Illustration for article titled The Tale of La Isla De Las Muñecas, a.k.a. Freaky Baby Head Island

Countless threats exist deep in the jungle. But it's not just poisonous, candy-colored frogs or fish with rows of razor teeth that trouble intrepid explorers—the jungle is home to a host of wild, unexplained happenings and folklore that all carry real, bone-chilling consequences.


So, to celebrate the series premiere of The River, ABC's new documentary-style show about the horrors that lurk within the Amazon, here are some of the most ancient and scariest jungle legends known to man.

La Isla De Las Muñecas

Known as la Isla De Las Muñecas to locals, Mexico's Island of the Dolls is a haunting landmark that both attracts and terrifies all who come across it. Located in a remote and labyrinthine canal system off Lake Xochimilco, the island serves as decrepit tribute to the soul of a little girl who supposedly drowned nearby.


The story goes that a hermit named Don Julian Santana lived on the island, which he believed to be haunted by the spirit of the local girl. In order to protect himself, and abate the ghost's suffering, Don Julian retrieved dolls he found bobbing in the river and tied them to the low-hanging trees. Soon, every branch was ripe with severed baby doll heads and the mutilated remains of abandoned toys.

However, it seems as if Don Julian's exorcism efforts we're all for naught. In 2001, 50 years after he left his wife and child to live in the wild and build his strange alter, Don Julian was found floating at the very spot the girl was said to have drowned. Now when travelers dare to approach the island, they bring presents for the child in hopes of appeasing the child and enjoying a safe passage.

La Isla De Las Muñecas is just one of the strange stories that originated in the depths of the jungle. Check back over the next few days for more mysterious happenings in the wilderness, and don't forget to watch the 2-hour series premiere of The River, this Tuesday, February 7 at 9/8c—only on ABC.


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