Horror Stories from the Barbershop

When most people think about barbershop horror stories, they tend to think about a bad lineup, a patchy fade, or the wrong cut. While those are all cause for concern, they pale in comparison to some of the stories in this article. A long time ago, barbers were employed to do much more than cutting hair. They once performed everything from tooth extractions to surgery, so it should come as no surprise when some of them choose to go back to their roots, although the causative agent is usually unwarranted. Here’s a list of some of the worst horror stories to come out of barbershops. 

1. No Tip

In May 2018, Ismael Dushan entered Brooklyn’s Levels Barbershop and never thought that he would be leaving it in an ambulance. The haircut was going well until Dushan began to complain about his haircut while he was receiving it and things escalated when he refused to tip his barber. When Dushan turned his back on his barber, he was shoved through the front window of the shop and when the culprit, the barber, saw the shards of glass in his customers face, he ran. What made matters worse was that all of the employees forgot the barber’s name. He has not been found to this date. 

2. Familiar Stench

In Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, barber Mgadi Ndlovu and his clients were tormented for months when his neighbor, a welder named Khumbulani Ndlovu, who might have been related to him, relieved his bladder on any and everything inside of Mgadi’s shop, including the tools. There were many days when Khumbalanu would enter the shop with no other reason than to use the shop as his personal toilet and it didn’t take long for the establishment to develop a unique smell. When he confronted the welder, he would be met with an onslaught of profanity and threats. Mgadi took Khumbulani to court and not only was he arrested and ordered to pay a fine, but he was also told not to contact Mgadi and to never enter his establishment. 

3. Goodbye Smokey

In 2015, a feud between Smooth Cuts Barber Shop barber, William Whitson and local resident Heather Lemieux, reached a boiling point after months of back-and-forth exchanges. Lemieux wat known to deliberately provoke the barber by bringing her pit bull, Smokey, around the shop. After numerous pleas to stop bringing the intimidating dog around, Smokey attacked another dog right in front of the barber shop. While the small dog owner tried to save his dog, Whitson joined in, despite the fact that Smokey was already in a headlock. Whitson took aim at the dog with a pair of his scissors and upon questioning, he alleged that the dog had bitten his arm. He was charged with animal cruelty and assault with a dangerous weapon. His barber license was also suspended and he had to serve 21 months in prison.

4. Holiday Hothead 

In 2017, a 22-year-old man went to Ruby’s Salon in Madison, Wisconsin to get a haircut a few days before Christmas. During his haircut he would not sit still despite his barber, Khaled A. Shabani, asking him to do it multiple times. Instead of voicing his frustration, Shabini twisted his customer’s ear and cut off a piece of the tip. The 22-year-old was so surprised that he didn’t move and, at that moment, Shabini proceeded to shave off a strip of hair down the middle of his customer’s head. Shabini was arrested and charged with mayhem and disorderly conduct while armed. The 22-year-old went to a different stylist to have his head fully shaved.

5. New-Age Sweeney Todd

Have you ever heard of the musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street? Well, if you haven’t, you should either pay to watch it or check out the movie starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, because Lloyd Dobrodumow surely did. A few years ago, after an argument with a customer, the Newcastle barber aimed his blade at the customer’s throat. It turned out that Dobrodumow had a history of domestic violence and was charged with intent to commit grievous bodily harm. However, investigations revealed that the victim, Robert Smith, started the argument when he used derogatory words to refer to Dobrodumow’s wife.

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