Was there ever a toy that you had growing up that just didn’t sit right with you? Maybe it was a Furby that you kept locked in a closet because it would talk in the middle of the night. Could have been one of those baby dolls that opened its eyes, but something about those eyes just made you uncomfortable? Don’t worry. Lots of people feel the same way. There’s something about walking into a room with a doll in it that just doesn’t seem inviting. More often than not, there’s actually nothing wrong with the doll or toy itself. A lot of the time, toys that make sounds are their own can be chalked up to faulty batteries or wiring. But what about the toys that made a name for themselves because there was no explanation?
I know what you’re thinking, “here we go, another nonsense paper about Annabelle”. Wrong. Today, we’re going to talk about 3 of the other dolls that plagued real-life people with terror, because they deserve some spotlight too.
See this little guy? That’s Robert. Robert the doll spent the beginning of his life in a lovely home located at 534 Eaton St. in Key West, Florida, (because all nightmares belong in Florida, right?). Robert was a gift, given to Eugene Robert Otto in the early 1900s by one of his house servants. Nice, right? Not so much. Though this one of a kind, handcrafted doll, was meant to provide companionship to Eugene, he seems to have provided nightmare fuel for anyone who interacted with him. Initially, it was little things, movements out of the corner of the eye, Robert not being in the same place he was left, and then things took a turn. One night, while Eugene was asleep, he woke up to find Robert sitting at the edge of his bed. Riddled with fear, Eugene began to scream for his mother. When his mother ran to his room, she found the door locked, with her screaming child behind it. After some time she was able to get the door open and found Eugene’s room in complete shambles, with Eugene curled up under the covers and Robert sitting on the edge of the bed staring at him. Instead of destroying the doll, they locked him in the attic.
It wasn’t until 1974 when he was found by a new little girl. Delighted to have a new doll, she began to keep Robert with her everywhere she went, but after a couple of nights, she began to claim that Robert was running around her room at night. Whether or not this was in fact, her parents decided to rid themselves of the doll by giving him away. He was passed around from family to family, all claiming that he was strange until he was given to the East Martello Museum, where he now resides behind the glass of a case specially made to keep him in. Is he possessed? Was he cursed by a house servant with ill intentions? The world may never know.
This long-haired beauty is Okiku. Okiku was a doll given to a little girl with the same name in 1918. Both Okiku the girl and Okkiu the doll resided in Japan. The doll was originally a gift from Eikichi Suzuki to his little sister. She became so attached to the doll that she named the doll after herself and anywhere she went, the doll went too. When Okiku got sick and passed away from influenza complications, the family decided to keep the doll and placed it in a shrine to their beloved daughter.
Here’s where things get weird. Okiku the doll was originally a simple doll, dressed in a kimono, with a short black bob style haircut. As she remained in the altar, the family began to notice something: her hair was growing. The family was perplexed, so they did what they thought made the most sense. They cut the doll’s hair. This action proved pointless, as the hair grew back, again and again, stopping at the doll’s knees. Although the doll never did anything other than continue a solid impression of Cousin It, it still gave the family the proverbial heebie-jeebies, so when the family moved in 1938, they reached out to the local Manneji temple. The monks from the temple, along with the family, believed that the spirit of Okiku Suzuki now lived on in the doll. The monks agreed to keep her, and she resides in the temple to this day where she receives regular haircuts from the monks that surround her. Talk about high-quality service.
Last up, we have Letta. Letta the doll’s full name is “Letta Me Out”, a name given to him by Kerry Walton. Walton and his brother were your typical men in the 1970s. Except for typically, men don’t break into abandoned houses that are rumored to be haunted with the intention of looking under the floorboards, but who’s to say what typical means nowadays. Walton found Letta under the floorboards and felt compelled to bring the doll home with him, so naturally, he and his brother stuffed Letta in a bag and went on their way. It was then that they noticed some strange things, as the whole way home Letta continued to move around in the bag as if he was trying to get out, hence the name, “Letta Me Out”.
Notably, the doll made people uncomfortable. Many of the family and friends surrounding the Walton’s were apprehensive of the doll, claiming feelings of sickness, faintness, or overwhelming emotions. This wasn’t just related to humans, either. Animals seemed to dislike the doll, aggressively so. Many dogs were known to bite and attack the doll with no provocation. After doing some research, Walton discovered that the doll was almost 200 years old with origins in Romania. During this research, they found that Letta has a full head of human hair. Walton then went on to consult with many psychics, who all seem to have suggested the same thing: Letta is inhabited by the spirit of a small boy that drowned and was originally created to mimic the boy’s features. Letta, however, made an impression on Walton, and he decided to keep the doll with him in Australia, where she resides to this day. Walton has been known to take Letta traveling from time to time, perhaps to give Letta the chance to get out that he so desperately wanted.
Maybe these dolls have nothing extraordinary about them, (outside of strangely luscious hair). Were these dolls just coincidentally moved? Maybe. Were these dolls crafted with evil intentions? Who knows. What we do know, is that none of the members here at PRISM want to share a house with these dolls, we’d rather take our chances with Annabelle.