Not everyone seems convinced, but spirits, ghosts, and demons are more than just myths passed on from generation to generation. For countless times, real-life paranormal stories have proven their existence.
The Dybbuks are no different. In Kabbalah and Jewish mythology, they are believed to be dislocated souls of dead people who were not granted entry to Gehenna, the Jewish equivalent of purgatory, for committing grave transgressions such as suicide. Others say that they escaped the purgatory and went on to live among the breathing to attend to some unfinished business on earth. They latch onto human beings and objects and supposedly leave their host after goals are satisfied or through exorcism.
Unfortunately, not every dybbuk finds its peace. Not until it rests, its host suffers through an inexplicable plague.
The Dybbuk Box: More Than Just a Myth
In 2012, a film produced by Sam Raimi called The Possession was released, which follows the life of a young girl named Emily who became obsessed with an archaic wooden box that contains an evil dybbuk. Eventually, she starts to become violent that leads her to stab her father’s hand with a fork.
But the film was not solely drawn from the writer’s creative imagination. In fact, it was based on an actually existing dybbuk box that belonged to Havela, a Holocaust survivor. There she put two 1920s coins, locks of blond and dark hair, a golden chalice, a dried rosebud, a candle holder, and a granite rock statue engraved with the word “shalom” written in Hebrew.
Back in September 2001, the same box was auctioned at an estate sale in Portland, Oregon, which Kevin Mannis ended up purchasing. Right after the purchase, Hevela’s granddaughter approached him to talk about the box. When he asked what’s inside, she said it contained a dybbuk and keselim, which he thought were Hevela’s most-prized possessions. He didn’t really know what they meant by that, so it puzzled him as to why the granddaughter vehemently refused his polite offer of giving it back to them. Her only warning was to never open the box as this was her late grandmother’s request.
But the box was reserved as a gift for his mother’s birthday, so he intended to open it up and refurnish it. Spine-chilling events started to happen in his life when he brought it to his shop. Vivid dreams haunted him at night and his mother suffered a stroke right after he gave it. Even then, he never associated the events with the cabinet box until he confirmed that his entire family began having nightmares same as his. Mannis believes that the events were too coincidental to ignore.
He wanted to destroy it but thought to himself that it might just make matters worse than it ever was. Instead, Mannis listed it on eBay and the dybbuk box has changed owners several times since then. Everyone who has held the box complained of similar horrible nightmares, and the odor of cat urine or Jasmine flower strangely floating through the air near the box. Some even caught serious health issues for no known medical reason.
The infamous dybbuk box finally landed in the hands of Zak Bagans, a paranormal expert, who planned to display it in his occult museum in Las Vegas. He kept in a protective transparent glass to prevent visitors from touching the cabinet box.
At one time in June 2018, the famous singer-songwriter Post Malone visited the museum. During the visit, Zak removed the protective and touched the dybbuk box, before the rapper touched his shoulder and let out a scream. Malone was later confronted by the dybbuk’s serious curse— his private plane’s tires blew at takeoff, forcing it to make an emergency landing. It didn’t end there, his Rolls-Royce was hit by another car, and his previous home was invaded by armed unidentified men who were said to be looking for him. Because of that, Zak is even more convinced that the box, indeed, contains a dybbuk.
Zak Bagan also attempted to open the box on live TV back in November 2018, just in time for the Halloween. He even invited a rabbi, a Jewish religious leader, to cast the dybbuk spirit back in the box the moment he opens it. In the end, Zak decides to keep it close with the fear of afflicting himself the same misery its previous owners have gone through.
Currently, the dybbuk box is housed inside Zak’s museum and is considered the world’s most haunted object. And if you want a normal life, you better stay away from the haunted dybbuk box.