South of Mexico City, between the canals of Xochimico, you will find a small island that was never intended to be a tourist area. It’s dedicated to the lost soul of a little girl whose life was taken too soon in strange circumstances. The island isn’t inhabited with the living, it is home to hundreds of dolls. They are terrifying as their severed limbs, decapitated heads, and blank eyes adorn the trees.
Welcome to the Island of the Dolls
The legend behind the dolls is rather sad. It is believed that a girl was found, drowned mysteriously many years ago on the island. And now the dolls are possessed by her spirit. Local legends claim that the dolls move their heads and arms, and even open their eyes.
Visitors to the island have claimed that they have heard the dolls whispering to each other.
The truth behind the island is that the caretaker, Don Julian Santana Barrera, found a little girl drowned, and he was not able to save her life. Shortly after he found a doll floating in the canals and believed the doll to be the little girl’s. He picked up the doll and hung it from a tree as a way to show respect and support the girl’s spirit.
Don Julian has felt haunted by the spirit of the girl and started hanging more dolls to appease her spirit. He realized that the dolls weren’t possessed by one girl, but my the spirits of many dead girls. He continued to hang dolls over the entire island.
To access the island, you have to take a water taxi. Most rowers will transport you to the island, however some will refuse due to superstitions. It takes about 1 hour from Embarcadero Cuemanco. Besides the dolls on the island, there is also a small museum, and a store.
In one of the rooms in the store, you will find the first doll Don Julian collected as well as Augustinita, his favorite doll. Some visitors come and place offerings around this doll in exchange for miracles or blessings.
After 50 years of collecting dolls and hanging them on the island, Don Julian, was found dead, drowned in the same spot as the girl. Many believe he joined the spirits on the island. He died in 2001.
Stay weird my friends
*My apologies if I have relayed any information incorrectly or translated words improperly, these are my mistakes as I am not fluent in Spanish*