Delana at Web Urbanist reports on Mexico’s Island of Misfit Toys:
On a dark and creepy island in the canals of Xochimico near Mexico City sits what might be the world’s strangest and scariest tourist attraction ever. However, this sad island was never meant to be a stop on tourists’ holiday itineraries. The Island of the Dolls was dedicated to the lost soul of a poor little girl who met her fate too soon.
The Island of the Dolls (Isla de las Munecas) sits in the canals south of Mexico City and is the current home of hundreds of terrifying, mutilated dolls. Their severed limbs, decapitated heads, and blank eyes adorn trees, fences and nearly every available surface. The dolls appear menacing even in the bright light of midday, but in the dark they are particularly haunting.
Not surprisingly, the island’s origins lie in tragedy. The story goes that the island’s only inhabitant, Don Julian Santana, found the body of a drowned child in the canal some 50 years ago. He was haunted by her death, so when he saw a doll floating by in the canal soon after, he hung it in a tree to please the girl. He hoped to both appease her tortured soul and protect the island from further evil.
One doll in a tree, however, was not enough to ease Santana’s troubled mind. He continued to fish dolls and doll parts out of the canal whenever he saw them, hanging each one carefully on the island. There weren’t enough canal dolls to satisfy Santana’s tortured spirit, so he began scavenging more from trash heaps on his rare trips away from home. Later in life, he began trading his home-grown fruits and vegetables for dolls.
[More at Web Urbanist]
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