South of Mexico City, in the ancient Xochimilco district, deep in the old network of canals, is a chinampa, or floating garden… basically a small island. An extremely disturbing island. And when I say disturbing, I mean just a visit to this island will mess with you psychologically and emotionally. La Isla De La Munecas, or the Island of the Dolls, tops the creep factor scale, and will haunt a visitor’s nightmares for years to come.
On this island, thousands of dolls in various states of decomposition and mutilation hanging from trees, structures, fences, bushes, clothes lines. Dolls rejected by previous owners for different reasons, decapitated, disfigured, mangled. Not just that. This island also has a shed, housing very SPECIAL dolls, complete with an alter set up for the ghost of a little girl found floating in the canals, 50 years ago. (As if the dolls themselves weren’t creepy enough, right?)
One man’s labor of love and FEAR:
Don Julian Santana was the only inhabitant of this island. Said to be a loner and described as a hermit, he rarely made visits into the city. It is said that years ago, Don Julian found a girl drowning in the nearby canal… some say he tried to save her but could not, and others say that she had already drowned. This death haunted him and began to change him through time.
Days after the occurrence he found a doll in the canal near where she was found. He assumed it was hers, fished it out, took care of it, and hung it to dry, hoping this would please her spirit, and as a tribute to her. Soon other dolls were found in the water, he would fish them out and save them for her too, hanging them to dry. However, soon it became an obsession.
Her death still haunted him. He became obsessed.
He started to rummage through trash piles and dumps, looking for dolls and doll parts, so he could try to please her. When that wasn’t enough, he started to trade his belongings for dolls to please her.
Some say she haunted him and as she became more active, more dolls were collected in an effort to silence her. Others say he went mad and thought that the dolls were live children, forgotten and left behind, pulling them from the canal and trying to revive them.
In 2001, Don Julian himself drowned in the same canal he found her in so many years ago.
The locals believe that the dolls came alive and conspired to kill him. Others believe the dolls took over his role and became the caretaker of the island. I ask you this, maybe he joined her so he could take care of this little girl, maybe he found it was the only way?
Other questions I have… Was he insane BEFORE he began living on the island, and did he have something to do with her death, with this display he created a conscious display of guilt? Was his fear heightened by guilt OTHER than not being able to save her… why the fear that she would come back and kill him? There is no information about the little girl that can be found… I’m sure this is to protect the identity and privacy of her family.
From a paranormal investigative standpoint, the residual energy there must be amazing. The attachments that many of these dolls have has got to be incredible. The fear and awe that visitors have each day feeds the energy that is already there. It’s said that the dolls whisper, and that you can hear the girl laugh or cry at night. Don’s insanity and obsession surely has left an tangible imprint.
From the psychic side of things… wow, what to read, what to read. Items? Alter? What happened to Don? What happened to the little girl REALLY, and what put her there in the first place? So MUCH information and so many situations to read there!
I. Can’t. Wait.