Island of the Dolls, Xochimilco, Mexico for Discovery TRVLR .... “The island of the dolls, deep in ancient Aztec-built canals, has been a part of history or a legend. Explorers like me come to visit them. Being a paddler is a tradition that our ancestors left us so all of this is learned from generation to generation. One of my grandparents brought me to this island for the first time.” –Domingo Campos, Boatman .... Don Julian Santana Barrera was the caretaker of the island. The story goes that Julian found a little girl drowned in mysterious circumstances while he was not able to save her life. Shortly thereafter, Julian saw a floating doll near the canals. Most probably, the doll belonged to the girl. He picked up the doll and hung it to a tree, as a way of showing respect and support the spirit of the girl. Julian was apparently haunted by the spirit of the girl and started hanging more dolls in an attempt to please her spirit. He soon realized the dolls themselves were possessed by the spirits of dead girls, and continued to collect creepy dolls hanging them over the entire island.