Hey guys, we are now entering the east Martello
Museum in Key West Florida which houses something very unique – Robert the Doll which inspired
the movie Chucky. If you ever get a chance to visit him, don’t take a picture of him,
before asking for his permission to do so. Every year, he receives hundreds of letters
of apology, from former skeptics who took pictures without his permission. So what’s
the story behind Robert the Doll? To understand this, we have to travel to a big Victorian
mansion called the Artist house, a few miles away. It is called the Artist house because
an artist, a painter grew up here. His name was Robert Eugene Otto.
When his mother was 4 months pregnant, she sends her husband to the Bahamas to find 4
helpers including a woman to take care of the baby. The trip took a little bit longer
than it should have, the nanny became pregnant and Mrs. Otto is not too happy with who the
father is. So now, this young Bahamian girl has to spend
9 months locked up inside an outhouse in the backyard. If that’s not terrible, she is only
fed bread and water once a day. When her own child was born, it only survives 2 months,
obviously because of the mother’s starvation. Mrs. Otto is a tough slave driver; she keeps
all the servants including the woman, and made the woman take care of Robert Eugene
Otto, who is now a few months old. Now, you’d probably expect the Bahamian woman
to take her vengeance out on Robert, but she fell in love with this baby, even breast fed
him and took him on as if he were her own. Things go smooth for a while until Mrs. Otto
walks into her backyard on a full moon night to see the 4 Bahamian servants performing
Santeria. What is Santeria? It is a recognized religion which started in Cuba – it is a mix
of Voodoo, Catholicism and animal sacrifices. Now, Mrs. Otto is shocked to see her 4 helpers
cutting the head of a live chicken, she freaks out.
The next morning, she makes everyone pack their bags and is ready to ship them back
to Bahamas. The nanny begs Mrs. Otto not to be separated from Robert. She not only lost
her first child, but in a way she is losing her second child. But there is no going back
once Mrs. Otto makes up her mind. So, she makes a parting gift for Robert, a three foot
doll, black buttons for eyes, cloth for skin. The doll looks creepy enough, but what’s more
creepy the Doll becomes Robert Gene Otto’s only playmate on the island. He would be spotted
walking up and down this street talking to the doll.
Now, As soon as the nanny left, bad things started to happen in the house. Things would
end up missing or broken. Being the only child, Robert Gene gets blamed for everything. But
his reaction was very strange. As his mother would start to yell at him, she might go “Robert
Eugene Otto”. Full name, the old fashioned way of reprimanding a child, right? He would
stop her and say “Don’t you ever call me that again.” He would point at the doll and say
he is Robert and I am Gene. He gave the doll his own first name and kept his own middle
name for himself. Gene did this every time the blame game came up “I didn’t do, Robert
did it” Years pass by, now Gene is a 19 year old man
and he is still walking up and down the street with Robert. At this point the family decides
to move to France, they pack up the entire house, everything except Robert the doll who
gets locked in a trunk and left behind in the attic.
Gene, now without Robert starts to become more sociable in France. He meets a lovely
girl and eventually they get married. As a wedding present they get the house that Gene
grew up in, so they move back into the house. Now, Gene goes up in the attic and comes across
a trunk, he has no idea what’s in there, opens it up. Out comes Robert and now, we have a
grown married man walking up and down the street carrying a doll and talking to it.
Ann, who is his wife gets pissed at this quirkiness, so she asks him to keep the doll confined
to the turret. The turret is that big round thing on top. Gene agrees. After a few years,
Gene becomes abusive and will sometimes even beat Ann. One time, as Ann was inspecting
the old outhouse in the back yard all by herself, Gene shuts the door and locks her in the outhouse
for 3 days. Wait, it was not Gene, it was .. Robert and yes it is the same outhouse
the Bahamian Nanny was locked in for 9 months. As years pass by, things get stranger, Gene
builds a bed, a chair and a couch all built to scale for Robert. Sometimes Ann could hear
Gene begging Robert not to hurt him. Gene starts to insist that Robert should be fed
first, because he was now the master of the house. In the evenings, kids would gather
in front of the house, point right at the turret and say “the doll…It moves.” Footsteps
would be heard in the turret, even when Gene was not there. In 1974, Gene was found dead
in the turret and Robert was seen on top of him. Not hugging him, but with his hands around
Gene’s neck. After Gene’s death, Ann leased the house and
moved back to France: , leaving the doll: In the lease there was a clause that said,
Robert must be the sole occupant of the attic room.
The new owners put up with him for a few years, but one night they found Robert in their bedroom
with a kitchen knife in his hand. So they gave Robert to the East Martello Museum. He
wasn’t always put in a closed glass case. During his first year in the Museum, Robert
was placed just like all the regular objects. But one morning, the person who opened the
door found the whole place ransacked. Of course, nothing was missing, but Robert’s shoes were
covered in dust and was found sitting in a different place. From the letters sent by
former non-believers you can see that bad things happened to whoever made fun of him,
or people who did not ask his permission before taking pictures. These people lost their jobs,
marriages and houses. One guy got a ticket as soon as he pulled out of the parking lot.
Most people believe he has a very real Santeria curse on him and if you don’t ask his permission
before laying eyes on him, bad things will happen to you. Wait, did you ask for his permission
before watching this video? I am Praveen Mohan, thank you for watching.
Please subscribe and talk to you soon.