A neighbourhood with a mysterious past is the stuff of mystique, intrigue and morbid charm we are all familiar with. Filled with the terrifying thrills of a racy thriller and a fantasy-ridden trip of guilty pleasure, a forsaken neighbourhood is an oddly familiar scene from horror tales and movies that lovers of this genre have consumed voraciously. There is something intriguing about the ‘ghastliness’ that such spaces and stories create and the effect that it has on the human mind. Who can forget the doll Annabelle from the famous American film franchise? While the elite horror film characters and places might enjoy cult popularity, the same might not be true for the lesser known or discovered ones. Yet, their tale is unique and equally alluring.

Most of us might be oblivious to the Island of the Dolls in the south of the centre of Mexico City. This unique place located in the channel of Xochimilco is a hymn of silence and is stepped in a beguiling setting. An attraction like no other, here you will find dolls of various types conjuring a haunted feel of history and adventure.

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Here’s a throwback to its mystical history.

It all started with a native of this borough in Mexico City, Don Julian Santana Barrera. He drifted away from his family somewhere in the mid-20th century and landed on the island of Teshuilo lake. While living here he spotted the corpse of a young girl, followed by a doll. Little did anyone know this incident would change the fate of the location and turn it into an island with its share of a fascinating legend. He hung the doll and believed that it would help chase the spirit of the girl away. Since then the bone-chilling site has been the home of thousands of decaying old dolls, some even dispensed from trees fabricating a horrific aura. The dolls plant roots of an unsettling nature and might creep you out if you have a weak sense of horror.

The fascinating holm is 11 miles away from the heart of Mexico City and a winding riverboat ride away. The scrounge dolls of various shapes and sizes, mostly distorted and dangling in an unruly manner, give off a generous amount of sinister mystery. The eeriness is amplified by the fact that Don Julian would often hear whispers of the deceased girl calling out for her doll. In 2001, the former owner and self-acclaimed caretaker of the Island was found dead in the same spot where he had the nerve-wracking discovery.

While the entirety behind the truth of the story may not be known and the actions of Don Julian may not sound like that of a person with a sound mind or a grasp over reality, the Island stands true with its own charm. People started gathering in this place to pay tribute but now one can visit the Island of the Dolls and catch a glimpse of the ancient Aztec canals. Real or not, flock to this bizarre island to experience the mystery first-hand.

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