Saturday, November 27, 2021

    This haunted doll was the inspiration behind Chucky films


    Anyone who’s seen the Child’s Play movies would no doubt hope they were purely fictional, but as it turns out there’s a real-life doll that reportedly provided the inspiration for the creepy films. 

    Filled with straw and wearing a sailor suit, Robert the Doll is currently residing in a glass case at Fort East Martello Museum in Florida with his own little toy; a fluffy dog that sits in Robert’s lap.

    The scene doesn’t sound particularly terrifying in itself, but once you hear the rumoured history of Robert, you’ll probably be glad he’s locked in a glass cage.

    The doll was gifted to Robert Eugene Otto, who went by ‘Gene’, by his grandfather, who purchased the doll in 1904. But before long people began to notice strange goings-on involving the doll, with servants allegedly hearing Gene having conversations, presumably with Robert, in two entirely different voices.

    Gene’s family would also apparently wake up to hear Gene screaming in the night and enter his room to find him surrounded by overturned furniture, which he blamed on the doll. Years later, rumours surfaced that Gene’s wife died from ‘insanity’ after she locked the doll in the attack.

    As an adult, Otto moved into a home he called ‘The Artist House’ and positioned Robert at the upstairs window, though local schoolchildren are said to have sworn that Robert would appear and reappear by himself.

    Cori Convertito, curator of the museum and Robert’s caretaker, spoke to Atlas Obscura about Robert in 2015, saying: ‘What people really remember is what they would probably term as an unhealthy relationship with the doll. He brought it everywhere, he talked about it in the first person as if he weren’t a doll, he was Robert. As in he is a live entity.’

    Robert the doll (Alamy)Alamy

    Dubbed the ‘world’s most dangerous doll’, Robert reportedly inspired the Chucky doll as well as another film named after himself. Over the years he has been blamed for car crashes, the demise of relationships, broken bones and financial ruin as well as death, the Daily Star reports, with people who have supposedly wronged the doll writing to him at the museum to beg his forgiveness.

    Convertito said the doll received ‘probably one to three letters every day’, as well as emails and gifts, though she admitted she ‘[doesn’t] know’ whether Robert is haunted.

    As of 2015, Convertito said she’d ‘never had a bad experience with him’, adding: ‘I’ve never felt uncomfortable. It’s always been a very basic relationship and I have a job to do and I go and do it. And whether there’s something to it or not, he just allows me to get on with my job.’

    At over 100 years old, some believe both Robert’s hair colour and his soul are both slowly fading, so hopefully he won’t be up to his devious ways for much longer.


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