Island of the Dead Dolls: The History And The Mystery

 In General, Holidays, Story, Travel

What comes to your mind when you hear the word doll? Barbie or Annabelle? 

What if I tell you that there are thousands of Annabelle on a spooky island in Mexico known as the Island of the Dead Dolls? 

Yes, I am not kidding, this place is located on Xocimilco Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Locals live on this island and grow crops here. 

On the Xocimilco Island, there are a few huts that are outnumbered by dead, decaying dolls. The Island of the Dead Dolls also goes by the name of La Isla de las Muñecas, and this place has the largest collection of haunted dolls in the world. 

However, the best part of this spooky island in Mexico is the legend behind it. The story of a man who lived at The Island of the Dead Dolls or La Isla de las Muñecas and was haunted by the spirit of a dead girl. 

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History Of The Island Of Dead Dolls

island-of-the-dead-dolls
Source : The Times of India

Now, you must be wondering what is the mystery of the island of the dead dolls. Who hung those dolls in that place and why? What is the story behind it? 

Let’s find out. 

It all began in the year 1950 when Don Julian Sanatana Berrera moved to this place. Back in the time, it was not known as the Island of the Dead Dolls, it was just one of the Chinampas on Xocimilco Island. 

Don was allegedly haunted by the spirit of a girl who drowned. As per the legends, before the arrival of Don in the village, there was a girl who got entangled in the canal’s lilies and eventually drowned to death, and that is the biggest mystery of the island of the dead dolls. 

When Don moved here, he claimed that he heard screams of the dead girl from beyond the grave, “I want my doll”. Soon after that, he found a doll close to the place where the girl’s body was found. He was terrified, so he decided to hang the doll on the tree to provide some kind of peace to the girl. 

From that day onwards, every time Julian went outside the house, he would find dolls strung to the trees. These dolls were not even cute. They were very ugly and decapitated, decaying dolls. 

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Don Julian’s Obsession With The Dolls

island-of the dead dolls
Source : The Daily Beast

Don Julian was haunted by the spirit of the girl, as well as these dolls, but surprisingly he also became obsessed with it. So he started looking for dolls all over the place and strung them to the trees. Some people consider it haunted, but according to Julian, it was done as a form of protection. 

When Julian’s crops started to fail, he hung up more and more dolls to appease the young girl’s restless spirit, who apparently wanted her doll back.

Don Julian’s fascination with these dolls had no bounds. He dug into every nook and cranny in search of them, devoting entire days to searching through scrapped articles and even casting his net into the canals to find the abandoned dolls.

The dolls he found were thrashed, decaying, and utterly abandoned. Yet, their miserable condition didn’t discourage him. Don Julian believed they deserved a second chance, adorning the trees with their creepy presence. 

He was so obsessed with his search that it felt like he was also possessed by the spirit of the girl, who was making him do all that doll searching and hanging them in the process. 

Over the next 50 years, Don Julian continued to develop the forest and covered it with thousands of dolls. These dolls, as deadly as they look, were exposed to elements, which over time made them scary, making one spooky island in Mexico.

Don Julian passed away in the year 2001, very close to the spot where the girl’s body was found when she died by drowning in the canal. The cause of Don Julian’s death is still unknown. 

Some are of the view that he had a heart attack, while some say that he met some fate like that girl, and he died by drowning in the canal as well, and that is the most exciting history of the Island of the Dead Dolls or La Isla de las Muñecas. 

The story of the island of the dead dolls has made the Xocimilco Island, quite popular and a topic of discussion among the locals residing on the island. 

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Local Beliefs On The Island Of The Dead Dolls Mexico

island-of-the-dead-dolls
Source : Business Insider

Locals claim that these dead dolls come to life at night because they believe them to be possessed by the spirits of the dead. They even believe that these dolls are not lifeless for they whisper, whistle, and move their heads and limbs, hoping to lure people to a watery death in the canals, and that is the spookiest thing about the island. 

Some even say that the movement of the head and limbs of these dead dolls is due to the winds, and not because of any possession. 

Locals also believe that once you step foot on the island, you have to give these dolls a gift so you don’t meet the same fate as Don Julian Santana Berra. 

The Island of the Dead Dolls, which is a haunted place that took the life of a young girl and Don Julian Santana Berra, is now among the popular tourist spots and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The fear of dolls is called Pedophobia, which is caused by looking at the dolls, who have a life-like stare. If you don’t believe me, try staying with a doll in an empty room and look at it closely. You will feel like it’s staring at you right in the eyes. 

However, you don’t need to have a fear of dolls to be creeped out by the Island of the Dead Dolls. Any average person would be freaked out by an isolated place full of decaying dolls. It’s creepy, and no one can deny that. 

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Frequently Asked Questions On The Island Of The Dead Dolls Mexico

1. What is the Island of the Dead Dolls?

The Island of the Dead Dolls is a haunted place on Xocimilco Island, where the entire island is covered with dead, decaying, decapitated dolls, making it one of the spookiest places in the world. These dolls have been placed by a man who was haunted by the spirit of a dead girl.

2. Is the island open to visitors?

Yes, the island is a popular tourist spot and a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it is the only place in the world with the largest collection of haunted dolls in the world. 

3. Are there any legends or myths associated with the island?

Yes, as per the legends, there was a dead girl who haunted a man called Don Julian, and soon after his arrival, several dolls started to appear. He became obsessed with it and started hanging dead dolls on the trees in order to please the spirit of the dead girl. 

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