On a creepy island in a creepy swamp south of Mexico City there’s a place that looks like the stuff of nightmares and horror movies. Here, among the scraggily branches and dead trees hang hundreds of old, mangled dolls.
How did such a place come to be?
It was around 50 years ago that a little girl drowned off a small island hidden deep amongst the canals of Xochimico. The island’s only permanent inhabitant was a recluse named Don Julián Santana Barrera. Soon after the girl’s death Barrera fished an old doll out of the water. The next day he fished out another. And then another. Convinced that this was a sign from the netherworld, Barrera started collecting old dolls and hanging them around the island. These dolls, he believed, formed vessels for spirits that kept the deceased girl company and prevented further evil from descending upon the island.
From here the story becomes murky. Some claim that Barrera himself died under mysterious circumstances, and that the spirit-inhabited dolls murdered him Chucky-like. Others swear that they’ve witnessed the dolls become alive at night and that after Barrera’s death they assumed his role as the island’s caretaker.
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