Darren Evans

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.

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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.

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The Zozo Phenomenon by Darren Evans – Review

imageAfter purchasing the Demon of Brownsville Rd, Amazon recommended The Zozo Phenomenon by Darren Evans. And after seeing Darren resurface in the Samaritan Cult House episode of Ghost Adventures I decided to investigate further.

The book was actually completed in the early part of 2016 and chronicles Darren’s personal experiences with the Ouija and Zozo, his research, and letters from others who have been visited by Zozo when using the Ouija.

Things start with Darren finding a Ouija board with the word Zozo written where Ouija should have been. This was in the crawlspace of a girlfriend’s house with the board surrounded by 4 blackbirds. It should also be noted that Zozo also means blackbird in the Basque language.

Since his girlfriend’s parents claimed their house was haunted by a spirit named Leonard, they decide to make contact with him. Tara, the mother of the girlfriend, was a self-professed Wiccan and collected items of the occult. Joe, the father, warned them not to toy with the board. However, the temptation was too much to resist and they are soon talking with Leonard.

Darren becomes obsessed with the Ouija, contacting spirits on a regular basis. But as time goes by, some dark events are visited on Darren. Darren learns that he will be killed during a stabbing. The spirits say his friend is going to be murdered. Some time later, his friend Randy sinks into a massive depression and kills himself.

After another traumatic incident, Darren tries to burn the board. But in their bungling, the gas can is left to close and his friend Michael catches on fire.

The board is actually destroyed when Darren puts it in the trunk of an abandoned car and it’s eaten by a horde of rats. This explains why there is no evidence of this board.

Years later, he meets up with Michael and they give the board another chance. Michael asks how he will die and Murder is spelled. A few months later, Michael is found dead from poisoning and his death remains unsolved. In another twist of fate, Michael’s wife is killed in a car crash.

At this point, multiple people close to Darren have died after using the Ouija or getting information from it. But Darren continues to use the board and believes through the power of Zozo he is able to control a friends dog. However, the dog appears to be consumed by a dark force, becomes uncontrollable and is found several days later with it’s throat eaten out.

As he continues to use the board, Zozo refers to himself as the King of Kings and promises to bestow power. Although that power is just as likely to bite the hand that feeds it.

Darren then strikes out on his own and get the ubiquitous Amityville, "too good to be true" deal on a house, a cheap four bedroom with a basement. When he goes to move in, he finds the previous owner’s furniture is still there because the previous family left suddenly. But even though Darren is in a new place, he is being followed and another series of unfortunate events ensues.

Zozo begins to show it’s darker side and tries to drown his daughter in the bath tub. This isn’t the work of negligence, but spirit activity. Zozo supposedly makes another attack on his daughter when he sends her to the hospital with a raging fever that turns her "tongue to stone." Ironically, this was the name of a band that Zozo suggested to Darren and when mocked over the choice, Zozo takes revenge. There is also the death of his uncle Tom and reports that a body is buried under the front porch of the house.

Also during this time, the original warning of Darren dying by stabbing comes to fruition as he is attacked by his girlfriend and savagely wounded.

By this stage Darren comes forward with his story that leads to an interview with Darkness Radio. This leads to his appearance on Ghost Adventures where his girlfriend at the time had several negative encounters with Zozo and his participation in the movie "I am Zozo". He uses these mediums to warn people of the dangers of Zozo and what they might encounter. Thus the legend of Zozo is born.

This leads to the middle portion of the book, a compilation of dozens of letters sent in from people recounting negative experiences with Zozo. The stories range from having nightmares to physical attacks to dire warning about the future.

For the last portion, we have some research in to Zozo. It can be known by a variety of names such as Mama, Zaza, Lilly, Zach, Zo, Oz and pretty much any other name you might come across. It is a trickster spirit or perhaps even a Djinn, that starts off with helpful information, but then slowly let’s it’s dark side be seen. Even referencing itself as Zozo, it has chosen one of the darker letters of the alphabet as Z is sometimes referred to as the lost letter.

There is even some doubt as to the gender associated with Zozo. It is believed to be male by it’s use of sexual overtures toward women. However, it chooses Mama and Lily for it’s name, clearly feminine.

In the early days, it seems Darren may been one of the few (if the only one) who encountered Zozo, but now claims of this spirit reaching Ouija boards is on the rise. It has now reached a fever pitch (hysteria) with Zozo encounters becoming common place and even YouTube videos documenting the experience.

However, the Ouija still remains a toy distributed by Hasbro and they will gladly ride the coattails of this phenomenon by releasing a few moves with the Ouija at the heart of the action. There are even reports of some boards being produced without a "Z" so Zozo can’t be contacted.

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