Case Files Week: Revisiting the Doll Island Case

Doll Island, as it is referred to, is a piece of land in a canal in Mexico that has gotten a horrifying reputation over the decades because of the man who lived there and a curse he feared. 


Don Julian Santana was unhappy with city life and moved to an island on a canalway south of Mexico City for peace and quiet. It was there that the legend begins and takes on a life that is animated enough to bring the dead to life.

Don reported that a little girl had drowned in the canal 50 years ago and he believed her spirit to be troubled and haunting his little island. 

He said that he was out one day when he saw a doll floating in the canal and scooped it out, hanging it up on a tree near the drowning spot to make the girl eternally happy so she would not haunt and scare him. 

He then became consumed with finding more and more dolls, fishing them out of the canal, sorting through trash bins, and even bartering until he had, over the decades, covered the island with dolls. 

There are many legends about the dolls moving, opening and closing their eyes on their own. It is said to come alive after dark. In fact, "Destination Truth" and "Ghost Adventures" have both done episodes from the island. 

Ironically, in 2001 Don was found drowned in supposedly the same spot in the canal as the little girl. 

People believe that the dolls killed him. The island since then has become a thing of fear for locals and visitors. To some, it is considered the creepiest place in Mexico and to others, the entire world


Did placing these idols around the property, surrounded by moving water, and focusing his concerns on the spirit of a little girl become a self-fulfilling prophecy? Were the dolls vessels that charged like a battery to carry the energy of the dead, perhaps acting as an attractant rather than a repellent? Could his very concerns about appeasing the child's spirit actually tie her and perhaps others to the land? 

Think of an example if you can of a person giving something to appease someone and now they become a greedy monster that has found a source of what they want....

Perhaps Don Julian left a doll, she liked it, he left another, she liked it.... Eventually,she came to expect the dolls and the balances were tipped so that he was not the caretaker; she was the demanding leader. 

The master became the slave....

It could also be that this is not a case of spirit attachment and her spirit never had anything to do with this case, but it had more to do with the fears he empowered into inanimate objects and the very emotional milieu of the island combined with his depression or anxiety to sort of charge it up with bad vibes.

Science discovered just recently that we can absorb energy from others which means we also transmit energy, perhaps onto items. This helps verify the capability of those of us who utilize psychometry (ability to read and object psychically and know about others who touched it).

(LINK): Studies show humans feed off energy like plants feed off sunlight (simplified). 

According to Bader-Lee, our bodies are like sponges, absorbing energy that is around us. “This is exactly why there are people who feel uncomfortable when they are in a certain group with a mixture of energy and emotions”.

“The human body is very similar to a plant that sucks, absorbs the energy needed to feed your emotional state, and can energize the cells and increase the amount of cortisol and catabolize, feed the cells depending on the emotional need. ” continues Bader-Lee.

In an interesting way, this could explain the amazing healing powers of some "healers" who possibly have a very positive thrust and resulting energy that activates the emotions in our bodies critical for the immune system to heal. 

In light of these findings, it might also help explain bad energy. If a psychometrist reads a ring worn by a grieving widow, all those bleak feelings are encapsulated in it. Might a man, who was hoping to hide from the world on an island but also very superstitious, have unconsciously passed his negative emotional energy to the objects, something those who attend the island also feel?

On "Destination Truth" show, Josh Gates found one of the dolls opened its eye when there were high spikes on the EMF meters.


What is going on with Doll Island? We can guess a few possibilities:

1.  People find it visually creepy with a dark history and are just uncomfortable there because of its overwhelming atmosphere and legend, so that they are perceiving things that are not occurring or blaming natural occurrences (like the sound of a frog leaping into water) as being spirit activity.
2.  People are experiencing residual emotions imparted into the objects by the resident's emotional state, perhaps charged by the sheer volume and mass of these objects, and empowered by the moving water around the land mass. This is the home museum conflict. Many people collect heirlooms, antiques and collectibles, displaying them as a grouping and sometimes, if the energies are conflicting or all very similarly negative, the house experiences a great deal of symptoms like a haunting.
3.  People are experiencing the haunting of a girl who drowned and cannot find peace, as well as possibly the spirit of Don Julian who died in that very same canal, meeting a similar fate, and being unwilling to leave his little haven. 


  1. That investigation was intriguing. Doll Island is one of the creepiest places on Earth!


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