The Island of the Dolls (La Isla de las Muñecascode: spa promoted to code: es ) is a chinampa of the Laguna de Tequila located in the channels of Xochimilco, south of the center of Mexico City, Mexico. It is a popular tourist attraction due to dolls of various styles and colors being found throughout the island. They were originally placed by the former owner of the island, Julián Santana Barrera, who died from a heart attack in 2001. He believed that dolls helped to chase away the spirit of a girl who drowned years ago.

Dolls seen from the lake

The Island of the Dolls, originally owned by Don Julián Santana Barrera, is full of dolls hanging from trees and buildings covered with cobwebs and insects. The place was named in the 1950s when the dolls started randomly appearing on the island. Santana was a neighbor of the Barrio de la Asunción, where he used to go to drink pulque after selling his vegetables, until he began preaching the Bible due to superstitions, which led to him being expelled from the sector.[1][2]

According to a legend, a young girl drowned entangled among the lilies of the canal and her body was found on the banks of the Santampa chinampas. Santana claimed to have heard the girl crying out "I want my doll" and, terrified, hung up the doll he found near the girl's body. After the event, every time he went outside, he claims to have found a new doll hanging from one of the trees. He later died in the same spot the girl drowned. Many believe that his death was caused by the girl's spirit, which still haunts the island.[3][4]

In 1987, an eco-tourist rescue was made and the island was found covered with water lily. After the death of Santana, the chinampa became a tourist attraction. The place began gaining fame in 1943, when Mexican filmmaker Emilio Fernández filmed María Candelaria there.[5] A significant number of international and local channels have featured articles on the island, including The Huffington Post, Travel Channel and ABC News.[6][7][8]

The dolls are still on the island, which is accessible by boat. The island was featured on the Travel Channel show Ghost Adventures, the Amazon Prime show Lore and was also featured on BuzzFeed Unsolved. Shane Madej, a firm skeptic of the paranormal, has asserted that he believes in the legends about the island.[9] The Island was also used for the episode "Estas son Las Mañanitas" (season one, episode 10) of the Spanish TV comedy Nosotros los guapos for Televisa, where the main characters Vítor and Albertano are left behind on the island by an irritated Doña Cuca, and as night falls, they are rescued by the local emergency crews and end up on the news.

^ "La Isla de las Muñecas: Mística Experiencia". Xochimilco. Archived from the original on 2015-09-27. Retrieved 2018-08-24. ^ "Los canales de Xochimilco". Piso de Exhibición. February 2009. Archived from the original on Nov 25, 2018. Retrieved 1 December 2018. ^ "Isla de las Muñecas (Island of the Dolls) in Mexico". Island of the Dolls. Archived from the original on Feb 15, 2023. ^ "Island of Death Dolls: গোটা এলাকা জুড়ে শুধু মাথা-হাত-পা কাটা পুতুল! ছবি দেখলে গা শিউরে উঠবে আপনারও". The Bengali Chronicle (in Bengali). 28 July 2022. Retrieved 10 August 2022. ^ "La "Isla de las Muñecas" causa terror en Xochimilco México". Rincón Abstracto. 15 November 2011. Archived from the original on Sep 19, 2021. ^ Strutner, Suzy (14 August 2014). "Isla De Las Munecas Is The Island Of Decapitated Dolls From Your Nightmares". Huff Post. ^ "Island of the Dolls". Travel Channel. ^ "Creepy Doll Island May Be Possessed, But Tourists Still Come". ABC News. Archived from the original on Dec 6, 2022. ^ Flores Farfán, Sebastián (April 17, 2001). "Murió el señor de las Muñecas de Xochimilco" [The man of the Dolls of Xochimilco died] (in Spanish). Xochimilco, Mexico City: Borough of Xochimilco. Archived from the original on Jul 22, 2011. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
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