Island of the Dolls

A 2 hour gondola ride down the canals of Xochimico in Mexico sits a very spooky island.
Sarah Chumacero
28th May 2017.
1 comments.
General, Famous Paranormal Cases, Paranormal Locations.
1304 page views.

The Island of the dolls was originally bought to my attention by what used to be one of my favourite paranormal television shows. No, I am not talking about Ghost Adventures (who have investigated here as well). I am talking about Destination Truth hosted by Josh Gates. If you never watched the show you really should. Josh would travel with his team all around the world attracted by ghost stories, weird creatures, ufo’s and anything ‘unexplained’. His team would talk to the locals and research all of the information about the myth behind the story. They would then do their own kind of investigations to see if the stories were true. In all seasons, I can’t say they found anything really compelling (except a really big footprint), but the premise for the show was fantastic and it was great to watch. Back to the Island of the dolls. In a nutshell, it is an island that is supposedly haunted by a bunch of dolls. In fact just looking at this place will give anyone with a tiny doll phobia nightmares. So what is the story behind the Island of the dolls?

The island itself is located in Xochimilco Mexico and it is called ‘La Isla de las Muñecas’. I know you are thinking that with a South American surname I must speak Spanish and would know how to pronounce this, but I have taken my husband’s name whose father is South American so whilst they can speak Spanish, I cannot and have a very thick Australian accent to boot so even my ‘Spanglish’ is pretty poor. The island itself originally belonged to a man called Don Julián Santana who was a local farmer. There are a couple of different variations on the story from this point. In the 1950’s, Don Julián saw a young girl drown in the canal next to his island. He was riddled with guilt as he was unable to help or save her. It is said he later found a doll floating in the canal where the girl had drowned. He hung this doll on his island as a mark of respect or in a tribute to the girl. He then believed that the spirit the girl was haunting his island. He reportedly told people he heard her screams and footsteps at night. Wanting to appease the spirit, the began collecting and hanging more dolls to protect himself from the spirit of the girl. Another story is that he became obsessed with dolls as he thought that each doll contained the spirit of a young girl. It was like some sort of unseen force was driving him to collect these dolls. He would find them in trash heaps and they were often dismembered and worn down adding to the creepiness.

In 2001, Don Julián suffered from a heart attack and drowned in the same part of the canal that the young girl had died 50 years beforehand. It is believed that he now also haunts the island. The island is now run as a tourist attraction and any visitor to the island must bring an offering of a doll for the spirits that are supposedly haunting the island. The dolls are said to come alive at night with whispers and some even move. Some people have said they don’t believe this story as Don Julián himself was a hermit and they believe he went a little crazy being alone and away from civilisation for so long on his little island. There is no evidence that a young girl was found in the canal and they believe that Don Julián made it up. The locals however believe the island is haunted as it is also believed the canals themselves are haunted.

There is also the tale of La Llorona which is the weeping woman. Locals say that she killed her children in order to be with the man that she was in love with. When he rejected her, she drowned herself in the canal. When it is dark and foggy, it is said she haunts the area and can be heard screaming and weeping for her children.

Is the island of the dolls really haunted? This I cannot answer and unfortunately in my life time, it is quite unlikely I will be able to investigate it for myself. I can only rely on the these tales and the reliable evidence caught on the tv shows. (Please note how sarcastically I say the word reliable as they are ‘entertainment’ shows). There were however some strange things happen on the investigations that happened on both Destination Truth and Ghost Adventures and I do believe there is probably lots of strange energy on the island. Whether it is the that of the girl or Don Julián, it is also possible there could be things going on with the many dolls as well and lets not forget you have a big water source floating right next to it which are all perfect ingredients for the spooky stuff. If anything, I think it would a creepy experience and for me, it would be an amateur photographer’s dream! What do you think? Do you think the island of dolls is haunted?

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