Ghostly Gatherings with Robert the Doll

Best haunted destination in America found at the fort in Key West.

Photo credit: Sloan’s Ghost Fort Adventures / Robert the Doll Experience

Only in Key West, we hear that phrase often and today is no exception as we gather with friends and spirits to partake in ghost hunts, lockdowns, and paranormal investigations in a haunted Key West Civil War fort with Robert – the notorious haunted doll.  

Who you gonna call when you want to find out about the paranormal and ghosts of Key West?  

David Sloan, of course, he’s a paranormal pioneer who started one of America’s first ghost tours in Key West in 1996 with Haunted Key West’s Original Key West Ghost Tour. He later launched the first ghost hunting tour in the United States with Sloan’s Key West Ghost Hunt. Every ghost tour in Key West utilizes Sloan’s research to script their tours, while Sloan continues to innovate the industry. He’s the author of 20 books, including Ghosts of Key West, Haunted Key West, Robert The Doll, and The Lost Diary of Count Von Cosel. 

Photo credit: Mandy Bolen Miles

One of David’s most beloved obsessions is Robert the Doll and he invites you to take part in ghost hunts, lockdowns, and paranormal investigations in the eerie Key West Civil War fort at the East Martello Museum. 

Who is Robert the Doll? 

The story goes like this:  Robert the Doll was the boyhood companion of Robert Eugene (Gene) Otto, a resident of Key West, Florida. Early on, strange things began to happen while Robert the Doll was around: items went missing or were moved around. The Doll was frequently blamed for the mischief, giving rise to the statement ‘Robert Did It!’. People who were familiar with Robert believed that the doll changed his facial expressions while neighbors claimed the doll moved from window to window in the family home when the family was out. When Gene Otto died in 1974, Robert was placed in the attic and forgotten about for a number of years until he was donated to the Key West Art & Historical Society and put on display at Fort East Martello Museum.

Photo credit: Sloan’s Ghost Fort Adventures / Robert the Doll Experience


Robert the Doll Experience Gets Rave Reviews

 USA TODAY 10Best recently named the Fort at East Martello Museum the 7th Best Haunted Destination in America.  “The fort has its fair share of ghost stories, but none are quite as famous (or mysterious) as Robert the Doll.”  While we often brag about the best adventures in paradise, we forget to include the Civil War Fort Ghost Hunt featuring Robert the Doll.

‘Amazing Ghost Tour My Girlfriend and I travel around the US and go to the Ghost tours in the towns that we are visiting. This was by far the best that we have experienced. The Fort was amazing and could literally feel the presence of something supernatural in it. David Sloan was very informative and very interesting. The experience included technology that Ghost hunters use that you rarely see on most typical tours. Seeing Robert the doll and hearing him speak to me raised the hair on the back of my neck. This is a definite must do, when visiting Key West!”

~ Mark L. via TripAdvisor (Visited Jan. 2021) 

Expect the Unexpected 

It’s the real deal and not some hokey ghost hunt. David and the ghost guides actively engage with spirits (and we aren’t talking about alcohol), and guests are invited to participate in paranormal experiments.  

Every ghost hunting adventure at Fort East Martello includes a  60-minute guided hunt through the fort and a 30-minute sit-down-lockdown with Robert the Doll.  

The tour is packed with history as you learn about the spirits of the soldiers, sailors and, of course, Robert, the world’s most haunted doll.   The fort at East Martello is home to more than 42 documented spirits; maybe you’ll meet one of them.  

 Top-of-the-line ghost hunting equipment included. 

If the 90-minute tour isn’t scary enough for you, all lights are turned off, and the VIP ticket holders are let loose in the fort for an hour, armed with only flashlights and ghost hunting equipment.   While video recording is not permitted during the tour, VIP guests can record for non-commercial use during the independent lockdown.

VIP includes EVP & spirit box sessions, + souvenir 8 x10 Robert the Doll photo Robert might sign during a paranormal experiment.

VIP $85 | General Admission $45 | 90 minutes + | Space is limited | Not appropriate for anyone under 12.

Learn more about the Civil War Fort Ghost Hunt featuring Robert the Doll and get your tickets today! 

We highly recommend this ghostly gathering with Robert the Doll and suggest you add it to your travel bucket list and see why it’s one of the best ghost tours in America! #somolife