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.