Showing posts with label Bucerias babies Mexico. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bucerias babies Mexico. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Xochimilco's La Isla de la Muñecas/The Island of the Dolls—the strange story of an island possibly haunted by sentient dolls

By Jack Brummet
Unexplained Phenomena Editor

Thanks to Jeff Clinton for the idea for this story.

South of México Distrito Federal (Mexico City) in the extensive network of Xochimilco canals, is a small island called La Isla de la Muñecas.  The Island of the Dolls is a seriously spooky place. 

The man who created the island of dolls—Don Julian Santana—often told visitors that he was haunted by the ghost of a little girl who drowned in one of the nearby canals.  That haunting, real or imagined, led him to eventually decorate almost every tree growing on the island with old and  mutilated dolls.  Most people who visit the island say that they have a feeling that they’re constantly being watched.

Although Don Julian was married, he abandoned his family and life and ended up living the last 50 years of his life as a hermit on his island, working on his strange project.

Some people say he would fish the dolls from the water because he though they were real children.  In fact, he was collecting and placing them around his home as a shrine and to assuage the spirit/ghost of the little girl that he thought tormented him. 

He grew vast amounts of fruit and vegetables in the lush gardens around his house, and, eventually, began to trade his fruit and vegetables for old dolls in hopes the dolls would form vehicles for spirits to keep the deceased girl company and prevent further evil from descending upon the island.  He would also often buy dolls and rummage through garbage dumps to find more dolls.

Local legend has it that Santana died under mysterious circumstances—that the spirit-inhabited dolls went Chucky on him.  Others people swear they have witnessed the dolls become sentient at night and that the dolls themselves have taken Santana's place as caretaker of their island.

In 2001, Don Julian Santana was found dead by his nephew in the same canal in which the little girl had drowned.  

As part of the World Heritage site of the islands and canals of Xochimilco, Santana's Island of the Dolls is now one of the world’s weirdest tourist attractions (visitors often bring more dolls). Some tourists who have visited the island claim that the dolls whisper to you [1], and that you must offer them a gift upon setting foot on the island. 

I've visited several World Heritage sites over the years.  This is the next one on my list.

[1]  This reminds me of another story I wrote about not long ago--the story of Robert The Sentient Doll (which also has a Chucky connection).  It is one of the ten most read stories on ATIT.   You can find that story here.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Babies and kids in Bucerias

As you probably know, kids are a focal point in Mexico. Far from being seen but not heard, the children are palpably a delight to everyone. And yet they are not spoiled, or rude, or indifferent to strangers. They will talk to you and pose for pictures, and the children from families you know will give you a hug. Here are some of the babies from the 50th birthday party last night. I'll write in detail about the party--and our fun, and strange, evening last night--when I get some time (after I get back from La Playa). In the meantime, I thought the kids and babies would make an interesting sidebar...

Click all photos to enlarge