Strange, odd mystery has coloured the spectrum of the past in many ways – one such is that of the Phantom Barber of 1942 – a case as unique as it is weird.
During the initial days of the Second World War, a surge in population for the small fishing town of Pascagoula in Mississippi was witnessed because of the construction of warships that were set up there.
The town’s population surged so rapidly that Mississippi grew from a population of 5000 to nearly 15,000, seemingly overnight. The limited police force in the town struggled severely to cope with the expected increase in calls for help from the surging wartime population.
Amidst all this chaos, there was one menace wandering the streets that kept people awake at night—The Phantom Barber of Pascagoula. Instead of stealing stuff (or worse), the Sneaky Scissor menace broke into people’s houses and cut their hair.
Yes, you read it right – he cut their hair.
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“Sorta short, sorta fat, and he was wearing a white sweatshirt”- the beginning
An unknown individual slit the window screen going into the chamber where two young girls slept on June 5, 1942, at the Lady of Victories convent. The girls were asleep when the mysterious assailant entered, but they awoke just in time to witness someone leave the scene, which they characterized as a man.
They described the man as: “Sorta short, sorta fat and wearing a white sweatshirt.” Both girls quickly discovered that each was missing a lock of their hair, respectively. Thankfully, that was the extent of the damage.
A few days after this unusual occurrence, on Monday, the mystery barber struck again. Just like he/she did before, they slipped into their target’s room by slitting open the screen to their bedroom window.
This time, it was 6-year-old Carol Peattie, who was sleeping next to her twin brother. After clipping off a lock of her hair, the Barber disappeared. This time, the only hint was a bare, sandy footprint (aside from young Carol missing a lock of her hair).