Villagers in India say they’re being terrorized by an occult gang harvesting women’s hair.
The wily witches and warlocks are thought to sneak into bedrooms at night and chop off the ladies’ manes, reports say.
Police in India’s Jodhpur district have increased patrols after 12 women have been attacked within the last two weeks, some of whom had their ears cut off, SWNS reports.
“We came to know about the incident when she woke up and started crying,” said Baburam Meghwal, of Phalodi in Jodhpur, who claims his 13-year-old daughter, Asha, was attacked. “We suspect occult activities and the supernatural being involved in this as there was no outsider present in our house during the time of the incident.”
Some residents have reported a strange smell in their homes prior to the attacks, prompting speculation that perpetrators are drugging people before entering homes. Many of the victimized women, some of whom were knocked unconscious prior to getting their hair chopped off, awoke with red tridents branded onto their skin.
Sonia Kumari, 13, was sleeping next to her mother when someone broke into their family’s home in Pabupura, according to her father, Tarachand Kumari.
“There is an air-cooler in the room where my family was sleeping,” he said. “It is possible that someone put some chemical in it because my wife, daughter and son started coughing badly. The impact of the chemical faded away in a few moments and they feel fast asleep.”
Sources told SWNS that locals have shared WhatsApp messages since last month warning of “hair chopping” by a group of men practicing occult activities. A police spokesman confirmed that the incidents were being investigated.
“We are investigating all the occasions but so far it’s not clear that who all are behind the phenomenon,” a police spokesman told SWNS. “Most of these incidents have taken place in the remotest of villages where literacy is very poor.”
Meanwhile, village elders known as “bhopa” in Rajasthan state have recently seen an uptick in visits and people asking for answers, the Hindustan Times reports. The men reportedly tell families that they’re being targeted by an evil force and need to pay to ward off the spirits.
“The bhopas are flaring up the situation by spreading unnecessary panic for their own profit,” Suman Sharma, chairperson of Rajasthan’s state commission for women, told the Hindustan Times.