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The ‘Chucky’ movies are horror staples. Discover all of the real-life lore behind the cult franchise.

All the lore about Chucky movies to make you lose sleep for eternity

Horror films are only as good as the baddie our heroes are running from. Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without Michael Myers, and same with Nightmare on Elm Street and Freddy Krueger. Same thing with the Child’s Play franchise and Chucky, except there’s a little more reality to Chucky than you might think.

Like most horror films (unless you’re in The Conjuring’s universe), the events depicted in Child’s Play are fictional. But that doesn’t mean that writer Don Mancini didn’t draw inspiration from real life. Everything about Chucky, from his name to his look to his demeanor, are based on real life.  

No wonder they opened the reboot against Toy Story 4

The My Buddy dolls by Hasbro also resemble our fun little friend, so much so that when the original Child’s Play came out, kids were too scared to play with their My Buddy dolls anymore. 

Child’s Play’s main theme is anti-consumerism, which is why they made Chucky look like the kind of doll a parent could buy on store shelves. While heavily influenced by My Buddy, Cabbage Patch Kids, and Raggedy Ann dolls all played a role as well.

But the big twist is the influence by Robert the Doll. Robert was a one-of-a-kind German doll who was created in the image of his owner, Robert “Gene” Otto. Gene treated Robert as his best friend, but often times would blame Robert for any trouble he caused. Gene tried to turn his home into an art museum, but died before he could do so. However, Robert made sure his home became a museum anyway.

People living near the Otto home would report footsteps, or Robert moving across the room on his own. Even during a conversation about Gene, it was reported that Robert’s expression was changing. Robert then changed hands a few times until he found himself in the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, Florida. If you dare, you can see Robert for yourself in the museum, as that’s his current home. 

Charles Lee Ray – but you can call me Chucky

It should come as no surprise that other killers have had influence on Chucky. While none of his crimes are based on them, three killers were chosen to have Chucky named after them. Charles Manson, Lee Harvey Oswald, and James Earl Ray are where Charles Lee Ray gets his name from. Charles Manson is self explanatory, but the other two are interesting choices.

Both Oswald and Ray are infamous for assassinations in the 60s. Oswald was the patsy blamed for John F. Kennedy’s unlikely three-direction firearm assassination, while Ray was supposedly behind Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Both are famous for only one murder, while Chucky commits several during his various films.

Even a murderous doll has a tragic backstory

In a shocking turn of events, there’s reason to feel bad for Chucky. While we have zero compassion for the murderer whose soul possesses Chucky (Charles Lee Ray), Chucky the doll is sad. Chucky never knew his father, his mom suffered from dwarfism, and Chucky had to take special-ed classes in school. The most terrifying part of all this is that we’re treating Chucky as if he was a real person and not just a doll.

It does make sense to separate doll from killer, because Charles Lee Ray is just a horrible person. When Charles transfers his soul into Chucky, Chucky loses his identity as a doll. Maybe the real Chucky dolls in the film are actually sentient sweethearts, but Charles corrupted just the one thanks to his evil soul. Shame on you, Charles. 

Curse of Chucky also gives us a look into who Charles was as a person, as that movie is all about him getting revenge on one particular family that ruined his life. Charles was in love with the main protagonist Nica’s mom, and murdered her husband and kidnapped her. When Nica’s mother rejected him, he stabbed her stomach and ran, leading to the flight at the beginning of the first Child’s Play.


One of horror’s most defining icons, Chucky is absolutely terrifying. Whether you want to pity the doll himself or not, we can all agree that Charles’s soul inside Chucky is awful. Evil never takes a break!

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