The Dybbuk Box
I love internet tales of Horror. My favorite is The Hand that Resists Him http://ghoststoriesandhauntedplaces.blogspot.com/2012/05/haunted-ebay-painting.html but the Dybbuk Box is a close second. The Dybbuk Box was first discovered my a man named Kevin Mannis. Mannis purchased what is now known as the Dybbuk Box at an estate sale in 2001. It used to be the property of a Holocaust survivor who escaped and moved to the US. The survivor's name was Havela and she was supposed to have put the Dybbuk into the box after her friends helped her with a séance.
A Dybbuk is a spirit from Jewish folklore. It is an angry spirit that is able to possess the living. When Mannis opened the box, he found 2 pennies, a lock of blonde hair, a lock of brown hair, and a small statue engraved with the word Shalom inside the box. It also contained a wine goblet, a dried rose, and a candle holder wit octopus legs. These items are all used in the Jewish exorcism ritual. According to Manis, he gave the box to his mother as a birthday present. She had a stroke that very day. Manis had many other problems with the box and he finally decided to list the box on Ebay. The listing included the following statement:
All of the events that I am about to set forth in this listing are accurate and may be verified by the winning bidder with the copies of hospital records and sworn affidavits that I am including as part of the sale of the cabinet. The winning bidder will also be able to contact most of the persons mentioned herein for the purposes of verification, corroboration, and to gain insight into the full scope of whatever it is. During September of 2001, I attended an estate sale in Portland Oregon. The items liquidated at this sale were from the estate of a woman who had passed away at the age of 103. A grand-daughter of the woman told me that her grandmother had been born in Poland where she grew up, married, raised a family, and lived until she was sent to a nazi concentration camp during World War II. She was the only member of her family who survived the camp. Her parents, brothers, a sister, husband, and two sons and a daughter were all killed. She survived the camp by escaping with some other prisoners and somehow making her way to Spain where she lived until the end of the war. I was told that she acquired the small wine cabinet listed here in Spain and it was one of only three items that she brought with her when she immigrated to the United States. The other two items were a steamer trunk, and a sewing box.
I purchased the wine cabinet, along with the sewing box and some other furniture at the estate sale. After the sale, I was approached by the woman's granddaughter who said, I see you got the dibbuk box. She was referring to the wine cabinet. I asked her what a dibbuk box was, and she told me that when she was growing up, her grandmother always kept the wine cabinet in her sewing room. It was always shut, and set in a place that was out of reach. The grandmother always called it the dibbuk box. When the girl asked her grandmother what was inside, her grandmother spit three times through her fingers said, A dibbuk, and keselim. The grandmother went on to tell the girl that the wine cabinet was never, ever, to be opened.
The granddaughter told me that her grandmother had asked that the box be buried with her. However, as such a request was contrary to the rules of an orthodox Jewish burial, the grandmothers request had not been honored. I asked the granddaughter what a dibbuk, and keselim were, but she did not know. I asked if she would like to open it with me. She did not want to open it, as her grandmother had been very emphatic and serious when she instructed her not to do so, and, regardless of the reason, she wanted to honor her grandmothers request.
I finally ended up offering to let her keep what seemed to me to be a sentimental keepsake. At that point, she was very insistent and said, No, no you bought it!
I explained that I didnt want my money back, and that it would make me feel better to do what I thought was an act of kindness. She then became somewhat upset. Looking back now, the way she became upset was just plain odd. She raised her voice to me and said, You bought it! You made a deal!
When I tried to speak, she yelled, We don't want it! She began to cry, asked me to leave, and quickly walked away. I wrote the whole episode off to the stress and grief she must have been experiencing. I took my purchases and politely left.
At the time when I bought the cabinet, I owned a small furniture refinishing business. I took the cabinet to my store, and put it in my basement workshop where I intended to refinish it and give it as a gift to my Mother. I didn't think anything more about it. I opened my shop for the day and went to run some errands leaving the young woman who did sales for me in charge.
After about a half-hour, I got a call on my cell phone. The call was from my salesperson. She was absolutely hysterical and screaming that someone was in my workshop breaking glass and swearing. Furthermore, the intruder had locked the iron security gates and the emergency exit and she couldn't get out. As I told her to call the police, my cell phone battery went dead.
I hit speeds of 100 mph getting back to the shop. When I arrived, I found the gates locked. I went inside and found my employee on the floor in a corner of my office sobbing hysterically. I ran to the basement and went downstairs. At the bottom of the stairs, I was hit by an overpowering unmistakable odor of cat urine (there had never been any animals kept or found in my shop). The lights didn't work. As I investigated, I found that the reason the lights didn't work also explained the sounds of glass breaking. All of the light bulbs in the basement were broken. All nine incandescent bulbs had been broken in their sockets, and 10 four-foot fluorescent tubes were lying shattered on the floor. I did not find an intruder, however. I should also add that there was only one entrance to the basement. It would have been impossible for anyone to leave without meeting me head-on. I went back up to speak with my salesperson, but she had left.
She never returned to work (after having been with me for two years). She refuses to discuss the incident to this day. I never thought of relating the events of that day to anything having to do with the cabinet.
Then, things got worse.
As I already indicated, I had decided to give the cabinet to my Mother as a birthday gift. About two weeks after I made the purchase, I decided to get started refinishing it. I was surprised to find that the cabinet has a unique little mechanism. When you open one of the doors, the mechanism causes the opposite door, and the little drawer below, to open at the same time. It is very well made. Inside the cabinet, I found the following items:
1 1928 U.S. Wheat Penny; 1 1925 U.S. Wheat Penny; One small lock of blonde hair (bound with string); One small lock of black/brown hair (bound with string); One small granite statue engraved and gilded with Hebrew letters (I have been told that the letters spell out the word SHALOM); One dried rosebud; One golden wine cup; One very strange black cast iron candlestick holder with octopus legs.
I saved all of the items in a box intending to return them to the estate. The family has refused the items, so they will be included in this sale of the cabinet.
After opening the cabinet, I decided not to refinish it. I cleaned it, and rubbed in some lemon oil. It was at this time that I noticed that there was an inscription in Hebrew carved into the back of the cabinet. I have no idea what it says or if it is significant. I have included a picture of that inscription below. On my mothers birthday, October 28, 2001, my mother called to tell me that she was going out of town with my sister for three days, and we postponed celebrating her birthday together until she returned. On October 31, 2001, my mother came to my shop. We were going to have lunch together, but before we were going to leave, I gave her the wine cabinet. She seemed to like it. While she examined it, I went to make a phone call. I hadn't been out of sight more than 5 minutes when one of my employees came running into my office saying that something was wrong with my mom.
When I went back to see what the matter was, I found my mom sitting in a chair beside the cabinet. Her face had no expression, but tears were streaming down her cheeks. No matter how I tried to get her to respond, she would not. She could not. It turns out that my mother had suffered a stroke. She was taken to the hospital by ambulance. She ended up suffering partial paralysis, and losing her ability to speak and form words (she has since regained the ability to speak). She could understand things being said to her, and could respond by pointing to letters of the alphabet to spell out words she wanted to say. When I asked her the following day how she was doing, she teared up and spelled out the words: N-O G-I-F-T. I assured her that I had given her a gift for her birthday, thinking that she didnt remember, but she became even more upset and spelled out the words: H-A-T-E G-I-F-T. I laughed and told her not to worry. I told her I was sorry she didnt like the cabinet, and that I would get her anything she wanted if she would promise to get well soon.
Still, I didn't associate anything that had happened with the cabinet itself or anything paranormal. Frankly, I dont think I ever even used the term paranormal until this last month.
I'll try to make this short now. I gave the cabinet to my sister. She kept it for a week, then gave it back. She complained that she couldn't get the doors to stay closed and that they kept coming open. There are no springs in the door mechanism and I have never found that the doors come open. I gave it to my brother and his wife who kept it for three days and then gave it back. My brother said it smelled like Jasmine flowers, while his wife insisted that it put out an odor of cat urine. I gave it to my girlfriend who asked me to sell it for her after only two days. I sold it the same day to a nice middle aged couple. Three days later, when I came to open the shop for the day, I found the cabinet sitting at the front doors with a note that read, This has a bad darkness. I had no idea what that meant. Anyway, I ended up taking it home.
Then, things got even worse.
Since the day I brought it home, I began having a strange recurring nightmare. Every time I have the horrible dream it goes something like this: I find myself walking with a friend, usually someone I know well and trust at some point in the dream, I find myself looking into the eyes of the person that I am with. It is then that I realize that there is something different, something evil looking back at me. At that point in my dream, the person I am with changes into what can only be described as the most gruesome, demonic looking Hag that I have ever seen. This Hag proceeds then, to beat the living tar out of me. I have awakened numerous times to find bruises and marks on myself where I had been hit by the old woman during the previous night. Still, I never related the nightmares to the cabinet, nor do I think that I ever would have.
About a month ago, however, my sister, and my brother and his wife came over to my house and spent the night. The following morning, during breakfast, my sister complained that she had had a horrible nightmare. She said that she recalled having had it a couple of times before, and went on to describe my nightmare exactly to the last detail. My brother and his wife froze as they listened, and then chimed in that they had both had had the exact same dreams during the night as well. The hair was standing up on the back of my neck and still is. As we talked, it became clear that the common denominator was that each of us had had the nightmare during the times that the cabinet was in our respective homes. I called my girlfriend and asked if she could recall having any nightmares recently. She described the same nightmare, same Hag, everything. When I asked her if she remembered the date when she had the nightmare, she said she did not. Then I asked if it happened to be the night before she gave me the cabinet back to sell for her. She said, Yeah! Hey, how did you know that?!!!
Now then, since my family discussion, it seems like all hell is breaking loose. For a week afterward I started seeing what I can only describe as shadow things in my peripheral vision. In fact, numerous visitors to my house have claimed that they have seen these shadow things. I put the cabinet in an outside storage unit and was awakened when the smoke alarm in the unit went off in the middle of the night. When I went to see what was burning, I opened the door and didnt see any smoke. However, I did get hit with the smell of cat urine. When I went back inside, the smell was there in my house. I DO NOT OWN A CAT AND I NEVER HAVE. I went back outside and grabbed the cabinet. I brought it back inside and tried to research it on the Internet. While I was surfing the net, I fell asleep and once again had the same freakin nightmare. I woke up at around 4:30am (when it felt and smelled like someone was breathing on my neck) to find that my house now smelled like Jasmine flowers, and just in time to see a HUGE shadow thing go loping down the hall away from me.
I would destroy this thing in a second, except I really dont have any understanding of what I may or may not be dealing with. I am afraid (and I do mean afraid) that if I destroy the cabinet, whatever it is that seems to have come with the cabinet may just stay here with me. I have been told that there are people who shop on EBAY that understand these kinds of things and specifically look for these kinds of items. If you are one of these people, please, please buy this cabinet and do whatever you do with a thing like this. Help me.
You can see that I have no reserve price or minimum bid. If I can make things any easier let me know and I will do everything within my abilities.
One more note. On the same day my Mom had her stroke, the lease to my store was summarily terminated without cause.
The measurements are 12.5" x 7.5" x 16.25"
ALL OF THE ITEMS THAT I ORIGINALLY FOUND INSIDE THE CABINET ARE INCLUDED IN THE SALE AND WILL BE DELIVERED WITH THE CABINET.
Other owners say the box smells like urine and is accompanied by nightmares about an old hag. Horrible tales were carried with the box as it leapt from one owner to the next. Iosif Neitske was the last owner that auctioned the box on Ebay. He claims that the box caused electronic failure, insect swarms and medical problems. Medical problems included hives, vomiting blood, and hair loss. Neitske tried to sell the box on Ebay.
An article in the Los Angeles Times talks about this famous Ebay box:
"A small wooden cabinet went up for auction on EBA. Inside were two locks of hair, one granite slab, one dried rosebud, one goblet, two wheat pennies, one candlestick and on allegedly, "dibbuk", a kind of spirit popular in Yiddish folklore.
The seller, a Missouri college student name Iosif Nietske, described the container as a "haunted Jewish wine cabinet box" that had plagued several owners with rotten luck and a pate of bizarre paranormal stunts"
The story of this strange box was the basis for last summer's movie "The Possession". You can read more about this box and its story at http://dibbukbox.com/story.htm