The 13th Floor

Scared of Dolls? Check out Mexico’s Creepy, Real Life Island of Dolls!

Located in the canals of Xochimilco in Mexico is a tiny island that has been named Isla de las Munecas – the Island of Dolls. Its sad history and disturbing inhabitants have made it an unwitting tourist attraction.

According to legend, the island’s sole permanent inhabitant, a hermit named Don Julian Santana Barrera, found a little girl who was drowned in the canal. He found a doll nearby and, assuming it was the little girl’s, hung it on a tree in tribute to her. Some versions of the story say that more dolls started washing up on the shore; others say Barrera began actively seeking dolls to honor the little girl. Either way, the island was soon filled with battered, disfigured, and broken dolls.

Barrera died in 2001 after drowning in the very same canals he found the little girl in. Since then, tourists have continued Barrera’s “project” by bringing more dolls to the island. The island is said to be haunted by the girl and/or Barrera, but let’s face it: with hundreds of battered baby dolls and dead eyes staring at you, how could you not feel haunted?

There are some people who believe that the little girl never existed; it was a story made up by Barrera. I’m not sure if that makes the story less creepy or more creepy.