School Closings & Delays

Mysterious “braid chopper” is cutting off women’s hair while they sleep in Northern India

GURGAON, INDIA - AUGUST 1: Woman showing her daughter's braids which were chopped by unknown person near Ravi Nagar on August 1, 2017 in Gurgaon, India. According to media reports, around a dozen similar activities were reported in places such as Gurgaon, Palwal and Mewat in Haryana. Women were allegedly unable to see the person who cut off their braids in the incidents reported. It has created panic in Delhi/NCR with many women tying their hair in buns. (Photo by Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

AGRA CITY, India — A mysterious “braid-chopper” is cutting off women’s hair in Northern India, according to a Reuters report.

In what is being called The Case of the Phantom Barber, over the past two months, more than a dozen women have reported having their hair mysteriously chopped off while they were asleep or unconscious.

Munni Devi, a resident of Agra City, claims her braid was cut off while she was sleeping inside her home. She didn’t realize her braid was gone until she found it on the floor while sweeping her house. Devi and her family say they don’t know how it could have happened, since they say they lock their home from the inside.

The incidents are leaving Delhi police baffled, fueling superstitious nervousness in the community. Some claim an evil spirit is on the loose. Some locals are stamping the walls of their homes with vermillion hand prints and hanging traditional lemon and chili charms outside to “ward off evil.”

Superstitious hysteria is not new to India. In 2001, New Delhi went into a panic when a giant monkey reportedly attacked hundreds of people.

The “monkey man” was never caught.