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12/16/2017 3:36:41 AM

Mexico's haunted Island of Dolls: Thousands of toys to stop tormented Ghost screams of girl that drowned there

Thrill-seekers travel to Mexican haunted Island of the Dolls every year, but it was never meant to be a tourist attraction

They were put there by a reclusive Mexican man who believed they would appease the troubled ghost of a small girl who died there over 50 years ago and still haunts the woods today.

Julian Santana Barrera retreated to the woods soon after she drowned in the nearby canal. He claimed he could hear her tormented screams and footsteps in the darkness.

Even today - 14 years after his own mysterious death in those woods - visitors say they hear whispers in the night and feel the dolls` eyes following them through the trees.


Haunted: A reclusive Mexican artist began to hang dolls from the trees (pictured) in a forest to appease the ghost of a young girl who - legend has it - drowned in a nearby canal
Tormented: Julian Santana Barrera arrived in the woods of Xochimilco, Mexico City (pictured), shortly after a girl had died in a nearby canal

Tribute: Barrera discovered a doll floating in the canal where she died and hung it from a tree as a mark of respect to the deceased girl

Creepy: He became convinced that the little girl`s ghost had possessed the doll and began to hang up more and more to appease her spirit

Decay: Since his death in 2001, the area known as the `chinampas` has become a tourist hot spot where visitors hang up there own dolls (pictured)Decay: Since his death in 2001, the area known as the `chinampas` has become a tourist hot spot where visitors hang up there own dolls (pictured)


Profiteering: Barrera`s relatives now run the area where he lived and collected hundreds of mutilated dolls as a tourist attraction

Motive: There are many local legends as to why he placed the terrifying dolls all over the woods but his family say he was simply convinced that he thought they were haunted by the girl he found dead in the canal

Superstition: Locals described the site as `charmed` but travelers have claimed they still hear the dolls whispering to them


Keeping watch: `Thousands` of dolls hang from the trees in the woods known as the Isla de las Munecas, and hundreds more are hidden among the overgrown grass

Creator: According to the official website of Isla de las Munecas, Julian Santana Barrera (right) found the girl`s corpse floating in a nearby canal and blamed himself for her deathCreator: According to the official website of Isla de las Munecas, Julian Santana Barrera (right) found the girl`s corpse floating in a nearby canal and blamed himself for her deathInsane: Barrera claimed the first doll he hung up became possessed by the spirit of the deceased young girl, who began to torment him Frightening: His home in the woods (pictured) was far removed from civilisation but he still claimed he heard whispers, footsteps and the chilling sound of a woman wailing in the darknessAppeasement: Barrera began `decorating` the site with hundreds of dolls to please her ghost - hanging them from trees (pictured) and from the wire fencing around his house Mysterious: After doing so for five decades, Barrera`s nephew found him dead in the same canal where the small girl had drownedHaunting: The dolls he hung from the trees have been decaying in the Mexican woods for 14 years, and many have been infested by insectsHaunting: The dolls he hung from the trees have been decaying in the Mexican woods for 14 years, and many have been infested by insectsInfestation: Insects have since infiltrated the hut where Barrero lived and the hundreds of terrifying-looking toys he hung thereMemento: Tourists have added their own personal touches to the terrifying dolls he left behind, and even leave donations to his familyA photographer who traveled to the island this year told MailOnline how the sight of `thousands of dolls hanging from trees on the tiny island` was a `disturbing sight`Adventure: It takes a two-hour on a trajinera (pictured) - a colorful, wooden gondola - to reach the the chinampas where Barrera once livedScenic: Cindy Vasko, a photographer who visited the area this year, told MailOnline how the journey began through maze-like canals where she was surrounded by lush greenery (pictured)Scorched: At the end of her long journey, Vasko said she was `struck by a surreal vision of hundreds, maybe thousands, of dolls hanging from trees on the tiny island`Donation: Visitors leave coins and trinkets at several of the doll shrines found inside some of the Island`s buildingsInexplicable: A strange looking jar inside one of the shrines appears to contain old mushrooms, soaked in a liquidPossessed: The locals describe it as `charmed` - not haunted - even though travelers claim the dolls (pictured) whisper to themBizarre: Some dolls were left in the haunted area during Barrera`s 50-year tenure, but others (pictured) have been left by tourists more recentlyRecluse: Barrera originally retreated to the area, known locally as the `chinampas`, when his girlfriend left him for another manRelic: After Barrera`s death in 2011, the area became a popular tourist attraction where visitors bring more dolls - which now number in the thousands
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