There are many stories about the Island of the Dolls. There is the story of the man who lived on the island who hung hundreds of dolls from the trees. Some said he hung the dolls because he thought they were alive. Others said he did it to appease the spirit of a dead girl who he had found drowned in waters near the island. Then there were those who said the dolls were possessed by evil spirits, whose voices could be heard at night calling for the living to join them.
The man was called Don Julian Santana. He moved to the island some sixty years ago. The island is a small area of land located in the canals of Xochimilco, to the south of Mexico City. One day Santana found the body of a young girl who had drowned in one of the canals. This grim discovery obsessed Santana. Whenever he returned to the canal where he had found the body he discovered discarded dolls in the water. He began to hang these dolls from the trees. It was said the girl’s ghost haunted the island and Santana offered up these dolls as a way to appease the girl’s troubled spirit and to protect the island from evil. But no one really knows why he did it.
Over the next five decades, Santana covered the trees with hundreds of dolls—dirty, broken, discarded—that hung like corpses from the branches. The place was called Isla de Las Muñecas—Island of the Dolls.
In 2001, Santana was found drowned at the very spot of the same canal where he had found the girl’s body. Now Santana’s family look after Santana’s eerie shrine which is open to the public—details here.
More gruesome things, after the jump…