Robert The Doll: Key West’s Infamous Resident

Robert The Doll is no ordinary resident of Key West, Florida. It has a mysterious past and connection to the supernatural and has been said to bring a curse to all who come into contact with it.

For over a century, Robert The Doll has been a popular attraction in Key West and continues to fascinate people today.

This article will explore the history of this infamous doll, including its connection to the supernatural and the curse it has been said to bring. We will dive into Robert’s story and discover why he remains a popular attraction today.

Early Years

Robert the Doll is a three-foot and four-inch tall hand-made doll created by Steiff Company in 1904. It is wearing a sailor suit that was likely worn by its previous owner as a child.

The previous owner of Rober the Doll was Robert Eugene Otto, who lived in Key West. Some accounts say that it was given to him by his grandfather as a birthday present, while others say it was a gift from a young girl or the family’s maid. Eugene named the doll after himself.

The Curse Begins

According to stories, Gene started taking his doll Robert everywhere. At night, Gene’s parents would hear him conversing with the doll. Gene would speak in his usual voice, and another voice would respond.

Initially, Mr. and Mrs. Otto believed that Gene was simply using a different voice to imitate Robert. However, as time went by, they started to doubt this explanation.

The doll remained Gene’s constant companion as he was growing up. The doll was said to have its own chair at the dinner table. Gene took the doll with him to bed every night.

Gene would also blame his frequent fits of rage and odd occurrences on Robert.

When Gene became an adult, he placed the doll in the turret room of the house. Children who passed by their house claimed that the doll would appear in different positions at the window and make faces at them.

After Gene and his wife died, Myrtle Reuter bought the house. The doll remained in the room upstairs. Visitors would say that they could hear giggling and footsteps from the room.

Robert the Doll’s Life Today

In 1994, Robert the Doll was donated to the East Martello Museum in Key West.

Visitors claim they noticed the doll’s facial expression change and heard it whispering.

Robert the Doll remains a popular attraction in Key West today, and tourists continue to flock to the area to experience the mystery surrounding the doll.

Its fame and notoriety have made it a symbol of Key West, with many people believing that the curse surrounding it continues to this day.

Media Appearances

In 2015, Robert, a film based on the doll, was released. Four sequels of the film followed: The Curse of Robert the Doll (September 12, 2016); The Toymaker (August 21, 2017); The Revenge of Robert the Doll (March 6, 2018); and Robert Reborn (June 24, 2019).


Robert the Doll has been an iconic figure in Key West for over a century. It’s mysterious history and alleged connection to the supernatural make it an intriguing attraction for visitors to the area.

The doll’s supposed curse has made it the subject of much speculation and debate over the years, but its legacy still stands today. Whether you believe the curse or not, Robert the Doll remains a part of the Key West landscape.

photo credits: Cayobo from Key West, The Conch Republic, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons