Thursday, November 7, 2013

Island of the Dolls

This is a late Halloween post only because I was out and actually living the adventure during the said holiday! I was invited to be a guest of honor in Expo TNT 26 in Mexico and do a fashion show and a couple of other activities. They flew me in some days before the event. It was a request I made as I was wanting to travel Mexico City. We visited several historical places within the city but one of the highlights of my trip was the Island of the Dolls or Isla de Las Muñecas! I first knew about the place from Destination Truth.

The island was located within the Xochimilco lake. It was about 2 hours ride in a barge locally known as a trajiñera.

Watch here:

This was the entrance to the island. Sr. Julian Santana Barrera was its caretaker and more importantly, the man behind the doll collection.

A variety of old, creepy dolls decorated the island. One story as to why Sr. Julian became obsessed with doll collection was because he was trying to scare away the mermaid who was attempting to lure him into the waters of Xochimilco.

However, I found the other story, maybe even the real story, to be much sadder.

Sr. Anastasio Barrera, the nephew of Sr. Julian, told me that his uncle started to collect dolls to appease the spirit of a little girl who drowned in the waters of the island. He would travel back to the city to collect dolls, sometimes from the garbage, just to bring them back to the island. Eventually, people came and brought dolls to offer to the little girl. This led to a growing collection until Sr. Julian died in the very spot the little girl drowned. From then on, people have come to visit the island. Needless to say, travel channels finally found out about the island and its popularity opened up to the entire world.

The doll with the glasses was a personal favorite of Sr. Julian. It was named Agustina as it was found in August. Visitors offer all sorts of things to her for luck and protection.

 My favorite, however, is the oldest doll in the collection. It is the one with the hat and is said to be about 60 years old.

My mom thinks I'm crazy for wanting to come here! But it was such a pleasant experience as the staff who accompanied me were all so very nice and generous. Did I have any "creepy" vibes? By default, the island was really creepy but unfortunately, I did not sense anything paranormal. Though I am still amazed and at the same time freaked out to learn that Sr. Anastasio lives in the island by himself and, according to him, the island is a different story come night time!

Well, maybe I would check it out in the night next time I travel to Mexico! In the end, Xochimilco was a pleasant experience to have just before the convention. It was so tranquil that it energized me for the busy weekend ahead. I will be posting more about that when I feel a lot better. For now, I would really love to thank Expo TNT's kindness and generosity. I've never had that much adventure in my life!


  1. Very interesting post! It sure makes you want to go to that island! :3

  2. I've only read about this place on the internet but seeing you visit the place makes it all more real. Still on edge whether or not to include it to my list of places to visit someday though :))

  3. Whoa that is super freaking but is pretty neat to learn about so I can see the reason why you or anyone else would want to come here. Have you heard of Aokigahara forest in Japan? If not you should look it up, it reminds me a lot of this place except it's a little different without all of the dolls.

  4. That Island looks so beautiful and also creepy! I love your outfit in this, too! You got some great shots!

  5. really yes! i read it in news paper!

  6. a random girl who loves creepyJune 29, 2014 at 9:35 PM

    i feel bad for the dolls they are in such terrible condition. i have an american girl doll so this drives me crazy.

  7. Some mexican passing byJuly 21, 2015 at 2:56 PM

    The girl that drowned there was his daughter, and he hanged the dolls there because they saw her spirit running around at nights, and so she knew she wasn't forgotten.