5 – Robert
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Say hello to Robert, claimed to be the most haunted doll in the world.
Paying a visit to Robert the doll at his current home, the Art and Historical Museum in Key West, Florida, is a memorable experience. His curiously human face is worn and pock-marked. His beady eyes are black and lifeless.
However, many of the museum’s patrons remember their visit for darker reasons. It is believed that underneath Robert’s pitted facade and faded sailor suit there resides a malevolent energy. Over the years, he has been blamed for causing horrible car accidents, innumerable broken bones, job loss, divorce and an abundance of other calamities.
The history of Robert the doll
Robert’s story began around the turn of the 20th century. He is thought to have been handmade in the image of his constant companion, a young boy named Robert Eugene Otto. The two were inseparable. The boy, who went by his middle name, Gene, would blame broken objects and other misdeeds on Robert.
Robert stayed with Gene into adulthood and until his death. Where he went, Robert went. Their relationship was unhealthily possessive: in Gene’s mind Robert was not a doll, but a living entity.
Gene Otto was so attached to his doll that it is thought that Robert’s sailor suit was most likely one of Gene’s own boyhood outfits.
After Gene’s death in 1974, Robert was purchased by Myrtle Reuter. Footsteps and giggling would be heard coming from the room where Robert resided. There were even reports that the doll’s expression would darken when anyone spoke badly of his beloved Gene. It was as though Robert was always listening. Over time, it was accepted that the doll would move around the house by himself.
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When Robert joined the museum’s collection in 1994, paranormal activity continued. Cameras and electronic devices malfunctioned in his presence, and letters began arriving directly addressed to the doll from visitors offering apologies for disrespectful behaviour or asking forgiveness.
Some have speculated that a voodoo curse played a part in Robert’s formative years, and may explain why so much negative energy seems to emanate from this eerie doll.
4 – Mandy
Just like any other baby, Mandy cries in the night. Only Mandy is not a living baby – she is a porcelain doll.
The doll’s nighttime sobbing was so frightening that one of her previous owners kept Mandy locked in the basement. So disturbed by constant twilight disruption, the owner felt that she could not live with Mandy in her house anymore. It was in 1991 that she was donated to the Quesnel Museum in British Columbia.
At the museum, Mandy continues to cause mischief on a near daily basis. Footsteps are heard when no one is around. Employees and visitors often have their lunches disappear, only to reappear elsewhere in the building. Similar to other haunted dolls, it is difficult to take a photograph of Mandy as video and photography equipment inexplicably malfunction around her.
Museum staff have claimed that the doll is so active that she would cause damage to other dolls when she was originally placed with them. These days Mandy sits alone in her exhibition, her fractured face staring out at all who come to visit.
3 – Joliet
The story of Joliet the cursed doll spans generations.
A woman who simply refers to herself as “Anna G” is the fourth generation to suffer the haunted doll’s curse.
She has described how the women in her family are cursed to suffer the same tragedy with each generation. Each daughter is destined to bear two children, a son and a daughter. However, on the third day of the son’s life, a sudden and mysterious illness will take the child from its mother. The boy’s spirit then transfers into the vessel of the doll so as to join those who died before him.
The legacy of Joliet’s curse is generations of female only children, all destined to share in the tragic fate of their mothers.
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Despite such a terrible curse, the women of the family refuse to part with Joliet. It is said that the doll holds the four souls of the lost infants. To cast away the doll, would be to cast away the lost children.
Anna says that the haunted doll entered the family over a century ago. It was given by a family friend as a pregnancy gift to Anna’s great grandmother when she was expecting her second child. However, despite being born healthy, her son would only experience three days of life.
The women of the family experience constant reminders of the loss of their children. At night, the sound of screaming babies – all male – emanate from the doll. It is only the mothers and daughters who can hear these cries.
Furthermore, asides from losing her son, the worst part of the mother’s curse is that her daughter will also lose a son, as the cycle continues.
“We have not tried to get rid of it because we know the souls of our lost sons are trapped inside and we do not want them to come to any harm. […] I have consulted mediums, psychics, paranormal investigators and the clergy. They all say I’m crazy.” – Anna G 1
2 – Peggy
Peggy enjoys tormenting her victims.
In 2015 this blonde haired doll caused shock and distress amongst the online paranormal community.
The doll was donated to British paranormal researcher, Jayne Harris, by her terrified owner. She reported experiencing constant nightmares which would jolt her from slumber, leaving her hot and shaken. It did not matter where Peggy was in her home, the nightmares persisted with increasing intensity. Two visits from a local priest did nothing to stop the nightmares. The activity reached such intensity that the owner fell into a fever and began suffering hallucinations. It was at this point that she became convinced Peggy was at the centre of her suffering, and so made the decision to get rid of her.
After taking ownership of Peggy, Jayne Harris uploaded a series of videos and photographs of Peggy to the internet. She immediately received an influx of emails from shaken viewers who claimed to have experienced terrifying visions of mental institutions, acute chest pains, nausea and crippling headaches after viewing photos and videos of the doll. One woman even claimed to have suffered a heart attack after watching Peggy.
The doll is also thought to be able to influence her chose victims’ dreams – even at a distance. Peggy is even said to have correctly predicted the death of one woman’s cat in this way.
“In order to do the work I do well, I have to approach each case as a sceptic initially and look for ‘normal’ explanations for things. If it were one or two occasions that things were happening on, I could do that, but with Peggy I just know there’s something more.” – Jayne Harris 2
Is Peggy the doll possessed by evil?
Many people have expressed fear that the doll is possessed by a malevolent – possibly demonic – spirit. Certainly, according to her current owner, Peggy seems to have a strong aversion to the crucifix necklace which she was made to wear to her previous owner.
According to a post on her website, Jayne Harris has “been advised by 5 psychic mediums, on separate occasions, that there is a male and a female around this doll. The female gives her name as Peggy. The male never steps forward to communicate, but his energy is felt and described as ‘dark’ and ‘nasty'”.3
According to Jayne Harris’ website, Peggy has led to over 130 reported cases of headaches and chest pains.4
1 – Old Man Puppet
The Old Man Puppet’s story is chilling. It’s previous owner states that he was forced to remove the doll from his home after it unceasingly terrorised himself and his wife. This is alleged to have culminated in its attempt to choke him to death. A dark shadow has often been seen near to the doll. Similar to Peggy the doll, the Puppet found its way to Jayne Harris, paranormal researcher and owner of haunted-dolls.com.
During the first three months of Jayne’s ownership, the Puppet was subject to nightly observations in controlled conditions with motion detection and night vision. Months into her experiment, she was left dumbfounded: she had captured the heart-stopping moment when the wooden doll seems to come to life.
Jayne has stated that she kept the puppet in a sealed glassed cabinet. As the cabinet has no doors, all four sides would have to be lifted in order to gain access to the inside. As such, how was it that the Puppet’s operating cross was able to move?
Since capturing the footage, Harris claims to have employed several different methods in an attempt to recreate the ‘slow, steady, purposeful’ movement caught on camera. This has included creating vibrations and draughts. Thus far, she has had no success.
Jayne Harris, who is also a trained psychologist, appears to be a credible paranormal researcher. Her interest in spirit attachment began in the year 2000 after the death of a loved one. The cases which she takes on are approached with both scepticism and professionalism, making this video of the Old Man Puppet an unlikely hoax.
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