Saturday, March 10, 2018

Paying Our Respects to Robert the Doll

Well Hello everyone, I'm Marianne Donley from Dark Shadow Ghost Tours, and Our Haunted Travels.   Today, I am here with a miniature version of Robert the Doll.  

The real Robert the doll is over 3' tall, he's a little shorter.  Anyways today what I wanna talk to you about is a little bit about the history of Robert the doll and how people go to pay him respects.

On July 17th and 18th of 2016 we traveled to Key West, Florida and Fort East Martello to pay our respects to the infamous Robert the Doll.   There are many videos out there on YouTube, as well as, books, TV shows, etc. that document the history of Robert, So today I am going to cover the basics here.

Robert was a gift to a little boy named Robert Gene Otto, when he was a young boy in fact when he received the doll he was about the same size as Robert is today, and the sailor uniform you see Robert wearing, used to be Genes. It was not uncommon in those days for little boys to receive dolls is gifts, and Robert became a very close friend to Gene. In fact, once Gene named the dull Robert, he insisted that he should be called Gene from there on in.

Any time the Gene would get in trouble, he would always say it do it at that Robert did it.   His parents would often hear him is Room at night having long conversations with the doll and playing with him, but at first they just figured it was a young child playing with his toy.

Legend has it that the doll was a gift from a nurse who was mistreated and she placed a curse on the doll.  Some also say that it was a gift from his grandmother.   Either way, the relationship between the child and the doll was extremely close.

When Gene got older he moved to New York where he met his wife, a concert hall pianist.  When he moved away he left Robert back with his parents in Key West.   The couple with me your for some time until Gene's father became ill and then they moved back to Key West and back into the artist house.

Once living back in Key West, the strange relationship began again. Gene would often neglect his wife and spent several hours with Robert.  He even built him a small house and several other things in the attic where Robert lived, and when things started to happen around Gene again, he again began to say, "wasn't me Robert, did it."

Again, you can find out more detailed information about the story of Robert and Gene, but what happened to Robert after the death of Gene?  Well, Robert was again left in the attic of the Artist House.   The new owners, began to notice several strange occurrences happening within the house, and neighbors would sometimes ask about little boy that was dressed in a cute sailor suit looking down at them from the attic window.

Well let's move ahead even more. Robert finally wound up at the East Motello museum where visitors can come and pay their respects and that's exactly what we did, twice actually.   Once during the night time ghost tour, and then the next day during the day.

One thing we have to warn you.  You need to ask Robert, kindly for permission to take his picture, or he will put some kind of bad curse on you. There are many, many, many visitors who actually believe in this, and in fact Robert receive sometimes 3 to 5 apology letters a day asking for forgiveness from the curse.

We were aware of this when we visited Robert last summer, but before we took our pictures we did ask for permission and we were very respectful. I actually left him some loving message from Dark Shadow Ghost Tours,, and Shawn and myself, and we wished him well,

Now as with pretty much any museum that you visit, you always leave the building through the gift shop.   Well, we were getting ready to leave, but of course we were looking around at different items are going to purchase and Shawn went up to the counter and started talking with a couple that was there waiting for something.   It turns out that they were there to stop to see Robert again by their daughter.  They were waiting for her to come out of the museum where she was spending a little time with Robert by herself.

Here is the full story of how they reported it to Shawn:

"In 2015, we were down here on a family trip.  Our daughter was going to be a senior in high school, and it would probably be the last trip that we could make as an entire family before the oldest went to college.  Well the kids wanted to stop and see Robert the doll.   They always heard about it I thought it would be fun to stop since we drove by the museum anyways on our trip.   Well when we stopped,  our 2nd oldest kind of got a little rude with Robert and was making fun of him and teasing the others. She was making faces at him and saying how the legend was just a big joke, etc.  When they got back home is when the bad luck started.

A week after we got home she was out jogging, tripped, and fell.  She thought she just sprained her ankle, but it did much more worse damage and pretty much couldn't participate in any sport s her whole senior year.   Next, right after school started, her and one of her friends was in a car accident. Neither one got hurt but she did lose her license and they pretty much couldn't drive to school each day.   Again, for their entire senior year they both had to ride the school bus as seniors to school.

One month into the school year, her and her boyfriend had a huge falling out broke up.  They were dating since junior high school. The relationship was now over and for the first time she began to struggle with her schoolwork.   So this year before she left for college, she demanded that we bring her back down here to see Robert so she could apologize in person for being so rude to him.

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