Robert Bartleh Cummings was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts on January 12, 1965. He is the oldest son of Robert and Louise Cummings. His younger brother, Michael David Cummings, is the lead singer of the band Powerman 5000. Growing up, Cummings had a fascination with horror films and has stated that he always "wanted to be Alice Cooper, Steven Spielberg, Bela Lugosi and Stan Lee." His parents worked in a carnival, but they chose to leave after a riot broke out and tents were set on fire. Cummings recalled the experience in an interview, stating, "Everybody's pulling out guns, and you could hear guns going off. I remember this one guy we knew, he was telling us where to go, and some guy just ran up to him and hit him in the face with a hammer – just busted his face wide open. My parents packed up real quick, and we took off."