Island of the Dolls is one of the darkest, haunted places on planet Earth…
Just outside of Mexico City, there is a place that has left people screaming in terror after just one visit. Regarded as one of the creepiest and most haunted places in the world–the Island of the Dolls is not your regular haunt. Dolls can be creepy enough on their own, but an entire island of them is enough to give anyone the heebie jeebies. But, it isn’t the eyes of these dolls that will send chills down your spine, but rather the story behind one of the most tragic places in the world.
The evil island is found in Teshuilo Lake just outside of Mexico City and is known colloquially as “Isla de las Munecas” or Island of the Dolls. Tied to or hanging in trees, impaled on fences and strewn just about everywhere—hundreds of dolls of varying kinds seem to observe visitors suspiciously and with supernaturnal malice. So what is the nature of these dolls? Why are they so important? And why do they leave everyone with the feeling that there is something more to this haunted place?
The tragic tale began over fifty years ago. The original caretaker of the island, Don Julian Santana, left his wife and child to move to the island. No one knows why he did this; perhaps it was the island that called to him or perhaps he was drawn to the location for some other unknown reason. It was here that Santana said he witnessed the drowning of a small girl. Stricken with sadness, he took it upon himself to honor the memory of the lost girl, and he did so by collecting and tying up dolls to everything he could find on the island. Many people called him crazy for this bizarre ritual of honoring the dead child, but that wasn’t enough to stop him.
One of the stranger facts was that the caretaker never purchased the dolls from stores. He would find discarded dolls floating in the canal itself or in the trash near his island home. He even traded produce that he grew himself to trade for more dolls. Needless to say, these dolls were all dirty, torn apart, and missing pieces, which further added to the creepiness factor of seeing them tied to trees. Even the dolls that were in better condition, eventually succumbed to the exposure of wind and rain, eventually becoming just as haggard as the other dolls around them.
Santana kept dolls within his home as well. He placed headdresses on them, as well as other kinds of clothing. Other people would shy away out of fear of the island while Santana was drawn to the dolls and saw them as protectors. Eventually, he would open up his home to tourists and charged a small fee for pictures to be taken of his dolls. This obsession would catch up with him, however. In 2001, his body was found, drowned in the same spot where he claimed he had found the girl. Was it his obsession honoring the memory of the dead girl that drove him to madness, doomed to continue gathering dolls until the end of his life? Or had the dead girl possessed him in such a way to make him completely obsessed with dolls? Did he drown himself in order to break his curse and pass on to the next life? No one can really say for sure.
What makes the Island of the Dolls so creepy and seemingly evil is the fact that there are hundreds accounts that verify that these dolls can move and come to life. Some say that the spirit of the dead girl still haunts the island, trying to find someone else to take up the task of collecting more dolls. Others believe that the tortured spirits of the dead choose to occupy these dolls instead and were the ones that had led to Santana drowning himself. Whispers from the dolls are also often heard, turning this once innocent home into a place of evil and dark things.
It’s possible that one of those tortured souls is even Santana himself, warning people to stay away from the island and save themselves from a similar fate. No matter the reason for his doll collecting or the circumstances behind his death, the Island of the Dolls has become a haunted destination for those who are eager to get a dose of “creepy” in their vacation. The tragic story of this island will continue to draw visitors and the paranormal scientists to its grounds in order to discover what’s really going on.