The Island of the Dolls, Xochimilco, Mexico City, Mexico
Maximum creepiness is discovered on the Isla de las Munecas, a place of shadows and secrets, of cobwebs and insects, and of severed limbs and decapitated heads.
The limbs and the heads are not real, of course, belonging rather to hundreds and hundreds of dolls, but that makes the experience no less haunting or the place, hidden among the Xochimilco canals, south of Mexico City, no less terrifying.
Said to be dedicated to the soul of a drowned child, discovered in the water here more 50 years ago, the island has become an unlikely tourist destination. That Julian Santana Barrera, who began the custom of hanging doll parts from the trees, himself later drowned here has done little to deter sightseers, if anything, it has made them even keener. The locals here claim the Isla de las Munecas is charmed rather than haunted. It’s an assertion that does little to stand up to scrutiny.