Enter Mexico’s haunted ‘Island of the Dolls’ if you dare: Thousands of creepy toys hang from the trees to quell the tormented screams of a ghost of a little girl who drowned there.
Julian Santana Barrera retreated to a remote wooded area in Xochimilco, Mexico city to live out his life as a recluse, He discovered corpse of a young girl – and the toy doll she left behind – floating in a nearby canal when he arrived, Barrera began to hear footsteps in the night and the anguished wails of a woman after he hung the doll from a tree, He continued to hang other toy dolls from the trees in the ‘chinampas’ area to appease her ghost for over 50 years.
His family now run the area as tourist attraction where visitors hang other dolls and claim to hear them whispering.
Hundreds of photographers and thrill-seekers travel to the haunted Island of the Dolls every year, but it was never meant to be a tourist attraction.
After a two-hour canal ride from Mexico City, they arrive at a nightmarish clearing deep in the woods where thousands of mutilated dolls hang from the trees and hide among the dense branches.
They were put there by a reclusive Mexican man who believed they would appease the troubled ghost of a small girl who died there over 50 years ago – and still haunts the woods today.
Julian Santana Barrera retreated to the woods soon after she drowned in the nearby canal. He claimed he could hear her tormented screams and footsteps in the darkness.
Even today – 14 years after his own mysterious death in those woods – visitors say they hear whispers in the night and feel the dolls’ eyes following them through the trees.
Barrera found the girl’s corpse floating in the canal and blamed himself for not being able to save her life, He later discovered a doll floating in the same waters and, assuming it belonged to the deceased girl, hung it from a tree as a sign of respect. His descent into madness began with this seemingly innocent act.