Mexico’s Macabre Doll Island

Located about two hours by canal boat from Mexico City lies an island that seems as though it was created for the sole purpose of horrifying and shocking visitors. Known as the Island of the Dolls (Isla de las Munecas), it is adorned with hundreds of dolls in varying states of disrepair due to exposure to the elements. They are hung from trees and clotheslines, or their disembodied heads are impaled on branches all over the island. Though it looks like the set of a scary movie, in this case truth is stranger than fiction.

The island was never meant to be the tourist attraction that it is today. It all began when a man named Don Julian Santana Barrera left society to live as a recluse on the island after his girlfriend left him. Shortly after his move, he reportedly discovered the body of a small girl who had drowned in the canals. He tried to save her, but his efforts proved futile.

Not long after finding the child, he found a doll floating nearby. Believing it to be the possession of the dead girl, he hung the doll in a tree to appease the girl’s spirit. This one doll was not enough to placate the child, according to Barrera, who claimed that he heard the girl’s screams and footsteps at night. He began to string up dolls and dolls parts all over the island, which he fished out of the canals as they floated past. He would even trade his home-grown produce for more dolls to decorate his island.

The story of the Island of the Dolls took a tragic turn in 2001, when Barreras was found dead by his nephew, drowned in the same area where he had discovered the dead child years earlier. His death was ruled an accident, but superstitious people claim the dolls played a role in his demise.

Some people question the existence of the drowned girl, and claim that Barreras was simply a disturbed individual. Others claim that his guilt over being unable to save the child drove him mad and compelled him to create the doll island. Whatever the case, Isla de las Munecas has become a popular tourist attraction, run by members of Barrera’s’ family. Visitors can see photos of Barreras and view his cabin, which also contains his remaining few possessions. And of course, they can tour the island and see its roughly 1500 dolls, many of which are covered in mold and inhabited by insects. For tourists interested in the macabre, this is a fascinating stop when visiting Mexico City.

Next Article
  • No Despite Conspiracy Theories This Was Not An Alien

    The little pointy-headed skeleton that is so small it fits in the palm of your hand is not an extraterrestrial. Despite what conspiracy theorists have been spreading for years, scientists have now confirmed it as untrue. It definitely is a scary looking photo though? At first glance, it is easy...

    Read More
  • Chernobyl Wildlife Continues To Grow Even In A Radioactive Wasteland

    Known as one of the worst nuclear disasters in history, where thousands of tons of radioactive waste was thrown up into the atmosphere: Chernobyl is still studied about intensely to this day. Causing an evacuation of over 100,000 people and creating a completely barren area, in fact, it is now one of the biggest unintentional...

    Read More
  • What If You Could Drink Your Book?

    Imagine being stuck on the beach with your favorite book, enjoying the sun and relaxing. When suddenly you realized that you forgot your water bottle. Oh no! The sun begins to scorch you and your mouth becomes parched. Well, what if you were able to drink your book? An amazing...

    Read More
  • Intelligence Comes From Your Mother

    If you are smart and doing well in life, well it may just be one more reason to says thanks to your mom. It seems Mothers have yet another reason to give themselves a well-earned pat on the back. New research published by Psychology Spot shows that a child’s intelligence generally comes from their mother....

    Read More
  • Can You Actually Sneeze While Sleeping?

    If you have ever woken yourself up by a loud sneeze during your sleep. Then you probably were not actually sleeping. Sleep researchers actually believe it is literally impossible to sneeze while you sleep. Though, at the time of writing this article, there has not actually been any recognized medical...

    Read More