What is the 'Dybbuk Box' and why are people so scared of it?

5th March 2017. Famous Paranormal Cases. 15679 page views. 12 comments.

How did a antique wine box become one of the world's most haunted items?

Every paranormal investigator and really anyone who watches scary movies will have heard of the ‘Dybbuk Box’. It must be super important because Zak Bagans dropped a ton a cash to buy the ‘original’ box to feature in his haunted museum. He will not display the box opened, it will be in a ‘protective case’ and you have to be over the age of 18 and sign a consent form waiving any liability should something happen to you. Is it all a gimmick or is there some truth to it? Have Hollywood misrepresented the true origins of a Dybbuk? Can anyone capture a spirit in a wine box? Here is all you need to know about the Dybbuk box and you can make up your own mind.

It is a very very very long and complicated story so I am going to try to condense it down a bit for you but let’s look for at what a ‘Dybbuk’ is. In Hebrew it means ‘Cling’ and in Jewish folklore a Dybbuk refers to a malicious spirit that is bound to the earth with the intention to possess a living person to cause harm. This is the important part – it is NOT and I repeat it is NOT a demon! Jewish folklore has many different terms for different kinds of spirits and even for demons. None of these are ‘Dybbuk’. I am by no means an expert on Judaism so I am not going to pretend I am and leave the translation at just that. I will however mention towards the end of this article and experience I had at a recent investigation that caused me to look into the term Dybbuk further.

Back to the Dybbuk box. Now that you know what a Dybbuk is, what is a Dybbuk box and where did it come from? Well in 2003 a man called Kevin Mannis put a wine box up for sale on Ebay. I would post the whole description but it is pages and pages long. If you would like to read the whole post that was put on ebay you can find it at www.dibbukbox.com/story (even this does not contain the complete post but does offer a link to the official book on the dybbuk box hmmmmm. It is really quite dramatised and elaborate and of course sold as a ‘haunted’ item. Luckily I have done all of the hard work reading for you and I am going to summarise it for you. In 2001, Kevin went to a yard sale or garage sale as we would call here in Australia, and came across the box. He is a used furniture dealer so makes sense. The family of a woman who had recently passed away at the age of 103 were selling her things. The family explained this woman was born and raised in Poland, married and started a family and unfortunately because of the era was sent to a Nazi concentration camp during world war 2. Tragically all of her family were killed and she was the only survivor. Her and some other prisoners escaped and lived in Spain until the end of the war. She somehow acquired a wine cabinet during her time in spain(which would soon become the Dybbuk box) and it was one of only three positions she brought with her when she immigrated to America. The grandaughter of this lady told Kevin that growing up she was never allowed to touch the box, definitely not to open the box and that her grandmother referred to it as the Dybbuk box and asked it to be buried with her. (Due to orthodox tradition her wish was not granted). The family were very upset at the thought of the box and wanted it gone.

Fast foward a bit and all of these very dramatic things happened to Kevin and anyone who was basically around the box so of course it was the box right? Kevin was going to refinish the box and of course had to open it and see what was inside. Inside the box was some pennies from the late 1920’s, some locks of hair, a dried rosebud, an octopus candlestick holder, a golden wine cup and an engraving of the word ‘Shalom’ which is a salutation meaning ‘peace’ for when you greet or say goodbye to someone. There was also an engraving in the back of the cabinet in Hebrew. He didn’t refinish the box, just cleaned it up and gave it to his mum who not long after suffered from a stroke. She managed to write him a note that said ‘Hate gift’ on it. He gave it to his sister, his brother his girlfriend all who returned it to him for different reasons. No one wanted this cursed box and they all suffered nightmares of an ‘old hag’. Lots and lots of things happened at the hands of box apparently that had these people’s lives in turmoil so he put the item on ebay because he was too scared to destroy it. It was purchased for $140 by a student Iosif Nietzke who was a uni student that wrote blogs about his experience. He relisted it on ebay 8 months later with similar stories. In 2004 Jason Haxton bought the box for $280. He knew of Iosif Nietzke and the box as he followed the blog and jumped at the opportunity. He is the most well known owner of the box as he wrote a book and made a website (the one I listed above).

He created a website, wrote a book and appeared in documentaries and tv shows. He had ‘paranormal experts’ conduct different experiments on the box (which of course were televised or written about). He claimed that it gave him physical problems but in some interviews on youtube claimed that it had anti ageing benefits as well.

He partnered with Kevin Mannis on these ventures and they of course made money from it and still do. The movie ‘The Possession’ was based loosely on this whole story (and I am sure they benefited financially). The in between buyer is nowhere to be found and is known of by the name of Iosif Nietzke who no one can seem to find or more I can’t find anymore information on him. Eventually it all became too much and he consulted with Rabbi to have the Dybbuk sealed back in the box and he buried it in an unknown location. The box was dug up for a special appearance of ‘Deadly Possessions’, Zak Bagan’s show on his haunted museum which thrust the story of the Dybbuk box back into the spotlight. The world’s most haunted object is now going to be on display in Zak’s museum. Maybe Zak wants to take advantage of those Anti Ageing benefits!

So is it just me or are there some red flags here?

How did a Dybbuk get in the box and why? Why would someone sell something like this on ebay back in a time when it wasn’t cool to sell ‘haunted objects’ on ebay? Why does the box always seem to magically reappear when there is a media opportunity? How do you know it is the ‘REAL’ box? There are replica boxes all over the place and I am sure there is no Dybbuk in there. The real question I actually have is this ….. Do these guys genuinely believe this box is causing them all this misfortune? Did they make it all up or do they truely believe the box is ruining their lives. Skeptic Chris French spoke out and said if people are purposely looking for items with a reputation for causing harm, their mind is automatically going to think that anything bad that happens can be attributed to the box. Have to say I agree here.

Personally I don’t really buy into the hype of the Dybbuk box. Would I open it in person and investigate it! Hell yeah I would. Sign that consent form, I’m in. Sadly I don’t think I am going to make it to Zak’s museum anytime soon.

That is about all I know on the Dybbuk Box. What I can tell you is a personal experience I had recently on a paranormal investigation that led me to research into the folklore of the Dybbuk. I was at a location where a lot of Jewish immigrants were living post World War 2. It was a very quiet evening and we were having difficulty capturing any sort of evidence. We felt like they were there, but either didn’t know how to or didn’t want to communicate with us. Some of the information that came through led us to believe that perhaps we were picking up on some Jewish energies. A quick google search and we came across the word Dybbuk. As soon as we mentioned this word, the equipment would go crazy and we would get responses. (The mobile phone was off and in another area at this point before you jump the gun with assumptions you smart people – I would think the same btw). Anyway that is my little link to the Dybbuk and what led me to start researching the folklore behind the Dybbuk.

So I want to know ….. Do you think the Dybbuk box is truely haunted?

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  • Shawn Nelson 7 months ago

    I own this exact “cabinet” and have seen the box at Zak Bagans museum 4 times. I’ve spoken with Jason Haxton and he confirms that my cabinet is the same in every way of the dybbuk box. Not a replica, an original made by Karoff. I have yet to see another! If anyone has seen one, please post. At the museum, every room is different, some energies feel very strong, some have no feeling change. I got pretty bad vertigo when it came to the dybbuk box room, a very unnatural feeling. Please email me if anyone would like to see my cabinet, exact in every way to the dybbuk box.

    • Dean 4 months ago

      Hey Shawn, does your cabinet have energy attached? Where did you get it from?

  • Marduk 1 year ago

    It is sad that a dark and negative image was created when the subject is dybbuk boxes. King Solomon created the first dybbuk box or pandora box as we heard in greek mytology, he locked and binded the goetian spirits/daemons/djinns as you wanna call them, in order to serve him and his future generations...it still is possible to perform the same ritual to bind 1, 2 and sometimes 3 entities to a box and the owner of this box is able to comunicate with them and and ask 7 questions per day...when i was on the military i met a tribe in Afeganistan that is able to perform this ritual...this tribe holds the secret knowlege of Solomonic magic

  • tess 1 year ago

    there are Hebrew writings on the box, I am just curious what they mean

    • Shawn Nelson 7 months ago

      Spoke with Kevin Mannis, this is what he said “As Jason indicated, the words are those of a prayer called The Shema, considered to be the most basic, and fundamental prayer of Judaism. It translates as follows: Hear, O' Israel, the Lord our G-d, the Lord is one. Praised be His name and His glorious kingdom forever.”

  • Richard Clausen 1 year ago

    I live on Lake Eire. We love our BonFires. This is the perfect time of year. I would build a huge one and burn the devil out of it.

    • Rick 1 year ago

      Burning the box fully releases the spirit.

  • Smm 1 year ago

    I believe the box is more so toxic than haunted, I think maybe the Jews laced it with some chemical war fair agent that is absorbed into the wood and anyone whom touches it get the effects of the toxins, apparently it has a sweet smell & looking on line for toxic poisons Dimethylmercury has a sweet smell, I don’t know if was used in war time as I couldn’t find nothing on line, but I’m more concerned the fact that this box is toxic because the people who touch it sweat profusley n choaking plus if true from the last owner bleeding from his eyes, isn’t that a possible indication that the body is trying to eradicate toxins which have been absorbed by the skin?? It’s just a thought!!

    • MSM 1 year ago

      In case anyone is wondering, SMM is regurgitating a conspiracy theory from before the Middle Ages, where a Jew was actually blamed for creating the plague by poisoning a well. >.>

  • Master Angel 2 years ago

    I don’t doubt that Post Malone’s drama has stemmed from him touching Zak while Zak was trying to be hardcore. Just like with any angel, demon, djinn, spirit or deities, dybbuk spirits are very real and must be treated with respect, these beings/entities not a thing to be messed with.
    “Apparently” between the time of WW1 and WW2, the original owner named Havayla (unsure of correct spelling) and her cousin Sophia conducted a seance and unfortunately summoned this spirit. She was of the belief that this spirit was the one that caused/brought about WW2. Their first attempt to bind and contain it in the box failed but the second attempt was successful, that’s why Havayla brought the box with her when she migrated and told her family not to open the box EVER. What I don’t understand is even though this is unorthodox in keeping with Havayla’s Jewish beliefs, why did her family not obey her dying wish and just bury the box with her? And then you have these idiots making money off something they’ve unleashed that they don’t even understand and are unable to combat. Sure it’s all $$$ and publicity but I wouldn’t be surprised if this Jason Haxton and whoever else is benefiting financially from this spirit has opened up a portal and doomed their descendants to some type of generational curse. Don’t mess with the unknown. These things are older than you and I, and time itself.

  • April 2 years ago

    I do believe it’s haunted and I wish more people were aware of the energies that can remain in items that why I tell people all the time be careful of what you bring into your home from estate sales or used items

  • BOB 2 years ago

    It is a wine box that is haunted by an evil entity and can cause tremendous havoc and even possession on the person that opens it

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