Have You Heard Of The Dybbuk Box?

Yeah . . . That box, sold at auction on eBay and was said to be haunted.

Wasn’t there a book and a film about that creepy old thing?

It’s a wine cabinet — a dybbuk box and also spelled “dibbux”. It’s said to be haunted by a dybbuk.

That makes sense for a dybbuk to live in a dybbuk box.

So . . . what’s the big deal?

This real ghost story begins with Kevin Mannis. In 2004, Mannis put The Dybbuk Box up for auction on eBay.

He’s a writer and at the time of the eBay auction owned a small antiques and furniture refinishing business in Portland, Oregon. In 2001, Mannis bought the Dybbuk Box at an estate sale. The box belonged to a Holocaust survivor of Polish decent by the name of Havela. She escaped to Spain prior to immigrating to the United States . . . bringing the box with her.

According to Mannis, Havela purposely sealed a dybbuk inside the box.  Evidently she and her friends were performing a séance when a dybbuk contacted her.

Jewish folklore claims a dybbuk is a restless, malicious spirit believed to be able to haunt and even possess the living.

Now that we have some background on the dybbuk and his box . . . we return to Mannis. This is what he found when he opened the box:

  • 2 pennies dated in the 1920’s
  • a lock of blonde hair bound with a cord
  • a lock of dark brown hair bound with a cord
  • a small statue engraved with the Hebrew word “Shalom”
  • one dried rose bud
  • a single candle holder with four octopus-shaped legs
  • a small golden wine goblet.

These items, according to Jewish folklore, are for exorcising demons.

That’s all fine and good . . . yet it appears the Dybbuk wasn’t exorcised. He was still in the box and when Mannis opened it . . . 

He had horrible nightmares involving an old hag.

Even guests in Mannis’s home experienced these nightmares, too.

So, what did he do?

He gave the box to his mother. Oh good grief!!! And, the same day he gave her that stinky old Dybbuk Box she suffered a stroke. I said “stinky old Dybbuk Box” because it did have an aroma about it of a cross between cat urine and jasmine flowers.

The current owner of this Dybbuk Box is Jason Haxton, Director of the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri.

Haxton had the winning bid at the eBay auction, thus buying the Dybbuk Box from Mannis.

Jason Haxton wrote The Dibbuk Box and published it in November of 2011.

He developed some strange health problems including hives, coughing up blood and “head-to-toe welts”.

While he had the box in his office, light bulbs burst.

Haxton removed the box from the museum and locked it in the back of his truck.  He parked it at his house and that night experienced the same nightmares of a hag-like woman as other previous owners.

He contacted Rabbis to seal the dybbuk back in the box after he and his son noticed a black mass shaped like a flame in the room with them.

Currently, Haxton has the freshly resealed Dybbuk Box hidden in an undisclosed location.

Reminds me of a Genie in a Bottle or Aladdin’s Lamp.

Just in case you come across a dybbuk box, this one has the Shema carved into the side of it and the box  measures 12.5″ x 7.5″ x 16.25″

Although this tale creeps me out, I can say that it is an attractive box . . . one I could see myself buying in an estate sale . . . but in light of all this . . . I would have to take a pass. I don’t like inviting danger into my life unnecessarily.

Oh yes, one more point . . . This was quite popular up until 2014 . . . so why am I writing about it?

I know this particular Dybbuk Box is now sealed in an undisclosed location . . . but do you honestly believe that there is only one Dybbuk . . . or is it merely an urban legend . . . Maybe those owners got caught up in the hysteria of the legend . . .

Or . . . there are Dybbuk among us . . . hidden in some old antique cabinet . . . an armoire perhaps . . . or a lovely vase . . . just waiting . . . for . . . you . . . to discover it . . . and . . . set it free . . .

Thanks for stopping by!