Hello Espookies! Here are our notes for our episode "La Isla de las Munecas (Doll Island), if you haven't listened to our episode, listen here.
La Isla De Las Muñecas (Doll Island)
Isla de las munecas is south of Mexico city. In the canals of Xochilmico, there is a small island. Thousands of people live in the surrounding area, but this particular island is home to the dolls. They can be found on trees hanging from branches, hanging from these wooden shack looking buildings and hanging from rope that are tied from one tree to another. They are everywhere on the island and there are about 2000.
The story begins with a Man named Don Julian Santana Barrera. Don Julian left his family at one point in the mid 20th century and traveled to and island on Teshuilo lake. One day while fishing he discovered the body of a girl who had drowned in the lake. Shortly after a doll came floating down too. Don Julian’s next actions would change the course of this island forever. He took that doll and hung it from a tree. His reasoning being that this would appease the spirit of the girl. It was said that he was haunted by her spirit and tried to do what he could to appease her. If he was truly haunted by the girls spirit or haunted because he felt guilty because he couldn’t save the girl we will never know.
For the next fifty years Don Julian would collect dolls from trash and the canals and hang them throughout the island. Some dolls would be whole other dolls would be ‘mutilated’ in one way or another; headless, armless, and taken apart in many different ways. Left to rot on the island.
In 2001, Don Julian was found dead in the exact same spot where he found the body of the girl. After this the island became a tourist destination and people now hang dolls in tribute to the girl and Don Julian himself.
It is now believed that the dolls are possessed by the spirit of the girl. People who visit Isla de las Munecas claim that the dolls move their heads, limbs and open their eyes.
Legends About the Island
It is said that if you are near the island but do no visit, you will have bad luck. However, that could be a ploy to have more tourism on the island.
There is another curse that you cannot touch or remove the dolls, or you’ll have a terrible accident. It’s strange that there are documented accidents of people that have visited, messed with the dolls and then passed away. One instance of this when a group of friends went to the island, one guy took a doll and on the way back to their homes, they all died in a car accident.
Another group of friends were hanging out and learned about the island while browsing the internet and they decided to go. Upon arriving, they felt threatened by the dolls and were all pretty scared. Except one friend, Guadalupe, who was more skeptical and was looking for a prank to pull. She decided to look for the creepiest and ugliest doll to put in her backpack. Her friends told her about the curse and that the dolls should not be touched or removed, but Guadalupe ignored them. Back home, she set the doll on a dresser and was doing homework. She heard a voice, kind of like when a toy has a battery that’s running out. She went into her room and inspected the doll, thinking that it was the doll, but when she looked the doll did not have any batteries. She told herself that she imagined the voice and she lied down to sleep. She didn’t sleep for very long because she kept having nightmares about the doll, she sat up to look at the dresser and she was terrified to see the doll was not on the dresser. She looked and looked and then saw the doll on a chair she had in her room. Terrified, she got up and put the doll in a bag. Guadalupe went to a medium friend and the friend told her that the doll had a terrible energy, she could not throw it away and that she had to leave the doll exactly where she found it. So Guadalupe and a friend returned to Xomilchico and put the doll back in the spot where she found it.
Shows that have investigated the island
A Discovery TV show called expedition X filmed there back in 2020 Jessica Chobot and Phil Torres go to this island on that episode. Jessica enters the building where the original doll is hung. And has a physical response she gets chills, and an overwhelming feeling of emotion. Later they decide to conduct an EVP session. The light they bring starts at first brightens then later starts flickering. She hears taps on the wall of the shack; to me It sounds like scratches or scraping. The camera picks up something that looks like a shadow person behind Jessica and then one of the dolls starts moving. And then you hear one of the dolls say ‘Mama’
Ghost adventures also visit in one episode Isla de las Munecas. In the same shed shack thing the Ghost adventures crew bring a doll to leave on the island as many tourist also do. And one of the dolls starts going off and laughing.
There was also another show I saw years ago and cannot remember the name. I think it was one of Josh Gates shows. But one of the people recording is getting an up and close video of one of the dolls on the island and as he’s recording the dolls eyes fly open and he freaks out. I cannot remember which show this one but it was one where Josh Gates hosted.