Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday Weird: The Dybbuk Box

A dybbuk box is a wine cabinet that's purportedly haunted by a dybbuk, a malevolent spirit from Jewish folklore, capable of haunting and possessing a person.

A particular dybbuk box became famous (there's a book written about it, and it inspired the 2012 movie The Possession) when it was listed on ebay with a frightening backstory.

In September 2001 an antique buyer hit up a Portland auction, where the belongings of a 103 year old woman were being sold. The woman's granddaughter told the antique dealer that her grandmother had been Jewish and the only member of her family who had survived a concentration camp. When she emigrated to the US she only brought three things with her, one of which was her wine cabinet.

The granddaughter told the dealer that her grandmother always kept the box hidden and said that it should never be opened because it contained a dybbuk. She requested that the box be buried with her, but that went against Jewish tradition, so her family didn't comply.

The antique dealer bought the cabinet. Inside he found some old pennies, a lock of hair, a goblet and a candleholder.

He placed it in his workshop in the basement. Almost immediately strange things started to happen, including lights flickers, light bulbs shattering, strange smells (like cat urine) coming from nowhere, and terrible sounds emerging from the basement.

Because the dealer was either dumb as fuck, or smart(?) he gave the box to his mother, who shortly after had a stroke. At the hospital she spelled out a message: H-A-T-E-G-I-F-T.
He tried to gift it a few more times, but it was always returned to him because the recipients either didn't like it, or felt it was ominous.

The dealer began to sleep poorly and have nightmares. He would also catch glimpses of shadow people darting around. Once, when he was doing research about the box online, he fell asleep at his desk. When he woke, he felt breathing on the back of his neck. He turned and saw a large shadow flying away from him down the hall.

That's when he decided to list the cabinet on ebay.

It migrated to different owners before Jason Haxton, author of the book about the box and curator of a medical museum in Missouri, purchased the box. He resealed the box and stored it at a secret location, which he will not reveal.

So there you go! I haven't seen the movie, but I remember the previews and it looked pretty good. Thoughts? Theories?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Crap, are we cursed because we saw the picture above?
He gave it to his mother. Nice guy. Wonder if he's still in her will?

Matthew MacNish said...

This is the kind of shit that scares the hell out of me.

Someone needs to ply that demon with some Manischewitz.

Maria Zannini said...

I never heard of this! Too bad I'm too chicken to watch the movie.

You'd think after the mother incident (bad son!) he would've buried it and doused the ground with a gallon of holy water.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, man--I LOVE stories like this! They definitely feed the imagination.

Rena said...

OMG! Alex, I had the same thought!

And creepy.

Like for real.


I totally got chills from this one, because this makes too much sense to me. Now here's my crazy theory.

The grandmother collected wandering souls at the concentration camp. People all around her were dying and in such a way that they feared they'd never make it to the after life. After seeing people she cared about die, she decided to help their souls. She collected them, carried them around with her, but the burden of them was too much, so she tied them to the wine cabinet. It was to be buried with her so it could go through the customary burial of Jewish people, to properly lay them to rest.

Then, of course, the antique dealer let them all out. (gave it to his mother??? Geez, what a twerp!)

Crystal Collier said...

Very interesting, and chilling.

mshatch said...

I agree with Crystal, very chilling.

Anne Gallagher said...

Why do people want to mess with the dead? Don't they watch Ghost Hunters?

Jamie Gibbs said...

I've a certain level of skepticism about objects that can be haunted - especially ones that are sold on Ebay and the like. Still, it's pretty damn freaky.

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