Forget artificial haunted houses, there’s an island in Mexico filled with hundreds of decomposing, mutilated dolls hanging from trees as if from nooses.
La Isla De Las Muñecas, or Island of Dolls, is pure nightmare fuel, and that’s even without knowing its terrifying tale.
The small island floats in the Xochimilco canals, outside of Mexico City. For years, caretaker Don Julian Santana lived on the island alone, after having left his wife and child in the 1950s to live like a hermit.
On the island, he found the body of a young girl that had drowned there, and believed that her tortured spirit was haunting it.
Subsequently, he spent his life paying her tribute in a very disconcerting way: by hanging mutilated dolls across the island. Allegedly, he found the drowned girl’s doll in the water with her, and hung it on a tree to show his respect. Soon, he became obsessed with hanging more and more dolls, believing that each one was possessed by the spirit of dead girls.
Most of the dolls he hung up he had found in the labyrinthine canals around him, or in the trash. He didn’t fix them up or clean them, so the rotting, empty-eyed dolls were often covered in dirt, making for an even more surreal sight.
And if all that wasn’t creepy enough, his family claims that the ghostly girl was a figment of his imagination.
Over the years, every tree became replete with the mangled remains of baby dolls, their mutilated limbs and severed heads hanging from every branch, decomposing in the weather.
The story takes an even darker, stranger-than-fiction turn, coming a full circle in an almost poetic way. Fifty years after moving to the island, Don Julian Santana was found dead, floating in the canal in the very spot he claimed to have found the girl.
Today, people believe the dolls come alive at night, moving limbs, opening their eyes, and whispering to each other.
Intrigued? The island is now a popular tourist site… for those who dare.
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