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Otto is a character in the thirty-seventh book in the Goosebumps series, The Headless Ghost, as well as one of the antagonists in the television adaptation.

History

Book

Otto works as a tour guide for Hill House, the biggest tourist attraction in Wheeler Falls. Otto, along with another tour guide named Edna, entertain the tour group with stories of the many hauntings that took place within the house. Otto tells the tale of Captain Bell, a sea captain that built Hill House for his wife. He left her and went to sea, only to pass away. His ghost returned to the house, but his wife had left due to grief. A century later, Captain Bell would haunt the Craw family, removing the head of their son Andrew. This led to many unfortunate tragedies that befell the Craw family. One night, as Otto gives the tour, Stephanie Alpert and Duane Comack, a pair of pranksters that dub themselves "The Twin Terrors", decide to leave the tour and search for Andrew's missing head. Eventually, the pair get caught by Otto and return to the tour. After they leave again to find the head, Otto finds them once more. He leads Duane and Stephanie out of Hill House as the tour had just concluded in their absence.

Outside, Duane and Stephanie meet a boy they first saw from the tour named Seth who claims to have once snuck into Hill House at night. The trio sneak back into the house as Seth tells them more stories. He leads them into the pantry and locks them inside. Seth then claims to be Andrew Craw, the headless ghost, and threatens to take Duane's head. Duane and Stephanie find a hidden passageway below the pantry and the three find the head belonging the real Andrew Craw. Andrew's ghost shows up and takes his head, thanking the kids as he is now free to go into the afterlife. Otto arrives as Andrew vanishes and tells Duane and Stephanie that Seth is his nephew, and is known to tell ghost stories. When they try to tell him about Andrew, he doesn't believe them.

Several months later, during the middle of winter, Duane and Stephanie decide to return to Hill House for one more tour. They are greeted by Otto and Edna and take the tour. However, upon leaving, the kids are stopped by a pair of cops, curious as to why the kids are leaving Hill House. The cops tell Duane and Stephanie that Hill House has been abandoned for months. Duane and Stephanie take one last look at the house and see the ghosts of Otto and Edna staring at them from a window.

Episode

Otto begins the episode similar to his book counterpart as the tour guide of Hill House, while still having to deal with Stephanie scaring the rest of the tour group with her pranks. Similar to the book, he tells the stories of the removal of Andrew Craw's head and the sea captain's ghost. However, in the episode, the sea captain did return alive, only for his wife to have still left him. The captain would forever haunt Hill House, taking revenge on anyone who lived there or anyone who mocked the ghosts within. When Duane and Stephanie sneak away from the tour to search for Andrew's head, Otto finds them and throws them both out, forbidding them from ever returning to Hill House. The kids meet Seth, who helps them sneak back inside after the tour ends to find the head of Andrew Craw. When they enter, they find a room with a dumbwaiter. Seth tells them the story of a boy who lived in the room who would eat nothing but ice cream. However, one day when the dumbwaiter got stuck, he stuck his body too far into the dumbwaiter shaft, fell and died a grisly death.

Seth leads Duane and Stephanie up into the attic, where the captain's art equipment is stored. He tells them that the captain would paint the portrait of his victims, turning them into ghosts. Seth then claims to be Andrew Craw and threatens to steal Duane's head. They then find the real Andrew Craw's head stored inside the dumbwaiter. As Andrew's body takes his head, Otto arrives and tells Duane and Stephanie that Seth is just a kid that works for him. Otto lets Duane leave, but keeps Stephanie in the attic to talk to her. Otto then reveals himself to be the ghost of the sea captain with Seth being the ghost of the ice cream boy. Otto, Seth and Andrew all live together in Hill House. Otto then begins to paint Stephanie's portrait as punishment for disrespecting the house, causing her body to vanish with every part he paints. Duane returns to the attic and saves her just before Otto can finish the portrait. Otto chases Duane and Stephanie until they escape Hill House and run away.

Some time after that night, Hill House stops giving tours. Otto shows off the now boarded up Hill House to a couple looking to purchase it as a fixer-upper. He promises them that they'll be very happy there as he shuts the door with a sinister expression on his face. When the door shuts, the gargoyle door knocker's eyes begin to glow. 

General information

Appearance

Otto is described as a large, heavyset bald man with beady black eyes, a large booming voice and a scary smile. Despite his scary demeanor, he is rather nice, which is why Duane and Stephanie consider him to be their favorite tour guide. He wears a black uniform like the other tour guides. In the episode, he has grey hair and large mutton chops.

Personality

In the book, Otto comes off as particularly nice man, who often gets very spirited in his retelling of the history of Hill House. Despite being annoyed by Duane and Stephanie's antics, he still acts cordial towards them. In the episode, Otto is still nice, but has far less patience for Duane and Stephanie, eventually banishing them from Hill House. When he is later revealed to be the sea captain's ghost, he is shown to be more sinister, reveling in torturing those who cause trouble in Hill House, in this case Stephanie.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Otto's actor, Dennis O'Connor, has had four Dora Award nominations throughout his career.
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