Forget Annabelle – haunted dolls have been around for ages, and few are as terrifying as Robert the Doll. The history of Robert the Doll is fascinating, encompassing an eccentric artist, a curse, and an ever-growing list of people who claim their lives have been affected by him. Though Robert did get a movie in his name in 2015, his story is creepy enough without all the Hollywood embellishment. Though there’s been some inconsistencies among the facts about Robert the Doll, the facts of this Key West institution’s mythos are as fascinating as the fiction.
The story of Bonnie Leigh Scott is a forgotten Chicago tragedy. Bonnie vanished on September 22, 1956. That evening, around 6:30 p.m., she left the home where she lived in Addison, Illinois, and told her grandmother that she was going out to look for a blouse. Bonnie lived with her aunt and uncle, Mrs. Robert Schwolow; their daughter, Sue, 15; and Bonnie’s maternal grandmother, Mrs. Doris Hitchins. Her parents were separated and in the midst of a divorce. Bonnie was an ordinary girl, a sophomore at York Community High School and a babysitter for many of the young children who lived in the quiet suburban community. The five-room, newly built ranch house where she lived was virtually identical to all the others on the street. Before the night of September 22, Bonnie never caused a problem, never drew much attention, and seemed like every other girl her age. But that night, she became a mystery. As the police began tracing her steps, assuming that she was a runaway, they managed to find four teenagers who saw her at a diner in Addison around 7:30 p.m. that night. She was also seen at a surplus store, located next door to the town’s police station. After that, she had apparently vanished into thin air.