture in the hidden menu but not on my sd card or scrolling through pictures.

  2. I visited this museum over spring break only to catch a glimpse of this doll. My mother and I along with two other women were the only visitors in the museum at the time. Time I turned a corner and caught a glimpse of Robert I began to hysterically start crying. Both my mom and I are VERY superstitious mind you. After my mom got frustrated with me and consoled me I finally mustered up the courage to go into the room where Robert was. We both began talking to him, complimenting him and being overly nice, as I was super scared of him but my mom only did it to help me get over my fear. The room had a weird vibe to it like an evil presence hanging over us as we walked around. After asking him for permission to take a few pictures of him we left. That night we totally forgot we even went and seen him at the museum and took pictures of him because we were having a lot of fun at the restaurants/stores down Duvall street. That night when we were in our hotel we both could not sleep at all. Tossing and turning in our beds confused as to why we just could not sleep because we were utterly exhausted! I also felt the presence of someone or something at the side of my bed watching me. It was then that it finally hit me. The pictures I had of Robert on my phone. I quickly deleted them and my mother deleted them off of hers and after that we immediately fell asleep. And the whole rest of the time we were in the Keys we were able to sleep in piece.

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.