This is Isla de las Muñecas (Island of the Dolls)

From Anabelle to Chucky, dolls have haunted our childhood dreams for centuries. And now, there’s an island embellished with hundreds of decaying dolls, some decapitated, others amputated, just south of Mexico City.

Island of Dolls

CC Wa17gs via Wikimedia Commons

The Legend

While this land might be morbidly fascinating and attract many tourists, there’s a disturbing yet touching story behind this island.

According to legend, around 1950 Don Julian Santana abandoned his wife and child to live reclusively on Teshuilo Lake in the Xochimilco canals. Upon his arrival, he found a young girl that drowned accompanied by her floating doll.

Island of Dolls

CC Emmanuel Eslava

To honor her spirit, Santana began to transform the island into a shrine, collecting hundreds of dolls from the canals around him as well as in the trash for 50 years. Eventually, word got out, and people began to flock to the island, and for a small price, began to show visitors his land.

Island of Dolls

Locals claim the dolls come alive at night, opening their eyes and whispering to one another. CC Px-lga via Wikimedia Commons

Ironically in 2001, Santana was found dead in the same spot where he had encountered the little girl. The family till this day, claim the girl was just a figment of his imagination.

The Island Now

As local lore would deem fit, the dolls come to life during the night, consumed by the girl’s spirit; however, the dolls are still kept hanging high to protect the island from evil spirits.

Visitors say the island’s atmosphere feels calm and peaceful, but at times can be a little nerve-wracking as you feel the dolls staring at you.

While considered a labor of love, this accidental sensation has allowed the saga of this bizarre island to live on forever.

Island of Dolls

These mutilated dolls have turned this island into a tourist attraction. CC Wa17gs via Wikimedia Commons

Interested in visiting? Well, you can catch a 4-hour ferry from Embarcedero Cuemanco…if you dare that is.