In the northern state of Haryana and Rajasthan, India, more than 50 women were traumatized when their hair has been mysteriously chopped off. The first incident was reported last month, but now women from the country’s capital, Delhi has also claimed being victimized by the #hair chopper. Indian women, who have spent years growing their hair, are in shock to find it gone.

In a report by BBC News, a victim who is a housewife said that prior to her hair being cut, she saw a blinding light that left her unconscious. An hour later, she found her long mane slashed. Now, she is so traumatized that she is unable to sleep and cannot concentrate on her tasks.

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Like everyone else, she had heard the news but never thought that it could happen to her.

Last year, Sword and Scale reported a similar incident about the #phantom barber in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Mary Evelyn Briggs and Edna Marie Hydel both lost a lock of hair in the convent of Our Lady of Victories. The two young ladies were not hurt during the alleged hair-stealing incident

Who is responsible for this hair chopping craze?

Briggs and Hydel later described the Mississipi hair thief as a short man, fat and wore a white sweatshirt. After cutting their hair, he was seen climbing out of the bedroom window. Interestingly, the man in question was not only stealing women’s hair. He also stole RR Taylor’s hair after he covered his face with a rag soaked with chloroform.

Sunita Devi, 53 years old, said that the phantom barber was an elderly man who is dressed in brightly colored clothes.

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However, Asha Devi, who lives a few yards away from Sunita, claimed that a woman attacked her and was responsible for cutting her hair. Suraj Pal, Asha’s father-in-law, found her lying in the bathroom. She was unconscious, and her hair chopped and scattered on the floor.

In a more bizarre incident, Reena Devi claims that her attacker seems to resemble a cat. The 28-year-old woman from Jonawasa village said that while she was doing her usual chores, a feline-looking creature touched her shoulders before the hair-chopping incident happened.

Police authorities trying to solve the mystery

The FBI has arrested William Dolan, a 57-year-old chemist. There was no solid evidence that he was the hair thief of Mississippi though police authorities found a large bundle of hair belonging to Carol Peattie. Historians are skeptical if indeed Dolan was involved in the mystery.

Meanwhile, as incidents of #hair thieves grow, policemen in the community are looking into the bizarre cases. Ravinder Kumar, Gurgaon police spokesperson, said that they have found no clues at the crime scene.

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In addition, the medical tests of the victims also showed that there was nothing unusual or abnormal. What puzzles the authorities more is that nobody has seen the phantom barbers aside from the victims themselves. Until there is a sufficient evidence, police officers urged the public not to spread the rumors as the news have already created fear among the children.

Sanal Edamaruku said in an interview with BBC, that these are simple cases of mass hysteria. The rationalist believes that women who claimed to be attacked by hair thieves are just going through some internal psychological conflict. He added that some women who hear about such incidents, they usually end up mimicking it consciously or subconsciously.