Writers' Retreat

The Island of Dolls

This is an island with a very dark and mysterious past. ……. La Isla de las Munecas, an Island 28 km south of Mexico City. The history here revolves around a family Don going by the name Julian Santana Barrera.

The Island is surrounded by murky waters that look like a rippled mirror. The island is covered with dried tall grass and twisted trees. Unlike any other Island, there are hundreds of mold-encrusted naked dolls hanging from trees.

Don Julian, considered to be the caretaker of the Island, left his wife and family sometime in the mid-20th century to isolate himself on an island on Teshuilo Lake.

Deteriorated dolls

Don Julian Santana Barrera found a drowned girl in the canal. Santana Barrera was not necessarily of sound mind. A doll came floating down the canal shortly thereafter, changing the course of Santana Barrera’s life.  Imagining a connection between the two events, Don Julian hung it on a branch; this was his way of respect for the dead.

He was completely convinced that the girl’s spirit was hunting him so he started hanging up dolls for over 50 years till his last breath. Don Julian just devoted his entire life to this. The creepiest part is his death is mysteriously connected to the story of the drowned child.

Guessing what it is???

Don Julian was found dead in the same spot that he had found the body (yes he drowned in the canal). Even today, travelers say they hear dolls whispering and some say the dolls blink. Tourists started to pay a tribute to both (the girl & the Julian) by hanging dolls. The Island of Dolls is uninhabited now; the dolls seem to be waiting for the next “someone” who can stay here or rather die here!!!!

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