Child’s Play’s Chucky is a popular and memorable horror character, but where did the idea for the doll come from? His roots can be traced back to a very creepy real-life toy: Robert the doll. Here’s the true story of the indirect inspiration for Chucky, among other horrific dolls.
Robert the Doll was owned by Robert the Human: Robert Eugene Otto. Otto gave the doll his own name, though he himself went by “Gene.” Otto was the youngest of three sons of an affluent Key West family, and he studied fine arts in Chicago, New York, and Paris. He grew up to be a notable, eccentric painter and author. In Paris, he met his wife, Anne, a concert pianist. They lived in New York for a while before moving back to the Key West home where Otto had grown up. They would rename the manor the Artist House, where they would live until the end of their days. Gene died in 1974, and Anne followed two years later. The Artist House is a hotel now, and visitors have reported sighting an unsettling apparition strolling the turret room staircase. It’s not a spooky doll; it’s beautiful woman wearing a wedding dress, said to be the ghost of Anne Otto, patrolling her own home. Robert the doll is elsewhere. Robert the doll’s look alone is pretty unsettling. He’s got black, beady eyes and a weird monkey face covered with the scars of more than a century of aging. He wears a little sailor suit and holds a doll of his own, a little stuffed animal with bug eyes and a wide-open mouth. Keep watching the video to see more about the terrifyingly real toy that inspired Chucky!