Monday, October 17, 2005


How fitting that I should have run across this story in October.

I'm talking about Robert The Doll. If you've never heard of Robert, and you scare easily and don't want to sleep with the lights on tonight, perhaps you should move on to the next blog.

Robert is a rag doll who was given to a little boy by his father's ex-maid, a woman of Jamaican descent and questionable motives. The story goes that one night, the little boy woke up to find Robert at the foot of his bed, staring at him. As dolls don't blink, this should not have been frightening. Yet the little boy starts screaming and his mother runs to his rescue, only to find the door locked. She listens to sounds of an upheaval and her son screaming and finally gets the door open, to find the room turned topsy turvy and her son shivering in bed, saying, "Robert did it."

I am not making this up.

When the boy grew up, he had a special room built in the childhood home he now shared with his wife. Children on the street reported seeing Robert The Doll staring at them from the windows; a plumber hauled ass after swearing he heard the doll giggle.

The doll is now in a museum in Florida, where strange things such as the doll's changing position on its own and the failure of cameras in its presence continue the oddness.

Oh - and did I mention the doll looks spooky as hell? Like Michael Jackson as a burn victim? I'm not trying to be funny. The doll has issues.

My husband and I were flipping through channels and landed on the story of Robert on Friday evening. Friday night I slept with the Bible on one side, my husband on the other, and swore I felt someone shaking the bed (turned out to be my husband's snoring).

Last night, because I wasn't frightened enough apparently, I googled Robert The Doll. Immediately after reading about him, the phone rang. A tiny voice on the other end said, "Stop reading about me!" and then hung up.

Okay. I made that last part up. The phone did ring, but no one was on the other end. It was either Robert The Doll, or a girl calling my son. Equally as frightening.

Why do I do this to myself? I scare as easily as a two year old in a haunted house, yet I am fascinated with stories like these. And stories like these stay with me. I once watched a story about people who saw Jesus' face appear in a wood door; to this day I can't sit and stare at a wood door for fear I will see something and freak out. Not only should I have changed the channel the moment the Robert story appeared, I had absolutely zero business googling the tale, and then erasing the history and cleaning out the cache because I was afraid the story might have evil spirits that come through the computer.


I am not ashamed of my many, varied, and completely irrational fears. They make excellent cocktail party conversation. And really - what good would The Grudge have been if it hadn't made me walk a wide girth around little Japanese kids for three months? And I've never been able to look at a blonde kid quite the same since Pet Semetary. Isn't the adrenaline part of the point?

I'll be pondering that idea tonight in bed. While I'm wondering what that noise is coming from underneath it.

Happy Hauntings.

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