Mystery and Terror: The True Story of the Dibbuk Box

Mystery and Terror: The True Story of the Dibbuk Box,

‘The Possession’ presents a chilling narrative, drawing inspiration from an even more disturbing real-life story: the Dibbuk Box. This object, sold on eBay, has been a source of unsettling phenomena and theories. Here, we delve into its origins and its impact on both real life and the horror film genre.

The Link Between ‘The Possession’ and the Genuine Dibbuk Box

In the film, Clyde (portrayed by Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Stephanie Brenek (Kyra Sedgwick) grow increasingly alarmed as they notice their younger daughter’s unusual obsession with an antique wooden box, acquired second-hand.

Em’s behavior becomes progressively more aggressive and bizarre, accompanied by paranormal occurrences, leading the couple to suspect a malevolent entity in their midst.

Their investigation uncovers that the box was crafted to imprison a dibbuk, a malevolent spirit from Jewish folklore, capable of corrupting its human host.

At first glance, the movie might seem like a typical horror film. However, as the Los Angeles Times reports, the box in question truly existed and was sold on eBay in 2004 to John Haxton, a museum conservator, for $280, raising questions about whether it’s merely a promotional strategy or a factual occurrence.

The Mysterious eBay Wooden Box

Mystery and Terror: The True Story of the Dibbuk Box,

Inside, unusual items were discovered: two locks of hair, a granite piece, a withered rosebud, a goblet, two vintage 1909 U.S. wheat pennies, a candle, and, supposedly, a “dibbuk”.

Iosif Nietzke, a Missouri university student, was the one who listed this peculiar “Jewish haunted box” for sale, attributing a history of misfortunes and paranormal phenomena to its previous owners.

After being listed on eBay, its price quickly escalated from $1 to $50 and was eventually purchased for $280 by Jason Haxton, a 46-year-old university museum conservator, also residing in Missouri.

In the following months, the mystery surrounding this wooden box intensified. The Forward, a Jewish newspaper with over a century of history, published an article about the box’s sale, suggesting it contained dark forces from other worlds.

This enigmatic object has captured the attention of authors, screenwriters, documentarians, as well as rabbis, orthodox Jews, and Hebrew scholars, who have approached Haxton intending to study the box more closely.

Origin of the Dibbuk Box Legend

The mystery of the Dibbuk Box dates back to the autumn of 2001 when Kevin Mannis, an Oregon entrepreneur and antique collector, stumbled upon this enigmatic object at a garage sale.

The seller informed him that the box, with over a century of history, had belonged to his grandmother, who had explicitly warned against opening it. Disregarding these cautions, Mannis acquired the box and stored it in the basement of his antique shop.

Soon after, paranormal events began to occur, which Mannis attributed to a “mysterious force”. Unexplained breakages and a sense of unease among his employees were compounded by the presence of a jasmine scent in different areas of his business.

After gifting the box to his mother, who suffered a stroke leaving her temporarily unable to speak, Mannis, overwhelmed by these events, decided to sell the box on eBay in 2003. The buyer was Iosif Nietzke, who purchased it for $140.

Nietzke’s Terrifying Experiences

Nietzke similarly reported a series of unsettling phenomena, including strange odors, an infestation of insects, failures in electronic devices, and vertical dark stains in his home. Burdened by these occurrences, Nietzke put the box back up for sale on eBay, where it was acquired by Jason Haxton.

Haxton, in turn, experienced paranormal events in his home, such as abrupt awakenings, a metallic taste in his mouth, nasal congestion, persistent cough, and occasionally, odors of cat urine and flowers.

Expert Perspectives on the Box

Researchers and scholars of Jewish religion have theorized that the box could have been used to store the belongings of the deceased, a common practice to preserve memories of loved ones. These items, according to experts, could act as a condenser of soul energy, facilitating access to spirits from other dimensions and attracting negative presences.

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