The Zozo Phenomenon by Darren Evans – Thoughts and Impressions
The Zozo Phenomenon focuses on Darren’s experiences with Zozo with dozens of letters from people running into the same sort of trouble as support. Couple that with YouTube videos chronicling contact with Zozo where none of them end well. So what is going on? Why is Zozo making a sudden appearance and causing all this mischief? I dare say not a single person had heard of Zozo a decade ago.
According to Darren, Zozo appears in the Dictionnaire Infernal, making it ancient. That’s not entirely accurate as Zozo is not listed as demon. The name is referenced by a girl who claims she was possessed by a spirit named Zozo, among two others. Depending on interpretation, that girl was determined to be a fraud. That aside, Zozo is not listed as a demon or deity.
But if it’s not a demon or spirit, why are so many people being affected? That lies in the sender’s of the letters themselves. Almost all of them mention depression, cutting, suicidal thoughts, being bipolar, emotional instability or some other form of mental illness. When going to the Ouija with a depressed mindset, it’s pretty easy to predict what sort of experience you’re going to get back.
What about the names Zozo and Mama? They are in fact the easiest names to spell on the Ouija. All you have to do is move in the "rainbow effect" and you get Zozo or Mama every time. But Zozo isn’t the only name, it can be Za, Oz, Zo and other extremely simple words to spell. It can even be Zaza, Lilly, Zach. Zozo has no idea what gender it should be and goes by so many names that anything you spell can be linked to Zozo. Some call that saturation bombing.
Just like the name, Zozo as an entity has been set up to encompass everything. Zozo is a deity, a demon, a Djinn and a trickster. Zozo is multiple things, things with multiple personalities, allowing it to cover a wide variety of bases. It’s not one thing that acts in one way, it’s dozens of things that acts with complete unpredictability so everything falls under the Zozo umbrella. That’s why when Zozo or whatever name it goes by gets something right, it proves his existence. When he gets it wrong, that proves he’s a trickster. Under what circumstances isn’t it Zozo?
When you step back, Darren lays out a blueprint of what a demon would do to build it’s brand. It would choose a mysterious name, something with Z, the lost letter. It would give false and real information. It would be helpful to draw people in, then strike. It would pick on the young and vulnerable. It would use the exact roadmap Darren details on how the Zozo phenomenon came into existence.
Darren explains how skeptics say the subconscious pushes the Ouija planchette using the ideomotor effect, then discounts it by saying Zozo is different. He recounts multiple skeptic claims, but dismisses them all with a, Zozo is different. He also admits to being obsessed with the board and can’t help but coming back to it time and time again. This is the power of Zozo rather than OCD, or addictive personality.
It’s also hard to discount the striking similarity between the word Zozo and the Zoso by Led Zeppelin. You would have to be blind not to see the style duplication of the Zoso signature of Jimmy Page and the Zozo style used for the book. Darren freely admits to his extreme fandom of Led Zeppelin and Page and his further work in the Black Crowes. It’s an amazing "coincidence" that Zozo chose a moniker so close to the one Page used and one that references his other band.
Further, I couldn’t find a Zozo sighting dating before Darren took up the mantle. Many claim John Zaffis knows all about Zozo, who says it’s ancient and a trickster. John has been on the paranormal circuit for decades, has he ever mentioned the name before Darren brought it up?
This will come across as harsh, but the letters pouring into Darren about Zozo experiences do not support his claim. They are from extremely vulnerable and impressionable people, who by their own admission, have harmed themselves and have a multitude of life problems. Even at the beginning of the book, Darren outlines a whole slew of traumatic events in his own life. Like other "hauntings" it’s easier to say you’re suffering from demonic oppression than a mental disorder.
When you put these together, it’s safe to conclude that Zozo and everything surrounding it is a fabrication. The fleeting reference in the Dictionnaire Infernal, the emotionally distraught letters and the dubious TV appearances don’t qualify as proof of authenticity.
Despite this, Darren is getting a lot of milage from Zozo. He’s managed to publish a book, consult on a movie, has been a guest lecturer, and has found himself on the set of a couple of TV shows. This "Zozo phenomenon" has given Darren his own form of celebrity status.
Come on now. Are we really going to say this is a coincidence? The name, the style, the reference to Page, his involvement with the Black Crowes. This story starts with Darren and involves all his fandom tropes.
Other Articles of Interest:
- The Zozo Phenomenon by Darren Evans – Review
- Zozo, Darren Evans, Robert Murch and Darkness Radio – A Zozo Hoax?
- I Am Zozo – A Review
- Ghost Adventures – The Zozo Demon – S10E03
- Ouija – Cardboard and Plastic Toy or Mystical Portal?
- Ghost Adventures – Samaritan Cult House – S14E03
- Constantine – Master of the Dark Arts
- Bob Cranmer and the Demon of Brownsville Rd
- Do you believe in the Ouija?
- Paranormal State – The Lurking Man – S05E09