Welcome to our new host of articles taking you to the places on this planet that are guaranteed to give you the creeps. First up is my personal favorite, or in this case my personal hell, The Island of Dolls or La Isla de las Munecas.
The Island of Dolls is located in a network of canals on Lake Xochimilco, some seventeen miles south of Mexico City. Over 50 years ago a little girl was reportedly drowned in Lake Xochimilco and it is believed that her spirit haunts the island. When she died there was only one man living on the island, Don Julian Santana Barrera, a recluse even though married with children. Living alone on the island when the child died he shortly after saw an old doll floating down one of the canals. Fishing it out he hung it from a tree, believing that the doll would not only protect him, but provide the spirit some company.
It’s popular myth or superstition that because of their human like appearance and appendages that dolls often can serve as cadavers or a medium for spirits to inhabit. Don Barrera didn’t just stop with that one doll though, every time he saw a discarded doll in the canal he would take it and hang it up somewhere on the island as well. In the few times he would leave his home the caretaker would recover dolls from trash piles and towards the end of his life even began trading dolls for his own home grown vegetables. The end result is an island covered with dolls of every shape and make, most of them in various stages of decay. Because, you know, dolls aren’t creepy enough already.
The weirdness doesn’t stop here though. In true horror movie fashion Don Julian Santana Barrera’s nephew found him dead in 2011, drowned off the dock in the same location the girl was found. Barrera’s nephew was not surprised however and said that Don had claimed to hear voices telling him to join them in the murky canal. It’s unclear whether or not there is an actual haunting, or Barrera was unhinged, but one thing is for sure: the island is creepy as hell. In fact it was creepy enough to warrant the attention of Destination Truth. They’ve managed to get some video that makes me wonder if I’ll ever sleep again. I tried to find some decent footage, but because of copyright nothing is available that you can just watch a small clip of. So, with full apologies for the terrible quality, watch below if you want.
Oh man, my daughter is never going to own any dolls now. If you wish to visit The Island of Dolls (WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU?!?!?) than locals encourage you to bring candles, hard candies and of course a doll as offerings to appease the spirit of the drowned girl. Oh and adult diapers, those are for you though, you know; just in case.