If you travel just south of Mexico City, make your way amongst the canals of Xochimilco there you will find a tiny island that has a sad background story. The island was never supposed to become a tourist attraction, alas it still became one. The island is known as the Isla de las Munecas, which translated means Island of the Dolls.
The island is dedicated to the lost soul of a child who died under strange circumstances, even though the area has a big population, this little island is covered in dolls. And these dolls are not cute or pretty, they are dolls with severed limbs or decapitated heads. Their blank eyes sit there hanging down from the trees. Dolls always look a bit strange especially if you have seen some Chucky horror movies, but in the dark, this island is terrifying.
Legend has it that the girl was found here drowned and the circumstances around the drowning are very mysterious. It is stated that the dolls hold her spirit and are possessed. Locals will tell you that the dolls move their heads, even some move their arms or open their eyes. Other witnesses have come on record to say the dolls were whispering to each other. Whatever the truth may be, the fact is the island is very creepy. For casual visitors and tourists, it can be even scarier – especially if you come across it randomly.
The truth behind the legend started with Don Julian Santana Barrera, who was the caretaker of the island. He came across the drowned girl and was unable to save her. Shortly after he found a doll floating in the canal and assumed it had belonged to the dead girl. For a way to show respect for her passing, he fished out the doll and hung it off a tree. Julian thought it was important to show his respect to the girl’s spirit.
Other experts and historians, however, question the existence of the girl in the first place. Originally the island was a lonely place and perhaps Julian invented the story during his solitude. Julian says he was haunted by the girl and decided to hang more dolls in a way to please her spirit. He soon started to believe all the abandoned girls he collected were inhabited by dead girl spirits.
Hence the Island of Dolls is thought to be one of the most haunted places in Mexico. Especially after Julian was found dead drowned, the same way as the girl.