Archive for March, 2016

Or the Dybbuk Box, is basically a wine cabinet that was sold on ebay and some believe it is haunted by a dybbuk. They are usually restless spirits that are able to haunt and possess the living. It is also the inspiration for the film The Possession (2012). I became more aware of the story when it was covered on the Mysterious Universe Podcast, they went into detail about it.

Kevin Mannis listed the wine cabinet on Ebay and the item description included a paranormal story about events he linked to the item. It is worth noting that Mannis is by trade a writer and creative professional and at the time was involved in the antiques business at Portland, Oregon.

The story he provided was that the box was brought during an estate sale in 2003, A Polish Holocaust survivor named Havela had escaped to Spain and then purchased the box there before immigrating to the United States. Havela’s granddaughter provided the information and he said that as it was a family heirloom he would happily hand it back. She said that they did not want it, it had always been in her grandmother’s sewing room and had not been opened as a dybbuk lived inside.

Mannis opened the box and found two 1920’s pennies, a lock of blond hair bound in a chord, a lock of black/brown hair with a chord, a small statue with the Hebrew word ‘Shalom’ on it, a small golden wine goblet, a dried rose bud and a single candle holder with four octopus shaped feet. He said that since owning it he suffered horrific nightmares, and that anyone staying at his place experienced the same thing. He gave the box to his mother has a birthday present and she suffered a stroke the same day it was handed to her.

The claims are that owners or those staying near the box suffer nightmares, and that many report the smell of cat urine, jasmine flowers or nightmares of an old hag. Iosif Neitkza was a student at Kirksville, Missouri and the last person to have auctioned it on Ebay. He said that the box caused lights to burn out at the house and his hair to fall out. When it was ready to be sold the Director of the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine stepped forward to offer to buy it and Neitzke sold it to him.

Haxton wrote The Dibbuk Box, and claimed that since he had taken hold of it he had developed strange health problems that included hives, coughing up blood and ‘head to toe’ welts. He said that he also spoke to Rabbi’s to find a way to seal the dybbuk back into the box. This was successful and he states he has now hidden it away in a secret location, that he does not intend to reveal.

Skeptic Chris French states that he think it’s down to the owners being primed about the purchase and relating it to bad things. If they believe it has caused them to be cursed then it would play out that way, anything bad would be related to the box and not to something unfortunate happening, with or without its presence.

So it sounds like quite a tale, but here’s the thing, the entity is supposed to possess people not objects and talks from the victims mouth not from a wooden box, the soul of the dybbuk clings to the soul of the person it is possessing. However again that’s folklore so who is to say that this one didn’t decide the box was a better offering?

What is worth noting – it’s not been handled by “lots of people”, more a small number, Kevin Mannis who owned it, said he got it off someone that had it in the family. Mannis gave it to his mother, it was returned and then tried to give it to his sister and brother. Having had it returned he then sold it and the new owner returned it, “This has a bad darkness”.

Mannis then sold it on Ebay and the owner became Neitzke, he then relisted it 8 months later having created a blog and talking about it. However there seems to be no blog to refer too about this now. He doubled his money on the sale for the old wine box and it went to Jason Haxton. So in total there have been three full owners, three Mannis family members and one person that handed it back quickly to the antiques store.

Given that no one can find Nietzke and that all of them have promoted the thing to sell it, resulting in a film which gave no credit to them, it seems that there are more questions about it than answers. And now that it cannot be located it is, lets offer the sceptical point here, no way to investigate the validity of this crummy old wine box anyway.

I remain sceptical on this one due to the lack of actual evidence about some of the people involved and that seemingly the end result of this is Haxton’s book, a story for profit.

AGaNnHa

Advertisements

He was born in 1922(ish) and the Haitian man is said to have been turned into a zombie by a combination of drugs. He been of interested both in folklore and for those that have an interest in how his condition came to light.

It’s believed he was drugged by puffer-fish venom and toad venom, it induced a coma that mimicked the appearance of death. The general belief is that it the poisoning was done by his brother when they had quarrelled over land. 

He was then returned home, where he collapsed and seen as dead, he was then buried. The Bokor (sorcerer) then retrieved the man who was, in effect, buried alive. Once retrieved from his grave he was given a drug known as datura, which causes memory loss and hallucinations He was in a zombie-like compliant state and this meant he worked subserviently for two years on a sugar plantation. The owner of the plantation died and Narcisse was left to wander free, unaware of the death of his brother he slowly began to regain his senses as the drug left his system.

According to the interview with American Scientist after 18 years of being presumed dead he came back to his village, he managed to convince his sister and some of the villagers about who he was. After the hallucinogen worked it’s way out if his system the former was restored to his natural mental state. One of the things that is frustrating is that there are not enough notes, from Wade Davis who explored the case, to determine the actual neurotoxin used. 

Here is the account.

Zombies NightoftheLivingDead

I admit I went there and had no sense of anything spooky, just the overwhelming smell of the candy. I therefore amused myself by seeing some local tales about it and other reports of supposedly paranormal activity.

In April 1907 the park was officially opened and was a place for picnics and boating. Milton S Hershey created it for his employees at the candy factory and has been there since, it has grown and is now a modern day attraction for the public.

Some say that Hershey himself haunts the park, often rather than being reported as seen he is caught in the smell of cigar smoke when no-one else has one lit.

The #47 Carousel of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company found its place at the park and was moved from near Spring Creek to Founders Circle in 1972. Park Personnel have apparently reported lights that turn on themselves and the ride to have started up itself. The music of the Wurlitzer has been faintly heard when the ride is off.

An anecdote says a security officer who saw the lights on, went and turned them off and left, as he walked off the lights came back on and he turned around. The officer saw a shadowy figure and the officer went back to intercept an intruder, he could not find anyone.

There was once a swimming pool at the park, it was filled in during 1971 but the lighthouse there was kept. Several children had drowned in the pools and the children have been seen near the lighthouse oblivious of the modern changes.

William Harter’s death is the one that was documented and therefore merited a little more of my time. He was at the park in August 1977 as part of a summer vocational training programme. The ride struck and killed Harter after it moved, another maintenance worker was also injured. The Hershey Company was fined for two safety violations. There are some claims of his ghost there too, but I cannot really find anything more about it than that. It was a sad tragedy that a young apprentice died there but I don’t know if that really means the area is haunted by him.

The scariest part for me there was the flipping ride with the cow butts swishing!

Hersheypark view from Ferris Wheel, 2013-08-10