Few things genuinely creepy me out, and dolls are on that very short list.

Growing up, I had an aunt who collected those clown dolls with porcelain faces. She had an entire room packed full of them.

Guess which room I had to sleep in when I stayed the night.

Clowns don't bother me, but something about those pale, shiny faces watching me sleep just made me want to sleep under the bed, and I've felt weird around dolls ever since. I don't believe they're haunted or actually watching me. They just mess with some primal part of my brain that doesn't like cold, dead eyes on me. Ugh, I shuddered as I typed that.

A family in Katy has tapped into that primal fear and fascination so many of us have with creepy dolls, taking inspiration from a real-life "Island of Dolls" I now know exists near Mexico City.

In a recent interview with KTRK-TV, Brenda and Ian Haynes said they saw photos of La Isla de las Muñecas on Facebook and thought it not only looked spooky, but was an interesting part of Mexico's culture worth sharing with the world. Brenda and Ian placed over 100 dolls around their house to do just that.



I looked up La Isla de las Muñecas, and even though dolls make my skin crawl, I think I'd like to visit the island.

According to isladelasmunecas.com, the small island was home to a caretaker named Don Julian Santana Barrera, who was unable to save a little girl from drowning in a canal. He later found a doll in the water he believed to be the girl's, and hung it in a tree as a sign of respect for the young life that had been lost.

Barrera started hanging more dolls around the island, claiming that the girl's spirit was haunting him and that the dolls were meant to "please her spirit". Over time, he claimed, the spirits of other girls began inhabiting the dolls, who would whisper to each other and even move their heads at times.

It's said that Barrera died 50 years later in 2001, having drowned in the same place the girl did.

Whether you buy the story or not, there's no denying the island has a distinct character and would be a fascinating place to visit. I just wouldn't want to be there at night.

Kudos to the Haynes family in Katy for bringing the legend of La Isla de las Muñecas to life here in Texas. Tomorrow (Oct. 15) marks the end of Hispanic Heritage Month here in the States, and this is a beautiful (if bone chilling) reminder of how central Hispanic culture is to Texas' identity.

Check out this short documentary about a couple's visit to the island. Would you explore La Isla de las Muñecas if you had the chance? Have you been there? If so, let us know how it was in the comments section.