The Curse Of Robert The Doll Is Uncovered In A New 'Shock Doc' Special

September 28, 2022 1:00 AM ‐ TelevisionParanormal

This article is more than one year old and was last updated in February 2024.

Shock Docs: The Curse Of Robert The Doll
Photo: © Discovery+
The curse of the infamous haunted doll, Robert, is the subject of a new 'Shock Docs' special coming to the Travel Channel and Discovery+ as part of this year's Ghostober programming event.

The latest instalment of the hit supernatural documentary franchise is 'Shock Docs: The Curse Of Robert The Doll' and premiers on September 30 on the US Travel Channel as part of their Halloween schedule.

The two-hour-long documentary is a mix of eye witness testimonials and dramatic reconstructions of events. It's fair to say that some of the reenactments are fairly far fetched, especially since there's still some speculation about the full back story of the doll.

However, this added drama does make the 'Shock Doc' a very entertaining watch for any fan of the paranormal. It's a more interesting story than many supernatural movies and provides a fascinating insight into the lives of those who believe they have been cursed by the doll.

This latest 'Shock Docs' instalment explores the true origin of Robert the Doll, uncovers the story of Robert's first owners in 1905, and seeks to find out why this doll is so nefarious.

The documentary starts with a victim of Robert's, Bonnie Randolph, being reunited with the doll. Something that Bonnie finds very emotional - not surprising since she blames the doll for a broken back and the sinking of her house boat. She talks to Robert like you would a living person. She says "I'm here today to apologise to you for what happened, for the disrespect that was showed to you in my presence, and hopefully get your forgiveness for that."

Considered the most haunted doll in the world, Robert is a three-foot tall toy that can today be seen on display in a Florida museum dressed in a sailor's costume and holding his own toy dog. He once belonged to Robert Eugene Otto, a member of a prominent Key West family, who was given the doll on his fifth birthday as a gift from his grandfather who bought it on his travels in Germany.

Eerily, the boy named the doll Robert, telling his mother that he gave the doll his name and from that point forward answered to Gene himself. It's believed that Gene also gave Robert the costume he now wears, it is thought to be an outfit that Gene wore himself when he was younger.

Gene was soon inseparable from the doll and started blaming him for damage and mischief caused around the home. He'd tell his parents "Robert did it," but soon they started noticing strange occurrences themselves, leading them to the conclusion that the doll was possessed by a malevolent supernatural entity.

Gene's unhealthy relationship with the doll continued into his adult life, by which time he was working as an artist and living in a stately home he called The Artist House. He was often described by those who knew him as eccentric, perhaps because he would place Robert in a window in the house's turret overlooking the street below.

After Gene's death in 1974, a neighbour Myrtle Reuter purchased the Artist House. The sale included Robert the Doll and this is when the mischievous toy really seemed to come to life. Visitors reported hearing him moving around in the attic and said that his face would change if anyone said anything negative about Gene in his presence.

20 years later, Myrtle donated the doll to the nearby East Martello Museum, still in the city he haunted for more than 100 years. He now lives in a new glass display case and each year thousands of visitors flock to see him, but those who fail to follow his rules find themselves cursed.

According to the witness and experts who appear in the documentary, including author David Sloan who has written a book on Robert, the doll has caused thousands of people to experience misfortune. This includes accounts of death, car accidents, illnesses, injuries, ruined careers, divorces and various other hardships.

But what makes Robert curse his victims? What evil entity lives inside this doll? Various possibilities as to the cause of the curse are explored in this new Discovery+ 'Shock Doc', including perhaps the most commonly retold story that the doll was cursed by the house maid after an illicit affair with Gene's father.

Cindy Kaza, who appears in the television special, summed up the documentary's exploration of Robert's curse by saying "I don't feel Robert the Doll is evil. I feel that there is a portal, there is an entry point, and it's the person's intentions coming towards the doll that create the outcome. How you approach Robert the Doll will determine you experience with the doll."

The documentary also features paranormal expert Jeff Belanger, author of 'Creepy Florida' Mark Muncy, local historian Hayley Castellano and several of Robert's victims.

Check out Discovery+ on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and #CurseofRoberttheDoll for additional content and updates. 'Shock Docs: The Curse Of Robert The Doll' premieres on the Travel Channel on September 30 and will stream on demand on Discovery+.

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