Halloween Vacation Suited For Two ~ ADULTS!
Travelers looking for unusual spots to explore should maybe leave this place off their agenda until Halloween. They should also leave their children at home. The island is not for weak of heart. Xochimilco, Mexico is known as one of the creepiest places in the world. For decades it’s been home to hundreds of dilapidated dolls. They hang from trees and buildings and at first glance appear to be decaying bodies of children. It’s all part of a legend which claims the island, in the southern borough of Mexico City, is haunted.
The island was once owned by Don Julian Santana. Legend says he witnessed the drowning of a little girl in one of the canals and her spirits still haunt the place. Don Julian then began collecting dolls to protect himself from her ghost. For years he searched trash heaps looking for old, ragged and abandoned dolls which he would collect and take back to his island. He hung them on trees and buildings throughout the island like Christmas ornaments. By the time he passed away he had collected more than 1,500 dolls. The oldest one is still in existence. It hangs in a shed by the island entrance.
After Don Julian died from a heart attack in 2001 his cousin Anastasio, who lives on the island, decided to make it a tourist attraction.
“The spirit of the little girl is still there so it’s important not to remove the dolls,” he tells visitors.
“They come alive at night. They will move their heads and whisper to each other. It’s very spooky but I’ve gotten used to it.”
Xochimilco is part of what is locally knows as chinampas, or artificial islands developed by Aztecs to serve as floating gardens where they grew food. The area is now a tourist attraction where visitors move around in gondolas and eat, drink and listen to mariachi music. It’s about two hours from Mexico City and its peaceful country side is in huge contrast to the hustle and bustle of Mexico City which is home to nine million people.
Ghost stories have always been part of local folk lore. Cusemanco, which is filled with crosses and plaques dedicated to La Llorona, is home to another legend. La Llorona is known as the Weeping Woman who killed her children to be with the man she loved. It’s said that when the man still rejected her, she drowned herself. Many local residents claim when the area is enclosed by fog some nights, the Weeping Woman haunts the place by crying out at night for her deceased children.