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Monday, 19 September 2016

World's creepiest tourist attraction is an island with thousands of decomposing dolls 'to ward off spirits'

Tourists are travelling from around the world to see the strange sight and add dolls to the island's already haunting collection

This eerie Mexican island has become a bizarre tourist attraction - thanks to thousands of decomposing dolls.
The dolls have taken over the isolated island to ward off the spirit of a drowned girl.
But they haven't been able to scare away visitors, with people travelling from around the world to see the strange sight on Isla de las Munecas, which is only accessible by boat .
Photographer Sebastian Perez Lira took a two hour canoe ride down Xochimilco canals from Mexico City to capture the eerie attraction on camera.
Barcroft Dolls are nailed to trees, fences and even huts on Isla de las Muñecas
Tourists travel from around the world to see the bizarre attraction
  Dolls are nailed to trees, fences and even huts on Isla de las Muñecas
Visitors have been adding their own dolls to the collection
He said: "It is said that in the 1950s a girl drowned in the canal. The owner of the island in those years was Julian Santana Barrera, who claimed to see the spirit of the girl around the island, so he started hanging dolls to scare the spirit of the girl.
"Many of these dolls were found in the trash, he took them and proceeded to place them on the island. Over the years, people began to donate dolls, some in good condition and others more on the brink of destruction.
"Thus the island got to have more or less 2,000 dolls along its surface, some on the walls that surround it, others in small cabins there, between plants, trees and rocks, even ones that pretend to be playing in a swing."
Barcroft Dolls are nailed to trees, fences and even huts on Isla de las Muñecas
A doll nailed to a tree on the island, which is accessible only by boat
Barcroft Dolls are nailed to trees, fences and even huts on Isla de las Muñecas
The first doll was put up after a young girl drowned
A content loner, Barrera was rarely seen in the the Mexican borough of Xochimilco - he lived deep in the woods of Xochimilco, as far away from civilisation as possible.
A few days after discovering the corpse of a young girl floating in the Xochimilco canals, Barrera found a doll in the same spot and hung it from a nearby tree as a sign of respect.
According to the legend, the hermit began to hear whispers and heart wrenching wails in the darkness of the forest and became convinced that the girl was haunting him.
He spent the next fifty years hanging dolls all over the island to appease the drowned girl's spirit.
Barcroft Dolls are nailed to trees, fences and even huts on Isla de las Muñecas
Julian Santana Barrera spent 50 years hanging dolls to appease the girl's spirit
Barcroft Dolls are nailed to trees, fences and even huts on Isla de las Muñecas
Dolls are nailed to trees, fences and even huts on Isla de las Muñecas
In a tragic twist, Barrera was found drowned in the canal in 2001, supposedly in the exact spot the young girl was discovered.
The hermit's bizarre creation has evolved into an unconventional tourist attraction for people around the world - some even bring dolls to add to the island's haunting collection.

The 24-year-old photographer said: "The island is quite popular for tourists because of its mystery and its environment.
"The atmosphere on the island feels calm, peaceful and quiet. After a while it becomes anxiety and nerves because with so many dolls around you feel someone watching you."
Barcroft Dolls are nailed to trees, fences and even huts on Isla de las Muñecas
The hermit's bizarre creation has evolved into an unconventional tourist attraction
Barcroft Dolls are nailed to trees, fences and even huts on Isla de las Muñecas
Sebastian Perez Lira took a two hour canoe ride to photograph the eerie island
Barcroft Dolls are nailed to trees, fences and even huts on Isla de las Muñecas
The photographer said his visit to the island was a memorable experience
While it may not be everyone's idea of a holiday, the visit was a valuable and spooky experience for Sebastian.
He said: "The reason for visiting the island was to know one of the rare, interesting, mysterious places of the city and to hear the legend of this island and understand why it exists.
"It is one of the best experiences I've had, being there is to know and be in a place with lots of history for the city.
"You cannot accurately describe the feelings when you are standing in the middle of all these dolls, nerves invade you as you approach each one."
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