La Isla de la Munecas

A short ways away from the bustling capital of Mexico City, within the winding canals of Xochimilco, seekers of the creepy just might find their holy grail: a small island populated entirely by decaying doll parts.  “The Island of the Dolls” is the maggot-brain child of a man named Don Julian Santana Barrera who left his wife and family one day in the 1950s to settle a small piece of land on Teshuilo Lake. He was an alcoholic outcast, and sought only peace and quiet and a place to grow vegetables. Instead, he lay awake at night listening to the voice of a little girl who had drowned there in the ’20s. She begged him for dolls to keep her company, and to ward off the ancient evil spirits that wandered this lonely place. So Don Julian brought her dolls. Thousands of dolls. Some he pulled from the trash on his sojourns back to the real world, others he acquired from visitors who traded for his vegetables. One night in 2001, Don Juan finally gave in to her whispered entreaties for company and joined her by drowning himself in the same spot. By then his island had become infamous and remains a site of pilgrimage for lost souls and connoisseurs of the macabre.