The Dibbuk Box
In Jewish mythology, a dybbuk (Yiddish: דיבוק, from the Hebrew verb דָּבַק dāḇaq meaning “adhere” or “cling”) is a malicious possessing spirit believed to be the dislocated soul of a dead person.
Imagine purchasing something from an auction website that would ultimately change your life forever. Well that is exactly what happened to Jason Haxton (pictured below), Director of the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri, author and current owner of the Dibbuk box. The old Jewish wine box went up for auction on the popular website, Ebay, where it became one of the most legendary items to ever be sold and after hearing the mysteries behind the old box, Jason had to make sure he got hold of it. Why did Jason want the Dibbuk box so much and what was the story behind the legend?
Jason first heard about the box from a young intern working at the Museum for him. He had heard that the person who was selling it had purchased the box as a joke and liked to scare people with it at house parties, completely unsuspecting that playing with the box was going to make his life a misery. Jason started following the owners blog to learn more about the item. Neitzke had posted about how strange things started to happen to him. His hair started falling out, insects would gather in his apartment, electrical items would fail and he would have a terrifying reoccurring dream about an old hag that would attack him in his sleep. Neitzke then posted to say that he could no longer suffer the wrath of the wine box and decided to sell it on Ebay. As soon as the item went up for auction Jason watched and carefully chose his timing with the winning bid.
Jason soon saw the strange effects of the Dibbuk box after bringing it home. His health started to deteriorate, including hives, coughing up blood, and “head-to-toe welts” and just like Neitzke, his hair started falling out and he to suffered from the reoccurring dream of the old hag. Jason also reported a constant smell of urine from the box, normally just before something bad happened. Not only did his health suffer but the box started targeting his family and Jason realised he had to take responsibility and took the wine box to the museum for safe keeping, away from his loved ones. Jason consulted with Rabbis to try to figure out a way to seal the dybbuk in the box again to stop it from hurting anyone else. They advised him on old Jewish rituals and he successfully put the Dibbuk to rest. Jason now keeps the box in a secret, safe location to make sure that nobody else can unsuspectingly release it.
Jason then started to research the origins of the box which led him to the original owner, a man called Kevin Mannis. Mannis owned a small antique store where he would regularly attend auctions to keep his store stocked up. One auction he bid for a lot, which included the wine box among other bits and pieces which had belonged to an old Jewish lady that had recently passed away. Curious Mannis went to ask for more information about his purchase and discovered he was talking to the old ladies daughter. As soon as Mannis mentioned the box she started to freak out and told him that they wouldn’t accept any returns.
Not thinking much more about it Mannis took the collection of items back to his shop. His mothers birthday was soon coming up and he decided the wine box, after a few touch ups, would me a great present. He secured the items in the cellar and went on with his business, leaving his assistant to manage the store while he was away.
Not long after leaving, Mannis received a distressing call from his assistant who claimed that someone was down in the cellar smashing the place up. He immediately rushed back to the shop where he found that his assistant had left. He carefully moved down stairs to see what had happened. Strangely everything was still intact, except for all the light fittings. Glass was everywhere as every bulb had blown and shattered across the floor and he reported an overwhelming stench of urine that filled the large cellar. Mannis went to check the security gate, which was still safely secured. No one could have got in or out without having to of passed his assistant at the front desk. His assistant was so terrified she refused to return.
A few days later Kevin’s Mum came to visit and he gave her the present he had lovingly restored for her. As soon as she touched the box she suddenly couldn’t talk, lost control of her body and suffered a stroke. After that things went from bad to worse as Kevin started to get sick and broke out in hives and boils. He was constantly harassed by the old hag as nightmares broke his sleep. It took him some time before he pieced it all together. He decided it was time to get rid of the box and pass it on for someone else to worry about it. It was his ebay listing that started the legend of the Dibbuk box.
After safely securing the Dibbuk box, Jason had many meetings with Kevin Mannis and he continued his research. He discovered that the original owner, the old Jewish lady that Kevin purchased the box from, was the sole survivor of her family during the holocaust. It is believed that the woman trapped a Dibbuk in the box for revenge, or other negative purposes. Jason’s research delved deeply into the tragedies that the woman had faced and the history surrounding her story. Jason reports that he still occasionally gets the box out now and again but thanks to the rituals performed on the box it releases a sweet smell of jasmine now and again, almost like it is trying to entice him to once again open the box and release the Dibbuk waiting inside.
After the release of his book he has had many interviews (including with us which was featured in the first episode of our podcast) and his story was even turned into a movie called The Possession. Although the real story is a lot more terrifying.