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The Island of the Dolls: Mysterious and Terrifying History

It is always interesting and thrilling to visit places with a dark and terrifying history. The story of La Isla de las Muñecas (“Island of the Dolls“) will send shivers down your spine. It is covered with old dolls strung up and hanging on trees which is creepy in its own way. The dark origin story of the island is entwined with the former owner of the island, Julián Santana Barrera.

Overview of the Place

The Island of the Dolls (La Isla de las Muñecas), located in the channels of Xochimilco, south of the center of Mexico City, is a chinampa of the Laguna de Teshuilo, and one of the main attractions of the channel. You can travel on the trajineras, colorful canal boats. These boats are the biggest draw of the floating gardens of Xochimilco and can be rented out by the hour. People carry some drinks and eatables to enjoy the ride of the boat. Also, numerous food vendors float by, so you need not worry in case you forget to take some.

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DARK ORIGIN STORY OF ISLAND

The Island of the Dolls is full of decaying old dolls hanging on the trees. Cobwebs and insects are all over the buildings. These were hung by the caretaker of the island, Don Julián Santana Barrera. According to the legend, he found a girl drowned in mysterious circumstances. Shortly, thereafter he saw a doll floating down the canal, most probably it belonged to the girl. So, he picked the doll and hung it up on the tree as a sign of respect for the girl.

After this, he began to hear whispers, footsteps, and anguished wails in the darkness even though his hut was miles away from civilization. Driven by fear, he spent the next fifty years hanging more and more dolls, some missing body parts, all over the island. In an attempt to appease what he believed to be the drowned girl’s spirit.

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 What happened with the Care Taker??

Julian Barrera
Source – isladelasmunecas

In 2001, Barera’s body was reportedly found in the exact spot where he found the girl’s body fifty years before. People that his dolls are the reason for his death. After the death of Barrera, the chinampa became a place of great tourist affluence. Visitors bring more dolls to the place to honor both, Julian and the girl.

Since then, the island has become very famous and has even been featured in many articles and even TV shows.

Reviews of the place…

Apart from the story, there are some questions about the existence of the drowned girl. And many people on the island believe that Julian has joined the other spirits of the island.

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Where, reports conclude it up as Julian’s made-up story in his solitude.

The locals describe it to be a charming place whereas travelers claim the dolls whisper to them. Also, Professional photographer Cindy Vasko visited the island in 2015 and described it as the “creepiest place she has ever visited “. The journey began through maze-like canals, surrounded by lush greenery and singing birds, but soon her boat was slowed down by a swarm of lily pads and the canal fell ominously silent. At the end of the journey the trajinera turned along a bend in the waterway and she was struck by a surreal vision of hundreds, maybe thousands, of dolls hanging from trees on the tiny island.

People come up with many stories exaggerating the vibes of the place. In spite of all, one can not comment on the possessed environment of the island but it can be said the place is creepy with the terrifying story behind it.

Yogita Sahu
About author

Passionate|Programmer|Writer|Optimistic towards life|Profound love for art
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