Warning: If you are a sufferer of Automatonophobia, the fear of such things as ventriloquists’ dummies, dolls, lifelike robots and such, you might want to skip reading this article. No? Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Robert is creepy enough even for people who don’t have that particular malady. Who’s Robert, you ask? He, or it, depending on how grammatically correct you want to be, or how much individuality you want to assign to him/it—I’m going to go with “him” from here on—MAY have been the inspiration for Chucky from the CHILD’S PLAY movies. And he makes the Annabelle doll from THE CONJURING seem downright cuddly by comparison.
A century-old doll housed in the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, Florida, has a curse on him. Or rather brings a curse WITH him. Purchased in Germany and given as a birthday present to a little boy named Robert Otto, Robert the Doll is dressed in a sailor’s suit that belonged to Robert the boy. Donated to the museum in 1994 after his then-owner became weary of his pranks and antics, and the bad luck he is supposed to bring, Robert is reported to move around on his own. He has been GOOD luck for the museum, though. He’s their most famous celebrity. He even gets fan mail. Eat your heart out, Chucky.