After Rajasthan and Haryana, multiple cases of mysterious hair chopping have been reported in Delhi too. Women in at least four Delhi villages have complained that their braids were cut by someone without their knowledge.
There have been reports of at least 90 cases from Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab since June this year. Though rumours have it that something ‘supernatural’ is causing the braids to be snipped off, psychology experts blame mass hysteria.
As the hair chopping takes the status of an urban legend, here’s a list of other ‘unexplained’ incidents in India that tested people’s faith, spread scare in cities and even led to deaths in some cases.
The Monkey Man
In 2001, dozens of Delhi residents reported being terrorized by a black ‘monkey-man’ who would allegedly bite and scratch people before disappearing. The belief in the monkey man was so strong that two men had even died after jumping from balconies to escape the creature. The creature disappeared into legend as the sightings slowly reduced. Dilli 6, a 2009 film by Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra, has a subplot on the same monkey man.
Muhnochwa (Face Scratcher)
In 2002, people in eastern Uttar Pradesh reported spotting a light-emitting flying object that would attack them at night and scratch their face. Many referred to it as the ‘muhnochwa’, a Bhojpuri word that loosely translates to ‘face scratcher’. At the height of the panic, people went off streets after sundown. Scientists from IIT Kanpur were roped in to investigate the event, and they ruled out the existence of any such creature. The closest explanation, they said, could have been sightings of ball lightening, a rare meteorological phenomenon.
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