Friday, January 17, 2014

The Island of the Dolls

Just south of Mexico City but still inside that country's Federal District, lie a series of canals in a borough known as Xochimico. These canals are all that remain of what was once an extensive waterway connecting area settlements long before the arrival of the Spaniards. Further, the aqueducts now connect a maze of artificial islands known as chimampas, which collectively, serve as both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a tourist attraction accessible to visitors only by trajinera, a gondola-like boat. Located in remote part of these waterways however, is a unique attraction that is not a regular feature of the trajinera tours. In fact, it is a place that many natives and visitors alike distance themselves from. Indeed, The Island of the Dolls (la Isla de las Muñecas) is often referred to as the creepiest place on Earth--and perhaps, with good reason!

Visits to the island are expensive and by special arrangement only. Still, for those undeterred by the extra cost and local stories of whispering dolls beckoning outsiders to the island, a trip there will be a most memorable experience. 

 The first thing one sees upon approach is that the marionettes are everywhere and the sight is often described as horrifying and unsettling as they can be seen hanging by the neck from tree branches and every visible structure in various stages of decay. Decapitated heads, bodies and limbs sway in the breeze while the eyes of many stare into the distance menacingly. Equally disconcerting is the morose tale that describes the tragic circumstances that brought the dolls to this remote and otherwise insignificant island in the first place.

 As the story goes, the chimampa was inhabited by only one man decades ago. His name was Don Julian Santana. One day, he found the body of a young girl floating in the canal. She had apparently drowned. While overcome with grief over her death, he spotted a doll floating in the canal. After retrieving it, he hung the marionette in a tree in an effort to both placate the spirit of the dead girl and to ward off any evil that might come to his island of residence as a result of her drowning. Not satisfied with the protection offered by just one doll, Santana began searching the canals for others, which he in turn, also hung from the trees. It is said that over time, his never ending quest for more dolls led him to various trash piles. Each new one found was hung somewhere on his tiny island. According to his family, which now runs the island, Don Julian Santana collected and displayed the dolls primarily because he wanted the spirit of the drowned girl to be happy as well as to ward off evil. Many of them had previously been rejected by their original owners, which lends an even more creepy ambiance to Don Julian's former residence.

Since that time, many visitors have also left dolls scattered around the Island and today, there is no where a visitor can walk without being followed by the dolls' icy stares. In 2011, one visitor named Debrah Eastwood visited La Isla de las Muñecas and described her experience this way:

"It was frightening and very surreal...

"...I don’t look at the images too often, but when I do, it still brings back goosebumps and the sick feeling I had in my gut. It is one of the most unusual places I have ever visited, and for that alone I am glad; but if I ever go back, I will make sure to bring a friend and freak them out too."

I don't know about all of  you, but The Island of the Dolls sounds like a place I'd like to visit.    

To the best of my knowledge, credit for the top photo goes to Debrah Eastwood. The bottom two were found at Google's Island of the Dolls Photo Collection.

For more information visit the Island Review's Island of the Dolls page.

You can also go here  or or here
for more photos and information.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Adult Wednesday Addams

Okay, first things first: I'd like to wish a Happy New Year to all of you, my readers and followers. I hope you all had a great holiday season.

A short while ago, I discovered something of interest while visiting the The Gothic Tea Society's web page.
At the time, the society's most recent post had been in actuality,  a series of videos entitled Adult Wednesday Addams. I watched a couple of the video shorts and quickly came to the conclusion that they are absolutely hilarious.
The Adult Wednesday Addams series is the creation of comedy writer and actress Melissa Hunter, who plays the part of Wednesday, now a young adult finding her way in the world outside of the Addams Family household. Hunter sometimes refers to herself as Wednesday's alter ego and after watching her productions, it's easy to understand why. Gone is the cuteness and innocence of little Wednesday's demeanor from the original series however; instead, she's wonderfully morbid and handles each situation with an air of self confidence. The adult Wednesday is most definitely in control of every situation that confronts her.

I'm including Episode 2 here because it's my favorite, but you can find the others by going to">Melissa's YouTube Channel,
where she plans on adding more of these comedy skits in the future. Enjoy!