ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Travel and Places»
  • Visiting North America

The Island of the Living Dead Dolls, Xochimilco

Updated on October 27, 2016

Come and follow me to the Canal of Xochimilco, with its unsettling mystical charm. Over hundreds of years the area has been desecrated to this one single canal, the sole tributary of the Xochimilco Lake... Here, an old legend tells a story that mirrors the survival and strength of the ancient Aztecs. It is the tale of La Isla de las Munecas, or : The Island of Dolls...

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/esparta/2994076542/
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/esparta/2994076542/
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/eneas/2753058456/
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/eneas/2753058456/

Once upon a time, on a small island in Teshuilo Lake, between Xochimilco and Mexico City, three young girls were playing. As one of them drowned, the area soon became known as a haunted spot and few trespassed the land.

Sometime in the 1950s, a loner named Julian Santana Barrera chose this tiny island to live on. Being visited by the ghost of the girl who drowned there long ago - and by some other bad spirits too - he started collecting dolls he found in the trash.

With these dolls, Julian wanted to make the girl who drowned happy again, and also these dolls could keep the bad spirits away. He brought allo the old discarded dolls he could find to the island as an offering, and tied them to the trees, in addition to a special altar he constructed for the spirit child.

The Island of Dolls, the Most Creepy Place in the World

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/esparta/2945672661/
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/esparta/2945672661/

For many years, this little island was forgotten. But then, in the 1990s, a program started to clean up the canals, and the Mexican style gondolas - called trajineras - again passed by the island.

Since Julian Santana had a wonderful garden, the locals brought old dolls in trade for fresh vegetables. And so, on Doll Island grew an amazing collection of thousands of dolls in various stages of disintegration.

A trip with Los Tigres del Norte to a surreal place deep into the water channels of Xochimilco, Mexico

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/schnappi/3348505873/
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/schnappi/3348505873/

Coincidentally or not, Julian drowned at his island on April 17th, 2001. Obviously, he hadn't been strong enough to chase the bad spirits away, that once had drowned this little girl too.

Thanks to the visitor's donations, the family of Julian Santana can keep the place. But there is no electricity, no running water, no any other kind of utilities.

Cellular phones do get a signal though, as Xochimilco is inside the limits of Mexico City's Federal District.

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/becstarr/2694033007/
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/becstarr/2694033007/

If you come and visit me, you best take a trajinera from the Cuemanco Pier and ask to be taken to the Island of the Dead Dolls.

It's a two hour trip. You will enjoy the beautiful views of the Xochimilco scenery.

Call me creepy and morbid, but I will make you look at Death & Demise in a different way.

Call me weird and bizarre, but once these silently aging dolls made a little spirit girl very happy, you know.

And even today I relish every new addition to my resting place.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Cabo Photographer profile image

      Cabo Photographer 6 years ago from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

      Wow I had never heard of this, I´m quite glad I stumbled upon this hub! Thanks for the info!

    • profile image

      ALEX 7 years ago

      FREAKY STORY

    • profile image

      tina 7 years ago

      it just give me the goosebump

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      This is an amazing story!

    • Bhawna Sharma profile image

      Bhawna Sharma 8 years ago from Mumbai, India

      I never this such thing exists in world...

    • profile image

      Daniel 8 years ago

      Whoa, this is a very creepy lens! I love it lol

      Good job Dutchman!

    • Tom Cornett profile image

      Tom Cornett 8 years ago from Ohio

      That is just creepy stuff. Dolls creep me out. Thanks...cool hub! :)

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      Fascinating and creepy. Thanks for the informative and entertaining ride!

    • Nemingha profile image

      Nemingha 8 years ago

      This is very interesting indeed!

    • profile image

      Pachuca213 8 years ago

      It was I who was honored that you accepted my request! GRACIAS!!!

    • Kiki Stamatiou profile image

      Kiki Stamatiou 8 years ago from Kalamazoo

      This is such a fascinating and intriguing article. The notion of the man putting dolls in trees to apeas the dead little girl's spirit was a very beautiful gesture. I collect dolls myself. All kinds from baby dolls, to Barbie, Porcelain and the like. However, I never realized until reading this article that dolls can invoke such a spiritual experience. This is very beautiful indeed.

    • The Lost Dutchman profile image
      Author

      Patrick Bernauw 8 years ago from Flanders (Belgium)

      Well... It was my pleasure (and I was really honored you asked me for this!).

    • profile image

      Pachuca213 8 years ago

      Ahhh thank you mi amigo! I am so thrilled you wrote this. And what a great (and creepy) hub it is! I LOVED IT!!!!! My favorite hub ever!!!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)