just in time for Halloween: creepiest island ever

I just found out about La Isla de las Munecas (the Island of the Dolls), and I can't believe I have't heard of it before today. In case you haven't heard of it either, let me share some information about this awesomely creepy place!

La Isla de las Munecas is an island on a lake near Mexico City. Its former resident, a hermit named Julian Santana, collected dolls and doll parts, altered them to make them creepier (as if old dolls weren't creepy enough!), and placed them all over the island. Some hang from trees, some sit on chairs, some crawl in the rafters, some lie on the ground and peek out of flowerbeds.

I've been reading about this island all morning. Julian Santana had a prodigious garden, and people would come to the island to trade dolls for his produce, so he could keep adding to his work. A young girl had drowned there years before, and Santana himself drowned there in 2001, plus the place looks creepy, so people think it must be haunted. Apparently it's been on one of those ghost-hunting TV shows!

You can see a lot more pictures, which are all amazing, and read more about Julian and about superstitions associated with the island, on these sites:
Let me know if you find more authoritative information on the island; it's hard to come by.

I think the island and the concept are really cool and interesting. I like the aesthetics of most creepy things, so I am a little biased, but I say this is art. Maybe they just do it to add to the creepiness and not to talk down a man's 50 years of work, but almost all of the articles I read articles about la Isla de las Munecas make Julian Santana's work seem like the result of a mentally unbalanced man living alone--no one refers to him as an artist. But if Julian Santana had done this in a studio in Brooklyn or in San Francisco's Mission district, galleries would be beating down his door to get him to do installations for them.

And I would totally want to see said installations, like I totally want to see La Isla de las Munecas someday. In the meantime, if I'm ever looking for ideas for Halloween parties or haunted houses, I know whence to draw inspiration!

So what do you think? Is La Isla de las Munecas cool? Scary? Art? Would you go there?


sara said... Best Blogger Tips

anthony bourdain visited this island on the mexico episode of no reservations. i thought it was sweet and also creepy at the same time!

Sarah P said... Best Blogger Tips

Ohhh I would love to see that episode! I'll search for clips--I want to see what it looks like in real life! Thanks!

Sadako said... Best Blogger Tips

That is too creepy for words, but in an awesome way. I actually really want to visit it. Dolls *are* amazingly creepy. The Twilight Zone, Goosebumps, and Are You Afraid of the Dark have schooled me well in that. (Also, staring into the unblinking glassy eyes of my American Girl dolls and wondering what Felicity was really planning with the $40 old timey guitar accessory I bought her.)

Sarah P said... Best Blogger Tips

I can handle most dolls, but ventriloquist dummies and old porcelain dolls are a little spooky. Also "Robert the Doll" (google him); haunted doll stories are the creepiest!