“Island of the Dolls:” A Crazy-Wild Collection of Creepy Dolls in Mexico

The Island of the Dolls, Mexico
Island of the Dolls, Mexico

About 17.4 miles south of Mexico City in the Xochimilco canals in Mexico, there is a small, remote island, known as “Isla de las Muñecas” (Island of the Dolls), which was destined to become one of the world’s creepiest destinations.

The island is home to hundreds of mutilated, terrifying dolls that hang from the trees, offering a disturbing, yet engaging spectacle. The best way to explore the “Island of the Dolls” is to join a canal ride from Embarcadero Fernando Celada or from Embarcadero Cuemanco.

According to the legend, 50 years ago, a reclusive man, named Don Julián Santana Barrer, found a dead girl who had drowned under mysterious circumstances in the canals of this tiny island. Julian who blamed himself for not being able to save her, came across a doll floating in the same area. Thinking that this was the girl’s toy he decided to hang it on a tree as a show of respect to her.

The sole resident of the island claimed that when darkness fell, he could hear footsteps, whispers, and tormented screams insisting that the doll was possessed by the dead girl’s spirit. Driven by fear, he decided to collect other dolls and hang them over the entire island to protect himself from the ghost.

Don Julián Santana Barrer

Don Julián Santana Barrer was found dead in 2001, drowned in the same canal where he found the girl’s corpse and her doll. Since his tragic death, his relatives run the “chinampas,” the area where the man devoted his life to collecting mutilated dolls. The creepy “Island of the Dolls” has become a popular tourist destination, while it has been featured on several TV shows and articles.

Whether the drowned girl’s story is real or made up by a man fond of spine-chilling stories inspired by solitude, will remain a secret. What is certain is that the “Island of the Dolls” will serve as your proper goosebump getaway.