Mental Floss

Robert the Doll, Ötzi the Iceman, and 8 Other Reportedly Cursed Objects

Ellen Gutoskey
Be nice to Robert the Doll.
Be nice to Robert the Doll. / Cayobo, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Before Robert the Doll inspired a series of horror movies, he was a seemingly innocent toy gifted to a little boy named Eugene Robert Otto (or just “Gene”) in Florida during the early 20th century. Dressed in one of Gene’s own sailor suits, Robert the Doll purportedly started upending furniture and breaking things around the Otto household—and he’s never stopped spooking people since.

The saga of Robert the Doll is one of 10 stories behind allegedly cursed objects that Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy is covering on this episode of The List Show. It’s not all child’s play: A certain chest of drawers known as the “Conjured Chest,” for example, has “claimed” some 16 victims in various ways. And some people believe Ötzi the Iceman, a 5000-year-old corpse discovered in Italy’s Ötztal Alps, has killed seven unlucky souls who came in contact with him.

Press play below to hear those unsettling tales and more.

For future videos, subscribe to the Mental Floss YouTube channel here.