It all started with a tragedy.
Don Julian Santana Barrera was a real person. He was the lone inhabitant of an island between the canals of Xochimilco, Mexico.
According to legend, one day, while walking along the canal, he found the body of a little girl floating in the water. Locals say that he was distraught over not having been able to save her.
Not long after, the story goes, Barrera came across another discovery in the same part of the canal. He found a doll that was thought to belong to the dead little girl.
He believed the doll contained the drowned child's spirit. In her honor, he hung it from a tree where it could supposedly live forever.
Not able to let the mysterious tragedy go, Barrera grew determined to save more children's souls.
He began collecting hundreds of dolls and hung them on trees, stakes and fences until the entire island was consumed with them.
He felt that each doll would be filled with the spirit of a dead child.
Over time, the island weather eroded the plastic dolls. Eyes hollowed out, limbs fell off, bugs infested and decay set in. It's a sight like no other.
And if that wasn't creepy enough, many locals believe the dolls themselves remove their own heads and limbs.
But tragedy struck a second time.
In 2001, Barrera was found dead, reportedly floating in the exact same spot in the canal where he had found the girl many years earlier.
Some believe his own spirit is now amongst all the other spirits inhabiting the dolls on the island.
Locals call the island charmed, but most visitors see it as nothing less than nightmarish.
After Barrera's death, the island became a tourist attraction. Only two hours from Mexico City by boat, it's now referred to as "Isla de las Munecas," or the Island of the Dolls.
Many visitors believe the island is haunted by Barrera, the little girl and all the other children's spirits. They report hearing the dolls whisper in the woods and seeing the dolls open their eyes.
Others believe that Barrera was a good man driven by the fact that he couldn't save a little girl's life and did what he could to honor her and other children lost to tragedies.
According to isladelasmunecas.com,"The locals are very faithful that the Isla de las Munecas is a charmed place."They believe his actions to be innocent and respect what he tried to do.
Watch the video and decide if the island is haunted or just creepy. Or better yet, go see for yourself.
Share with your friends to find out if they'd dare visit "The Island of the Dolls."