I am a skeptic when it comes to “ghost stories” but I am also open-minded. I’m not going to ignore something smashing me in the face, but I’m also not going to believe anything because it’s a compelling tale.
Florida has some good ghost tales, and this time of year I have a talk about some of them I give to various groups. Yesterday I gave that talk at OLLI, and I was joking around about some of the stories, including this one about Robert the Doll.
I use Keynote on an iPad Pro for all my talks, connecting to the projector either with HDMI or Apple TV, and this works out well. I silence the iPad for the talk, but it’s never been an issue because whenever I get a call/text/alert during a talk, I can see the alert on the iPad itself but it doesn’t appear on the projected screen. Yesterday was no different — I’d been in this room before with the exact same setup and equipment.
As I researched this legend, I found more than one story about how those who try and photograph Robert without permission either don’t get a good photo or the camera/camera phone fails — electronic failure is one of his hallmarks. And I was about to say this during the talk, my iPad rang. As in, the class heard it because the ring went through the HDMI and out to the speakers. I found it disarming, to say the least, but I laughed it off and then checked to make sure the volume on the iPad was off (it was all the way down, yes).
And then it rang again — again, disrupting the presentation and now freaking me out a bit. I put the iPad in “airplane mode” and laugh it off, telling the group that I’d done so and that if it range again, I was leaving. We all had a good laugh.
It’s important to note I poke at Robert’s owner a bit in the story, too — something legend says you shouldn’t do in the presence of the doll, because people report that his expression changes and seems “displeased” when people make fun of the man who owned him. But Robert’s in Key West and I’m in St. Pete giving this talk, so really, I’m in the clear, right?
Last night I was telling Sandi and Nicole this story, because in truth it’s a little creepy but also sort of funny. And my hair kind of stood on end while I told the story I told you, but I chalked that up to having an incredibly long day — fatigue makes anyone susceptible to things, right? While I told them, my phone was right next to me, and I went to bed, plugged it into the charger, and thought nothing of it.
This morning my iPhone is dead. As in, paperweight dead. I’ve done everything I can think of to get it to turn on, but nope, nada, zilch.
I’m not saying it’s Robert, but at this point I’m not willing to say it isn’t, either.