Just south of Mexico City, in the middle of the Xochimico canals is an island like no other. The island has thousands of inhabitants, although they might not be what you expect. Scattered all over the small island are broken, decaying dolls. The dolls are hung from trees, placed on the ground and just about anywhere else you can think of, earning it the name “Island of the Dolls” or “Isla de las Muñecas”. The dirty, dismembered and creepy dolls have been placed throughout the island in an attempt to ward away evil and to appease one insatiable spirit in particular.
It is said that a young girl drowned many years ago on this island and that the dolls are possessed with her spirit. The dolls have been witnessed moving their heads, arms and even opening their eyes with no explanation. People have claimed to hear the dolls whispering to each other and some who have passed by the island on boats, claim that they could hear the dolls beckoning them to come ashore. But how did all of these creepy and allegedly possessed dolls get there?
Don Julian Santana Barrera was the islands caretaker for many years. Julian is responsible for gathering and hanging the dolls around the island. One story tells of Don Julian finding the drowned girl and being unable to save her life. A short while later, still disturbed by the incident, Julian was near the canal when he saw a doll floating by. Believing that the doll belonged to the young girl, he scooped it up and hung it from a tree by the water, as a way of showing respect and easing the girl’s spirit.
Soon Julian came to believe that the island was haunted by the girl who had drowned and began to hang more dolls in an attempt to keep her spirit at bay. He soon came to believe that the dolls themselves were inhabited by the dead girls spirit, yet he continued to collect and hang the creepy dolls all over the island. His doll collecting soon became an obsession, as he traded his things for more dolls and collected them from garbage in some cases. It was as if Julian was driven by some unseen force. (some say madness)
He would soon be complaining to friends and family that he could hear voices from the water where the girl had drowned..Calling him. The voices were asking him to come into the water, but he did not want to go.
Most people ignored the stories of Don Julian, until one day when Julian was found dead on the Island. He was found in the water, in the same spot the girl had been found. Had he finally answered the spirit’s call? It is believed by many that Don Julian has now joined the other spirits of the island.
Locals are firm believers that the island of the dolls is haunted. It has since been turned into a tourist attraction, at which visitors bring even more dolls to leave on the island. Since the death of Julian, the creepy island has become more popular and has been featured in many articles and even on television, as an episode of Syfy’s “Destination Truth”. Many have claimed to have captured the dolls movement and voices on film and audio, including the crew of Destination Truth.
So is this island charged with negative energy and haunted by the spirits of the young girl and Don Julian Santana Barrera? Many people say yes. But as usual..You decide. Below is a video with many different images depicting the dolls from Isla de las Muñecas.