Paranormal Folklore – “I Visited a Notoriously Haunted Doll, and Bad Luck Followed Me Everywhere”

It’s not every day that MSN posts an article on a paranormal experience like this. I’ve had it for a little while and got my opportunity to post it. Here it is in full:

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I’m a relatively superstitious person. I would never walk on someone’s grave in a cemetery, I believe in ghosts, and I’m careful to not walk under any ladders. So while I was on my honeymoon in Key West recently and heard about a ghost tour that involved Robert the Doll — a famously haunted doll that brings bad luck to those who visit him — I was pretty intrigued.

For an inanimate object, Robert is pretty well-known. He’s been featured on several TV shows and is even toted around to various conventions that center on the occult. Eager to see what all the fuss was about, my husband, Chris, and I booked a tour with a company called Ghosts & Gravestones, which included a stop at the Fort East Martello Museum where Robert resides. While the tour was awesome, our brief encounter with Robert was . . . less than ideal. Why? Well, because he “haunted” me for about 36 hours afterwards.

In order to understand the full extent of this, it’s important to know Robert’s sordid past. Originally given as a gift to Eugene Otto, an author and painter, by his grandfather in 1904, the two were instantly inseparable. It’s said that Robert the Doll’s outfit was even modeled after one Eugene wore. As a boy, Eugene would often blame the doll for accidents and misgivings, claiming, “Robert told me to do it.” Seems like somewhat normal little kid behavior, right?

According to our tour guide, the real trouble started when a woman who worked for the Otto family was fired abruptly without cause. But rather than packing her bags and leaving, she reportedly used voodoo to put a curse on the doll as a form of revenge. And while it may seem pretty far-fetched to some, others believe it actually worked.

“Once he was put on exhibit, cameras and electronic devices malfunctioned in his presence, and soon letters began arriving addressed to the doll offering apologies for disrespectful behavior or asking forgiveness.”

As an adult, Eugene became an artist. Considered by many to be “eccentric,” Eugene returned to his family home in Key West with his wife, Annette Parker, after they got married in 1930. And despite being an adult, Eugene’s love of Robert never wavered (legend has it that Robert sat right next to Eugene while he painted). Annette obviously wasn’t a huge fan of her husband’s best friend, and vice versa, so once Eugene died in 1974, Annette left Key West. She left Robert behind in the attic of the home, where he was found years later by the home’s new owners. While strange things had often happened in Robert’s presence before – people hearing voices, noises, and other unexplained sounds – it wasn’t until he was donated to the Fort East Martello Museum in 1994 that his less-than-kind attitude went full-scale.

Before walking into the museum to get a peek at Robert, the tour guide gave us some strict rules to follow: you must greet and introduce yourself to Robert; if you want to take a photo of him, you must ask first; and you can’t leave the museum without saying goodbye. While a bit weird, that all sounded doable to Chris and me, so we did as we were told. After snapping a few photos, we learned about what happens to people who don’t follow the rules or poke fun at Robert. A nearby TV showed thousands of letters from people from around the world who experienced terrible luck after rubbing the doll the wrong way.

According to some of the letters, visitors have been met with all kinds of misfortune, from getting burned by hot water to missing their flights to — yep — even getting divorced. “Once he was put on exhibit, cameras and electronic devices malfunctioned in his presence, and soon letters began arriving addressed to the doll offering apologies for disrespectful behavior or asking forgiveness,” says the website. “Letters continue to arrive daily.”

As a respectful visitor, I thought I was off the hook. I followed the rules and was genuinely interested in learning about him. But boy, was I wrong. I made ONE comment about a grown man carrying around a doll, and my fate was sealed. As soon as I woke up the next day, the bad luck began. First, our flight home was delayed. Then, we were forced to rebook our flight because the plane was too heavy, resulting in us having a five-hour layover and getting transferred to another connecting flight. While both of these things were annoying, I also knew they happen sometimes. It couldn’t have been because of a doll, right?

I realized that Robert might actually have had it out for us when we finally landed back home around midnight. The problem? Our luggage never showed up. We were told to go home and that the suitcase was probably on the next flight in. Fast forward to the next morning — still no sign of the bag. And no one on either airline that we used could locate where the suitcase was. It was simply missing without a trace. Frustrated and near tears, we decided to give into our superstitions and write letters to Robert in the hopes of reversing whatever bad luck he gave us and finding our lost bag.

My Letter

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Chris’s Letter

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After sending them, we went to bed and promptly called the airlines at 9 a.m. when they opened. And guess what? We were immediately told where our bag was: back in Key West with an airline we didn’t fly with. While things were still somewhat up in the air, our luck seemed to completely change as soon as we apologized to Robert. Coincidence? Maybe. But do we regret writing letters to a doll just to be sure? Absolutely not!

I had heard of something similar called Pele’s Curse, which is the belief that if you take anything natively Hawaiian ⁠— like a rock or sand —

out of Hawaii, you’ll have bad luck until it’s returned. And if you look into it, you’ll find thousands of accounts from people who did just that and experienced such severe bad luck that they sent the lava rocks back to the island immediately. So, we knew we couldn’t be too careful.

Although I might be pushing my luck writing this story —God knows I don’t need anymore bad juju! ⁠— it’s been said that Robert loves to be the center of attention. Fingers crossed this keeps me in his good graces!

This article comes from https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/tripideas/i-visited-a-notoriously-haunted-doll-and-bad-luck-followed-me-everywhere/ar-AAFO0ef?li=BBnbklE#image=1.

Paranormal Folklore – “Straw Hat Man”

This article comes from Castle of Spirits, reprinted and shared with permission.

I’ve been keeping this to myself for really most of my life but an image keeps popping into my memory, an image from my childhood which I had initially blocked out. I sort of believe in the unknown like ghosts and extraterrestrials and stuff but this entity I saw was something I’ve never understood or even knew about until now.

Let me take you back to 1995 when I first discovered this strange being at my childhood home in Forest Park, GA. It was just a regular day at the house. My dad was at work and my brothers and I were home alone. (Which was a recurring event since babysitters couldn’t stand to be in the house due to strange occurrences that seemed to be ghostly in origin.)

So yeah, we kind of had a ghost but that’s not the story here. Because as one of my brothers would reveal to me in my adult years, it was all made up. Now, I know what you’re thinking. If he made that up then surely the Straw Hat Man was another myth. My response is: he admitted that he had nothing to do with this image and don’t call me Shirley.

The reason I don’t believe the Straw Hat Man is a myth my brother created is that I actually saw him. I never saw the supposed ghost and only experienced different tricks that my brother employed to fool me into believing in him.

Anyway, I was hanging out with my brothers in their room and we were playing games like the Batman game and then we played a card game. And we were talking and just entertaining ourselves while our dad was gone. We liked to play games when we were alone or go into the forbidden dining room where we’d play the piano and play all the vinyl records our dad owned.

Before we got ready to go to the dining room, my brothers were half way out the bedroom door when I noticed something in the corner of my eye. I went to the window and pulled open the blinds and there he was standing and staring straight into my soul.

Now, he didn’t necessarily look like a spirit but he certainly didn’t look human. I remember the yellow straw hat, his crooked pale hands, his black pants and I distinctly remember him tipping his hat in my direction. It was chilling. He smiled and then he was gone. It felt like a lifetime that I was looking at him looking at me. My brothers came in at that point and told me to hurry up and I just sort of forgot about the sighting.

Until a few weeks ago when I woke up from the worst nightmare ever. He was back. He was looking in at me while I was sleeping. It was so meta. He smiled at me. I know what he was doing because I was watching myself sleep and saw him looking at me until he noticed me floating above my body and put his crooked finger to his lips as if to silence me. The nightmare ended when when he reached in to shake me awake.

After that dream, I found it very difficult to shake what had happened. It was like he seeped back into my subconscious and weaseled his way back into my memory. So I decided to call my brother and ask him about the strange goings on in Forest Park, starting with the ghost. That’s when he told me about making it up just to play with us. Then I mentioned Straw Hat Man and he confessed to also seeing him at a different time when he was alone. I was shocked. I thought I was the only one. But it turns out it was real. He saw him and I saw him and he would tell me if he made it up because he told me about the ghost.

You can believe what you want but I know what happened. If anyone else has seen this thing (my brother says it’s a shadow man which I don’t believe), let me know in the comments. I really want to find out if others have had this experience and I really want to know what it was since it’s basically been haunting me my whole life even when I didn’t know about it.

See more from Castle of Spirits at www.castleofspirits.com.

3,500+ Occult Manuscripts Made Available Online For Free

http://www.openculture.com/2017/12/3500-occult-manuscripts-will-be-digitized-made-freely-available-online.html

From the article: “Many a writer, like Brown, has found inspiration among the Ritman’s more accessible works (though, sadly, Borges, who was blind in 1984 and died two years later, could not have appreciated it). Now, thanks to the Da Vinci Code author’s magnanimity, a new generation of scholars will be able to virtually access, for example, the first English translation of the works of 17-century German mystic Jakob Böhme, which librarian and director Esther Ritman describes as “travelling in an entire new world.”

In an introductory essay, the Ritman notes that academic interest in occult and hermetic writing has increased lately among scholars like W.J. Hanegraaff, who tells “the ‘neglected’ story of how the intellectual community since the Renaissance has tried to come to terms with ‘esoteric’ and ‘occult’ currents present in Western culture.” That those currents are as much a part of the culture as the scientific or industrial revolutions need not be in doubt. The Hermetically Open project opens up that history with “an invitation to anyone wishing to consult or study sources belonging to the field of Christian-Hermetic Gnosis for personal, academic or other purposes.” Look for the digitization project to hit the web in the coming months.”