Robert the Doll’s Online Hexfest Goes Mainstream

He's altering the deal. Pray he does not alter it further.

Robert the Doll is apparently cursing people left and right, and a new Twitter hashtag has emerged in the chaos. That’s right: #SorryRobert.

To catch you up on the story so far, Robert is a cursed little bundle of cloth and straw currently sitting in a chair at a museum in Key West, Florida. I imagine right now he’s chilling out peacefully enjoying the isolation, but his story is getting more attention than ever.

It’s been about half a year since I wrote my last update on this peculiar phenomenon. For some time now, people online have been apologizing profusely to the unusual doll in the sailor’s outfit.

The curse traditionally involves being at the Fort East Martello Museum and taking a picture of Robert the Doll — if it doesn’t grant you permission to do so, you might wind up cursed, in which case the only way to break said curse is to write a kindly worded apology letter and send it to the museum. At the time, however, I said I hadn’t heard of anyone claiming to have been cursed simply for viewing the pictures.

That has apparently changed — we now have individuals coming forward with stories of actual bad luck that began after crossing paths with Robert’s photos online.

“i ignored this bloody doll last time and my nans has a fall, my mum smashed her finger under a well and my great auntie broke her hip, i ain’t taking any chances anymore #sorryrobert”

This, on top of the countless Twitter users apologizing to Robert using the hashtag #sorryrobert.

The wave of apologies seemed to reach their peak around May 15, prompting the New York Post to highlight the movement. But apologies are still trickling in, even here at Stranger Dimensions.

“I am so sorry Robert, please forgive me for researching about you and seeing pictures of you without your permission. I would not do it again. I’m sorry.”

As I said, the original curse was focused on those who took a photo of Robert while at the museum in Key West. Those who were physically there, in his presence, and chose not to follow the rules. Has the curse changed, then? Or have we, through the power of suggestion, changed the curse ourselves?

Was the curse ever even real? Or have we made it real through our belief in the curse’s power? Is this all just a bit of mild online hysteria?

Questions, questions. But this is where we are. This is what has happened.

I’d say now would be a good time to launch a Robert the Doll cinematic universe but, would you believe it, there’s already been a trilogy (Robert in 2015, The Curse of Robert the Doll in 2016, and, of course, The Revenge of Robert the Doll in 2018).

Well, for the third time in seven years: I’m sorry, Robert.


Rob Schwarz

Writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions.