Mexico's Isla De Las Muñecas (Island of the Dolls) near Mexico City looks to be a dark and curious place, filled with old doll parts placed there over 50 years by Don Julián Santana, a hermit who died in 2001. Above is a short video about the place. More from Bizarre:
...The Island Of The Dolls is a shrine to a dead girl who was said to haunt (Santan), and in whose honour he collected dolls, to calm her restless spirit."Mexico's Island of the Dolls"
“There are many stories about why the dolls are here,” says Don Julián’s cousin, Anastasio, one of several family members who now curate the island, welcome visitors, and charge a token fee to take photos.
“Some people claim Don Julián was mad, and that he’d fish dolls out of the canal believing they were real children, and that he could nurse them back to life. But the real story is that, soon after Don Julián arrived on the island, he came to believe this place was haunted by the spirit of a poor young girl who drowned in the canal. So when he saw a doll floating past he took it and put it on a tree, both to protect himself from evil and make the dead girl happy. But one doll wasn’t enough; soon Don Julián had made the entire island into a shrine.”
For decades, Don Julián amassed a huge collection of dolls that had been rejected by their owners, either plucking them out of the canal as they bobbed past, or scavenging toys from rubbish heaps on rare excursions from his secluded home.
In later years, locals began to trade old dolls with Don Julián in return for home-grown vegetables, and before his death the hermit’s cadaverous collection covered every inch of the island – each unloved toy receiving a second lease of life as part of his surreal shrine.
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.