The Strange Story Of The Phantom Barber Of Mississippi

Southern Living / YouTube (Screenshot), Newspaper Clip from The Tribune (Scranton, PA, 6/24/1942) via

Ready for some weird history? Near the start of WWII, Pascagoula, Mississippi became known as the home to a new kind of villain–The Phantom Barber.

When The Phantom Barber got his start in 1942, his crimes were devastatingly creepy, but not necessarily categorized as dangerous. He would sneak into homes (including a convent) and snip off pieces of girls’ hair.

Later, The Phantom Barber’s actions took a heinous turn. According to police records, he broke into the home of a married couple and used an iron bar to beat both of them. Police brought in search dogs to track the man’s scent.

Two days later, The Phantom Barber struck again, this time incapacitating a woman with chloroform and taking a piece of her hair.


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Eventually, police tied the attacks to William Dolan. The man seemed to have a motive behind the violent attack (as the male victim previously fought with the attacker’s father), but there was no motive for the other incidents. Police found a bundle of human hair in Dolan’s home.

After serving six years in prison for attempted murder, Dolan took and passed a lie detector test, and was released in 1951.

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