In any era there is the tale bearing the phrase Caveat Emptor, or “buyer beware.” And as the culture of buying and selling changes, so does the nature of paranormal activity resulting from ill thought out buys and deals too good to be true. Of course one of the most disturbing of these stories is the haunted doll story. Or course as with many urban legends, the best of these stories is based on actual events. Several of these stories have popped up on the internet over the past few years, sparking many to give pause before making a purchase on internet auction sites, or accepting a gift, particularly if what the buyer is purchasing is a spooky looking doll.
Of course no article about the archetypical spooky doll urban legend would be complete without an actual account of the harrowing experiences had by the former owners of America’s most haunted doll, Robert. Robert was originally owned by the painter Gene Otto, who carried it with him the entirety of his life. The doll was originally a gift, bestowed to him by his childhood nanny. Different accounts of the nanny depict her as everything from a caring individual who looked after Gene, but practiced witchcraft and voodoo to a woman abused by her parents who gave the gift with the intention of striking back at the family. Regardless of the origin of this item’s paranormal activity, it soon began exhibiting strange properties that would alter the course of the family’s lives forever.
In the early days, Gene was blamed for several various things. Knocking things over, spilling things, even breaking small objects, Gene claimed the doll had been running around causing general mayhem. But as time went on, the events soon took a more disturbing and eerie pattern. Servants would awaken in the middle of the night to the sounds of soft running feet pattering outside their windows, as though the feet were straw filled, rather than human. The servants of course terrified refused to investigate, and instead hid from the sounds. Soon the doll was feared all through the house, and everyone hated to clean Gene’s room, as the bizarre doll seemed to stare out at them with hollow soulless eyes.
Years would pass, and eventually the original owners of the house would pass on, but not before rumors began to circulate that Gene’s own wife had been murdered by the demonic artifact. After the house was abandoned, a new family quickly moved in and the youngest daughter of the family was bestowed the doll as a gift. The doll’s reign of terror would continue as he allegedly murdered their pets, attempted to smother the daughter, and mutilated the other dolls the children of the house played with. Eventually, Robert was banished to the attic and after the family moved out, eventually a museum dedicated to Eugene Otto, Robert’s original owner, sprang up. When the doll was finally discovered, he was placed in a display case where museum workers still claim the doll can be heard singing, talking, and mocking them occasionally. The devil doll of Eugene Otto’s house allegedly likes peppermints, and when they are placed in his display case workers report seeing discarded peppermint wrappers strewn about the case.