By Gemma Grant

In 1906 before leaving the service of her employers, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Otto, of Key West Florida, their Bahamian servant gave their youngest son Robert Eugene a going-away present – a four foot tall sailor doll, stuffed with wood wool.  

The doll, however, was no ordinary doll. The servant was said to have been disgruntled with the family and using her skills in the black arts, she put a voodoo curse on the doll. Shortly after Robert took possession of his doll, that he named after himself, the doll seemed to take possession of Robert. His parents would often hear Robert talking to the doll and they also would hear another strange voice.  

They merely believed that their son was disguising his voice but eventually they were convinced that it was in fact the doll talking back.   Neighbours claimed to have seen the doll moving from window to window when the family were out, as though it were looking for something.  

At other times the doll would emit a terrifying giggle and the family would swear that on occasions they caught glimpses of it running from room to room. Many nights their son Robert would scream in his sleep.  

When the parents rushed into his room they found furniture knocked over and Robert in his bed, terrified, telling them that Robert did it.  

Guests to the Otto household claimed to have seen the doll’s expression change and its dead black eyes would blink at them.  

The doll acquired a terrifying reputation and was the inspiration for the horror film ‘Child’s Play’ released in 1988, and which featured Chucky, the demon killer doll.

Continue reading in the Ireland’s Own Hallowe’en Special