Robert The Doll Might Be The Most Haunted Toy In History

Old-timey dolls can be creepy, but Robert the Doll might be the creepiest.

For one, he’s life-sized and dressed in an actual child’s clothing. For another, his eyes are vacant-looking black beads, and his cheeks are pocked with holes. For another, the dog on his lap has big, bulging eyes, and a long tongue hanging maniacally out of its mouth.

Also, Robert can supposedly move on his own, follow you with his creepy eyes, audibly giggle, and wreak havoc on your life if you disrespect him.

That last part is probably the creepiest.

Robert The Doll’s Origins

Robert the Doll was once shiny and new. In 1904, he was manufactured by the Steiff Company, whose namesake, Richard Steiff, created one of the first teddy bears. The company claimed that Robert was never intended to be a toy; instead, he was manufactured as a mannequin for a window display.

The story of Robert the Doll really begins before he even was a doll, as how he ended up being sold as a toy remains a mystery. Also up for debate is how he ended up in the hands of his owner, a young Key West boy named Robert Eugene Otto, who went by “Gene.”

A young Gene Otto (right) wearing the sailor’s suit that will given to Robert the Doll.

The story of how Robert made it into the hands of the young boy has been whittled down to two legends.

Believers in Robert’s supernatural abilities stick to the more mysterious version: that a maid of the Otto family, a young girl of Bahamian descent, imbibed the doll with voodoo magic and gifted it to young Robert as retaliation for wrongdoing.

Those who are more skeptical of the doll’s gifts are more inclined to believe the “official” version of events, which was that Robert the Doll was purchased by Otto’s grandfather, who bought the doll in Germany and gifted him to his young grandson.


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