Mexico’s Island Of The Dolls – La Isla De La Muñecas

A place where you’ll find loads of hanging dolls, all creepy and falling apart with their heads missing. The story of “La Isla de la Muñecas,” or the Island of the Dolls, takes on an eerie and cyclical nature.

Over half a century ago, Don Julian Santana left his family, settling on an island in Teshuilo Lake within the Xochimilco canals. The reasons for his departure vary; some claim it was due to the drowning of a young girl in the lake, while others, including his own relatives, believe he merely imagined the tragedy. Regardless of the truth, Don Julian Santana dedicated his life to honoring this lost soul in a peculiar, captivating, and, for some, unsettling manner: he amassed and hung up hundreds of dolls. Over time, the entire island underwent a transformation into a peculiar and, for some, disturbing wonderland infested with dolls.

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Don Julian Santana started gathering abandoned dolls from the canals and discarded them near his island residence. It’s rumored that he even exchanged the produce he cultivated with locals in return for more dolls. Santana didn’t bother cleaning or repairing the dolls; instead, he hung them up as he found them—missing eyes and limbs, covered in dirt, and generally in whatever dilapidated condition they were in. Even if dolls arrived in decent shape, the wind and weather took their toll, transforming them into cracked and distorted versions of their original selves.

Don Julian Santana not only adorned the island with dolls but also filled his cabin with them, dressing them up in headdresses, sunglasses, and various accessories. While many found the island to be a source of fear, Don Julian viewed the dolls as lovely guardians. He openly welcomed visitors, offering guided tours and charging a small fee for those who wished to take photographs.

Tragically, in 2001, Don Julian Santana was discovered drowned in the very same area where he believed the young girl had lost her life.

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