Dolls on the island of dolls.

Eerie Islands: Part 1

La Isla de las Munecas
(The Island of the Dolls)

In the Xochimilco canals outside of Mexico City, there is a small island with literally hundreds of broken and dirty dolls hung on its trees. In this out-of-the-way place, dolls with missing body parts and even disembodied doll heads dangle from dark branches. Some of the dolls were once new and remained whole, but weathering eventually transformed them into warped and frightening figures.

Dolls on The Island of the Dolls
Muñecas colgadas junto a cuerda.JPG
By Px-lga (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Dolls on The Island of the Dolls. Xochimilco, Mexico City.
2 January 2013
Dolls on The Island of the Dolls. Xochimilco, Mexico City
Muñecas entre árboles.JPG
By Px-lga (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Dolls on The Island of the Dolls. Xochimilco, Mexico City.
2 January 2013

Don Julian Santana

This disturbing doll display was created by a man named Don Julian Santana (pictured below). It was his memorial to a little girl who supposedly drowned in the canal near the island. I say supposedly because Santana’s family think that he only imagined her. It is understandable that his family might question his grasp of reality after he left his wife and child in the 1950s to live on the island and devote the rest of his life to this bizarre undertaking. Santana believed that the dolls comforted the tormented spirit of the drowned girl who supposedly haunted the island.

photo of Don Julian Santana and his dolls inside his cabin
Dueño original de la Isla de las muñecas.JPG
By Px-lga (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo of the original owner of The Island of the Dolls, along with several dolls. Xochimilco, Mexico City.
2 January 2013

It seems like the dolls comforted him too. Besides stringing dolls on the trees,  Atlas Obscura notes that he “also kept his cabin filled with the dolls, which he dressed in headdresses, sunglasses, and other accoutrement,” and he considered them to be “beautiful protectors.”

Don Julian Santana's cabin
Cabaña de introducción.JPG
By EmyPheebs (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Don Julian Santana’s cabin
25 September 2015

Death

In 2001, Santana’s life as caretaker of The Island of the Dolls came to an eerie end. He drowned in the same canal in the same location where he found the body of the drowned little girl many years ago.

Memorial cross for Don Julian Santana on the Island of the Dolls
Interior de la Isla de las muñecas.JPG
By Psagency1990 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Memorial cross for Don Julian Santana on The Island of the Dolls
23 September 2015

Creepy Tourist Attraction

Today, La Isla de las Munecas is a popular tourist attraction run by members of Santana’s family, and it remains the subject of local lore. For instance, here is a brief description of what the locals and Santana’s nephew say has happened at the island according to a website called theParanormal.ca:

Locals claim that his spirit now too haunts the place. A local paranormal investigator, Don Medez, who was interviewed on the ‘Destination Truth’ TV show, said that Don Julian kept saying to his nephew that he heard voices and singing coming from the water, calling to him, but he was too frighten[ed] to go. His nephew, Anastasio Valasquez, who has taken over and is now in charge of the island, said to the cameras of ‘Destination Truth’ that, in broad daylight, he has seen the head[s] of dolls turn and move up, then move back down. . . .

Source: “Top 10 Most Haunted Islands” –  theParanormal.ca

 

cloesup of a doll on The Island of the Dolls
Isla de las muñecas 3.jpg
By Wa17gs (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Closeup of a doll on The Island of the Dolls
23 July 2015
Doll dressed in rags and with a radio on her knees on The Island of the Dolls
Muneca escuchando musica.jpg
By Karpinico (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Doll dressed in rags and with a radio on her knees on The Island of the Dolls
23 September 2015

Sources:

“La Isla de las Muñecas (Island of the Dolls)” – Atlas Obscura

“There’s a terrifying island in Mexico that’s full of hundreds of mutilated dolls” by Sophie-Claire Hoeller – Business Insider

“Top 10 Most Haunted Islands” –  theParanormal.ca

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s