Sometimes, though not commonly, you come across a story that just grips you from the second that you read it, and intrigues you long after you’ve finished it. This article is going to be one of those. This was not written for the upcoming ‘Diabolical Confusions: Volume 1’ book, but rather, due to it’s original nature of spawning from the internet, it seemed a fitting place to be drafted specifically for the website. Some fans wanted some new and unique content, and at the time of writing, I couldn’t think of a better story. It fits right in here, as it contains elements of a haunting, malevolent spirits, paranormal activity, highly religious undertones, an accursed item, and lots and lots of witness verification. As a matter of fact, this story is so damned intriguing that it is the basis for Sam Raimi’s newest horror project, “The Possession”, released in August, 2012, starring Kyra Sedgwick and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. This story has been around for a while – 2004 and earlier, actually – and even I remember coming across this listing “back in the day”. Only recently did I discover that it was the inspiration for the above-referenced movie, and here is everything I know about it.
FIRST, THE INTRODUCTION
The first thing that you should know is that in preparation for this article, I didn’t just read an auction, I tracked down as much information about this article as I could online. That was fruitful enough to publish the first draft of this article, but it wasn’t enough. I feel the desire to dig deeper and to dig farther, to try to find out as much as I could about it. This was also not that difficult, because through my first article, I was – no doubt, this was in no way a coincidence – put into contact with the Dibbuk Box’s current owner, Jason Haxton. As a matter of fact, you could even view some of his comments below, on this very page. Through email discussions, I decided to purchase his book. At first, I was apprehensive, because most people seem to try their best to capitalize on a paranormal event so that they can make money, but the fact that this man had a respectable job involved in museum curation, I decided to take the plunge. I ordered his book from this link: The Dibbuk Box, by Jason Haxton. However, it took a ridiculous amount of time to get to me, so I figured I would say “Screw it”, and I purchased the Kindle digital version. I was actually able to read the entire book digitally by the time it even arrived in my mailbox. Further than that, there were serious complications for me to actually even receive the book. It was shipped via FedEx, and then FedEx decided to pass it on to my local USPS without telling me. Apparently, they made some attempts to deliver it to me, but all were unsuccessful. Despite their claims that they left me multiple “notifications”, I was never able to find them. The best part is that when I went to the post office to pick it up in person, they couldn’t find the damned thing for a full two days, and when they did, it was tucked under some old mail that was being held for a different address.
At first, this didn’t mean anything to me at all, it was just a big damned inconvenience, but afterwards, I got to thinking and started to realize that anything to do with this box seems to come with some form of difficulty, so I don’t know why I was surprised.
Regardless, once I got the book, I tucked it safely away. However, what surprised me about it was how detailed Mr. Haxton was in the writing of his book. He had details that were recorded by not only dates, but sometimes by time as well. Luckily, Mr. Haxton is the type of person who has been recording his daily activities in a log for over two decades, so once again not by coincidence, I feel that the box found its intended owner and location.
I will go into detail further on my opinion of the book at the end of this article, but I will state that it is a very, very good and detailed book. While speaking with Mr. Haxton, he told me that he had so much material that he could have written a 600 page book, but that he didn’t think anyone would read it. I know I personally would have, and if the topic of the Dibbuk Box interests you as it has me, I strongly recommend reading this book. It’s price is a little steep at $19.99, but if you want a pretty large discount, you can always buy and download the Kindle version. Even for people who don’t have a Kindle – like myself – you could always download the Kindle app for the iPad/iPhone/iPod, and read it that way. The link for the book was listed previously and will be listed further, again, I strongly recommend that you give it a shot. Until then, this piece will shed some light and illuminate some things that can’t be commonly found on the internet without a ton of research.
Before I even begin to ramble on, first, let me tell you what exactly I am talking about. This item, the wine box, became famous first as a listing on eBay. Now, thanks to internet archival services, there is a working link that will display the eBay auction exactly as it was. Here it is, for your viewing pleasure:
For those of you who don’t enjoy clicking links, and at Jason Haxton’s permission, here is a direct excerpt from The Dibbuk Box, by Jason Haxton, which printed the entire text of the eBay auction:
All 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.
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 granddaughter 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 [that] 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, locked 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 [and] 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 grandmother’s 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 [pry the lock off and] 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 her grandmother wanted to keep it closed, she wanted to honor her grandmother’s request.
I decided to offer to let her just keep it, as it seemed to me that it must be a very sentimental keepsake. At that point, she was very insistent and said, “No, no, you bought it!”
I explained that I didn’t 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 with me 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, and asked that I please leave—now, and she quickly walked away from me. I wrote the whole episode off to the stress and grief that she must have been experiencing. I gathered up my items, paid the cashier, and quietly left.
At the time I bought the cabinet, I owned a small furniture refinishing business. I took the wooden 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 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 [basement] 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). I flipped the light switch, but 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 I discovered that the four-foot long fluorescent tubes—all ten of them—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.
At the time, I thought perhaps my worker became angry at me somehow—for her getting locked in my shop (anyone passing by might have locked the outside gate—although this had never happened before) and to get even with me [had] trashed my basement. For me, that was the only logical answer, as I knew no one else was found to be in my shop with her and [that no one had left but she].
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 wine cabinet, instead I felt I had a disgruntled worker, nothing more.
Then, things got worse.
As I already indicated, I had decided to give the wine cabinet to my mother as a birthday gift. About two weeks after I made the purchase, I decided to get started refinishing it. First I removed a small rasp hinge and lock. I was surprised to find that the cabinet has a unique little mechanism. When you open the little drawer at the bottom, an internal mechanism causes both doors to open at the same time. It is very well made of mahogany wood. Inside the cabinet, I found the following items: one 1928 U.S. wheat penny; one 1925 U.S. wheat penny; one small lock of reddish-blonde hair (bound with white string); one small lock of black hair (also bound with white 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 wine cup; [and] 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 these items, so they will be included in this sale of the cabinet.
After opening the cabinet, I decided not to refinish it. Instead 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 mother’s 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 as her birthday gift. She seemed to like it. So, while she examined it, I went to make a quick phone call before we left for lunch. I hadn’t been out of sight more than five 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 with all the excitement she didn’t remember.
But, she became even more agitated 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 didn’t like the little cabinet and that I would get her anything she wanted if she would promise to get well soon. Still, I didn’t associate [any of this] with the cabinet itself or [with] anything paranormal. Frankly, I don’t 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, and 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 attached to it that read, “This has a bad darkness about it.” 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 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 then 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 red welt marks on me where I had been hit by the old woman during the previous night. Still, I never [connected] the nightmares [with] 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 for dinner and decided to spend the night as it was very late and no one wanted to drive back home. 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 the exact same dreams of an abusive hag 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. Right away 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 could not. Then I asked if it happened to be the night before she gave me the cabinet back to sell for her. She paused for a bit and then 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 my outside storage unit and was awakened when the smoke alarm in the unit went off in the middle of the night. I then got up and I went to see what was burning. I opened the door and didn’t see any smoke. However, I did get hit with the strong odor of cat urine. I went back inside, and 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 4:30 a.m. (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 possessed thing in a second, except I really don’t 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 wine 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 it is that you do with a thing like this.
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.
/ / / June 12 at 2:15 p.m. the following information was added:
There is no way that I can respond to all of the e-mails I’ve received since I put this thing online. I’ll try now to update and answer the most common questions I’ve been receiving.
1. No, I am not religious.
2. No, I do not wish to have or participate in any sort of exorcism, or case study, or photo sessions at my home.
3. No, I will not sell any of the individual pieces which were originally found separate from the other pieces and the cabinet.
4. No, I do not speak Hebrew nor do I know what the word “keselim” means. I don’t know that the word is even a Hebrew word.
5. At the end of the auction, I have decided to take an opportunity to speak with the winning bidder for two reasons: a) To make sure that the winning bidder is a serious adult who has employed some valid reasoning skills in making the decision to accept whatever this is. I will not be judgmental. Do whatever you want or need after the sale. b) To offer full details of the events that [have] transpired. After I have carried out those responsibilities, and upon payment, I will have the cabinet and its contents delivered by U.S. MAIL, FED-EX, or UPS to the winning bidder. At that point, I will have no further involvement with the matter in any way, shape, or form. Period. It is your problem.
6. To all of you who have offered to pray, I may not be religious, but I am certainly open to the possibilities—no matter what your religion might be. THANK YOU!
/ / / June 14 at 5:21 p.m. the following information was added:
Here is another update for everyone following this listing.
NO! No, I will not circumvent, or make any deals outside of EBAY—EVEN FOR MORE MONEY THAN THE FINAL AUCTION PRICE!!!
If you want to win the auction and have the kind of money some of you are offering, there shouldn’t be any reason why you cannot simply place your bid in an open, honest fashion. I’m sure you can understand why I might be suspicious of your motives.
ALSO. . . .
For those of you wanting to know if I am still experiencing anything out of the ordinary, I thought everything was going OK until I got home on Friday—the 13th of June—and found that the fish in my fresh water aquarium—all 10—were dead.
I’m still hoping that all of this is coincidental crap.
Let’s start with the main topic of interest. The Dibbuk / Dybbuk. The first thing you’ll notice is that I have corrected all of the incorrect or archaic versions of the spelling of this word throughout this article, or at the very least coupled it with the correctly spelled version. When I first read this article back in 2005 / 2006 or so, I wasn’t as well versed in the topic of demonology as I am now. I’m not saying that I’m a “master“, not at all, not by a long shot. Hell, I’m not even a demonologist (yet) just someone who spends a ridiculous amount of his life studying the topic as in-depth as I can. But, I definitely know what the owners are talking about as they describe these events unfolding, and let’s just say that it is not good. Before reading any further throughout this article, please read the above information regarding the original story. Below, I’ll go into slightly more history about what eventually turned out in regards to the box.
THE ORIGINAL OUTCOME
As you can see, this auction ended in 2004, and was sold by eBay Seller, “spasmolytic”, and purchased by eBay user “agetron”. The seller’s name was Iosif Netsuke, and he was a college student hailing out of Missouri. He was not the writer of the original story, however, but he had purchased it previously from an antiques dealer named Kevin Mannis of Oregon, who was credited with the original writing of the story. Joseph had a roommate named Brian, who served as the link between Joseph and the winning bidder of Joseph’s auction, Jason Haxton, an actual medical museum curator with an interest in such items. Mr. Haxton has ultimately had to remove his contacts from the public, closing out his social accounts and removing his phone number and work information from public record, because no matter what he did, people were locating him far and wide with an interest in this allegedly haunted box. Mr. Haxton, ultimately, decided that the best way to deal with all of the public interest in the box would to be to create a website for it, and that website can be found here:
The story behind it is rather interesting, as you could probably tell from above, assuming that you’ve read it. If you haven’t, Mr. Haxton has actually even released a book on the topic which I mentioned extensively above, which can be found here:
Now, at first, I was a little bit sketchy, but as you can see, if you are familiar with the paranormal world, there are a great many legitimate researchers and religious scholars interested in this item. Most notably would be Jeff Belanger, accredited and famed researcher for such paranormal teams as the Ghost Adventures Crew, who even did a segment on this box on his podcast with Mr. Haxton, “30 Odd Minutes”, ironically enough, on his 66th episode. Now, this topic has been extensively researched by numerous people qualified to do so. In fact, on the box’s official website, there is even a section dedicated to some of the research that’s been done on the topic, and such books as “Sepher Ha-Razim” (a/k/a The Book of Mysteries) as well as “Jewish Magic and Superstition” by Joshua Trachtenberg were main forerunners. I own and have read both of these books, coincidentally enough, and believe they are good starts to learning what it is that these people were dealing with.
In the end, it all boils down to this: It isn’t necessarily about the box, it is about what it holds. Dibbuks (more commonly spelled Dybbuk) are almost always malevolent, and they are usually far worse than some demonic entities could ever be. Let us delve a little bit into what exactly a Dybbuk/Dibbuk is.
THE DYBBUK / DIBBUK
A Dybbuk / Dibbuk is a spirit that was once mortal. No one can be sure how long ago it was once mortal, but in essence, it still lingers here because it cannot ascend to Heaven/Paradise, and it cannot descend to Hell/Sheol. In some folklore, this spirit has been actually turned away from Sheol, because of the lives they have lead, the sins they have committed, or for other such transgressions that violate the Lord’s law, such as the commitment of suicide. The word “dybbuk” is derived from the Hebrew דיבוק, meaning “attachment“. These spirits are notorious for engaging in the activity of possessing other human beings, but this is, of course, after a period of time in which these people have been meticulously and mercilessly tormented to the point of defeat. I know most of you are sitting here, with your minds being blown because no one expects human souls to be able to accomplish what most believe only the demonic can do, but there is a reason for this.
Because the Dybbukim (plural) were once humans, they can form a significantly stronger connection to the human body than the demonic can. Consider it a perfect symbiosis at first, until they decide to conduct a hostile takeover. The Dybbukim are extremely hard to get rid of, and very difficult to exorcize. They will hold on to that human connection with everything that they are capable of, and because their souls were literally created to inhabit the flesh, they attach like no other entity can. Essentially, if they have their way, their goal is to infiltrate the human body, and then use their spiritual strength to overcome and enslave the soul that belongs to the body they are stealing. Ultimately, their end game is to force that soul out of the body, so that they can have complete control and basically live again. Hence, that is why they are named after the literal “attachment”.
Some believe that this entity does these things because it has some form of unfinished business that it was not able to accomplish in its life. Other people think that just because someone claims to be possessed by a spirit that claims to be a human, that the demoniac is lying just based on that. Often times famous or infamous names are revealed, such as Cain, Adolf Hitler, Nero, or other similar people of terrible power. A famous case of this was one of the largest and most popular articles on this site, the case of Anneliese Michel. This poor girl claimed to be possessed by a multitude of spirits, including the three names I mentioned above, as well as another formerly human entity, a Priest named Fleischmann who was disgraced and excommunicated from the church. Site author ANIMUS had actually responded to someone previously concerning the dybbuk, and this is what he had to say:
“…As they are, they come out of medieval Jewish folklore, but are based on stories that can be traced back to Babylon. When a soul is wicked enough, it skips the sleep of Death of the Jewish view of the afterlife and it is imprisoned alongside the demons in Gehinom, the fiery torturous pits of Hell that Dante wrote about. Supposedly after a long enough period of time, hellfire burns away their humanity and they take up with the demonic. Since they’re human souls, dybbukim can remain inside a human being better than a demon can, but they can be ejected the way any other soul is, namely killing the body, or through a rigorous exorcism. But again, they’re jumping into other people’s bodies, so death isn’t a viable option if you want to save or help the demoniac.”
These are the souls of people who are so bad during life that they are actually ‘recruited’ into the ranks of Hell eventually, once they have died. It’s like the CIA. If you have such an extreme talent during your younger life while in high school or college, dealing with languages, computer skills, or manipulation techniques, etc., then you will ‘graduate’ and be recruited into ‘the company‘. There have been people throughout history who were so genuinely evil that decades and sometimes centuries later, people have claimed to be possessed by their spirits. These people have been ‘demonized’, or, they have been accepted into the ranks of the demonic and transformed into something much darker than a normal human soul was ever meant to be.
THE TV SHOW
SyFy channel has a show called “Paranormal Witness”, and the episode I am speaking to aired on August 28, 2012. It was episode four of the second season of this show, and it seemed uniquely formatted. The first half of the story was told by the original owner, Kevin Mannis.
Internally, I refer to this as “The Mannis Version”, while I internally refer to the book written by Haxton as “The Haxton Version”. The show itself had a lot of “new” information. For example, the show revealed the identity of the traumatized store clerk, who’s name was Jane Howerton. It also gave a first-hand account of what happened down there while Kevin was away. The following is a transcript of what Jane spoke during the show, word for word, from her own recollection – painstakingly typed by me:
“I was down in the back of the basement and kind of cleaning things up, and organizing his tools and everything, and then I was going to go up and open the store. All of a sudden, I just kinda felt like somebody was watching me. I had been left there alone several times and I could walk in the dark, and down through the basement, and spend hours down the and never felt anything until then.
There’s a difference between being afraid of someone or some thing. I had gotten a phone call, and it was a friend of mine. I had that feeling inside my gut that something was wrong. And when I turned around, the light that I had switched off turned back on. It was glass breaking, just like [imitating the sounds with her mouth] – just very loud! I went and I grabbed the phone, and I called Kevin (Mannis). I was yelling and like, ‘We need…we need you to get back here,’ To me, it sounded like it was a baseball bat smashing things.”
Now, at this point in the show, Mannis then states that when he arrived, he remembers there being “ten fluorescent light bulbs” that were shattered, as in the original eBay auction, where he claimed the following, as quoted directly from him:
“All nine incandescent bulbs had been broken in their sockets, and I discovered that the four-foot long fluorescent tubes—all ten of them—were lying shattered on the floor.”
Further via his recollection, he mentioned that he does not feel like Jane is the type of person who would cry, but that she was hysterical when she found him. When she was found, her exact wording to him: She told him “Fuck you!” and abruptly left the store and quit her job.
Jane claims: “I just had this feeling that I had to go. I just left and I never came back.“
Mannis further claims that there was no other way in or out of the basement. He claims that he had just entered in through the only entrance / exit of the entire floor, through the wrought iron gate that he had just opened – the same wrought iron gate that was locked from the inside. His original intention was to find out who this intruder was, or where they were hiding. He started to think at this point that it was Jane, and that there may have been something wrong with her, because the was no other logical explanation. The point that I find interesting here is that multiple times, it is brought up that the gate was iron – specifically, wrought iron. The reason this is so interesting to me is because previously, I had written a pseudo-in-depth article as to why the demonic, and spirits in general, have issues with iron. There are many theories, but most of them relate to either science, or lore. Scientifically, spirits seem to need to draw energy, and when iron is grounded, it disperses that energy. Through lore, it seems that iron was the “blood of the earth” – it was a mineral, and human beings were never meant to know the arts associated with manipulating iron. It is an abomination as far as nature is concerned, and ironically, in the Greek myths, it was Prometheus who gave mankind fire, and through that, we developed the knowledge to manipulate those minerals into metals. In the world of demonology and the story of the Watchers / Grigori, it was the co-leader of the Fallen Angels, Azazel, who taught us how to use fire and make metals, specifically for the purposes so that we could create weapons and save them the trouble of killing us off because we would already do it ourselves. That is an article I have been working on for the past four years, and will be included in the Diabolical Confusions: Volume 1 book as a very large portion of the description of the origins of evil.
So while it may not have played a part in this particular story, I find it interesting how this entity that was apparently released from the box had the strength to be around such a material that has been known to be the bain of spirits.
Further, as you can read above in the original eBay auction, Kevin Mannis’ mother suffered a stroke when she was put into contact with the Dibbuk Box. And again, the folks over at ‘Paranormal Witness’ did an amazing job getting this woman to speak in her own words, on camera, because while researching his book, Mr. Haxton had some difficulty getting this woman to open up about it because her fear for the box is so great that she wants absolutely nothing to do with it – including talking about it. Her segment was very emotional, and you could see the fear that she had for this box. Again, in her own words – transcribed by me – this is what she had to say about the box:
“He sat me down, and he said ‘this is an unusual present for you’. In the past, I have gotten strange gifts. Not a wine cabinet, but you know, strange gifts. My husband used to give me plaid coats every single birthday. He knew I hated plaid, and that I would return to coat, and get something that I liked. And he went downstairs, I looked at the box, and it was as though the box was looking back at me. The doors opened, and it was like a cold breeze coming out. I can’t describe it, just pure evil. I couldn’t even run away, I couldn’t get up, I couldn’t get away from it. I knew I was having a stroke. My mouth contorted, just started to sag, and my eye pocketed. Am I gonna make it? Is this death? And my thought was ‘Kevin is downstairs, am I going to die before I see my son? Is he gonna know? Am I gonna make it?‘.
I was frozen. I couldn’t leave.”
Mannis then explains that he feels it was only he that could tell, because he knew his mother better than anyone else present, that he could see the terror in her eyes.
“I want… I have to communicate to him – to protect him. And it was almost impossible to do! [When] having a stroke, you can’t… You can’t write, you can’t talk…”
Kevin believes that through her eyes at this time, she was trying to talk or to tell him something. He feels that she was pleading to get something out.
“The one thing I wanted to do was to impress upon him how important it was that he get rid of the box. God forbid it did anything to him. If it gave me a stroke, what would it do to him?
I knew that it was something that was evil, because I had felt it. The coldness inside.
Everything that happened, that was bad, was because of the box.”
Kevin further recalls that after this event, he feels that things started to make sense to him, and he realized that the single common denominator was the box. All of these miserable events started to happen after he had brought the box into his life. So he tried to sell it. A few days after this event, he decided to sell it. An older couple had the unlucky fortune to purchase it from his shop. He was happy to be rid of this box, but at this point, he didn’t fully understand what exactly it was about the box, it was just looked upon as a bad luck item.
A day or two passed, and the elderly couple returned the box to the store, with a note affixed to it that read: “This has an odd darkness about it.“
After this, and running out of options, Mannis decided to store the box in a storage unit that he had.
This is about the times the the dreams would kick in. I will go into more details about the dreams below.
The interesting thing here is that when Kevin woke up, he claims to have had physical injuries to his body which could not be explained. He claims that he had these dreams every single night, regardless of what his mood was or what he thought of before he fell asleep.
This is when he decided to sell it on eBay.
He decided to try to do his best to sell it to someone who was knowledgable on the occult.
What I found to be extremely interesting here, is the fact that the crew at “Paranormal Witness” decided not to include the information which came from Kevin Mannis’ ORIGINAL story (in the eBay auction that started it all) about how he passed the Dibbuk Box around to his relatives and friends like a hot potato, and they all allegedly experienced the same type of dreams, with the hag beating them. In The Dibbuk Box, by Jason Haxton, he mentioned that thorough his research, he actually tracked down and spoke to some of the people that Mannis claims to have given the box to, and they came right out and said that they never had any such dreams, and that those claims were a blatant lie. This caused quite a bit of friction between Mannis and Haxton, but in the interest of truth, I felt the need to mention that.
Back to Kevin’s desire to sell it to someone who was knowledgable about these things, here is an excerpt taken from The Dibbuk Box, by Jason Haxton:
Kevin Mannis, related the following on his AOL Public Journal (dated November 25, 2004), in which he told what occurred after the eBay auction.
After the auction, I contacted the buyer. I wanted to get some kind of an idea of what kind of person would go to the lengths he had gone to in his efforts to buy the Dibbuk Box. Surprisingly the buyer seemed to be an ordinary individual from the Midwest, a college student, who told me he bought the box because he really wanted a wine cabinet. The buyer told me that he had no interest in any “paranormal” aspect of the box, if it even had one. To be sure, I gave the buyer several chances to pull out of the purchase to the extent that it became somewhat annoying to him.
Finally, certain that I was acting responsibly with a mature and responsible buyer, I accepted payment for the box and sent it out the same day. Since owning the Dibbuk Box a sort of invisible haze of negative energy had invaded my personal space—which suddenly lifted on the day I sent the box to the student who bought it from [me] on eBay. Although I had come to believe that having the Dibbuk Box was the source of many of my problems, it still seemed strange to feel the optimism return to me once the item had gone. I hoped the negative haze or whatever it was would not ever return.
THE SECOND SALE OF THE BOX
Brian Grubbs was a student at Truman State University, in Missouri, who happened to work in the same museum as Jason Haxton did – he was the roommate of Joseph. It was Brian who ultimately served as the intermediary connection between Joseph, the person who purchased the Dibbuk Box from Kevin Mannis, and Jason Haxton, the current owner. The chain of possession here is a rather complex one for the casual reader to immediately grasp, because no one seemed to want to keep this box for extended periods of time due to the negative affects it had on the owners life.
The college kids who bought the box did so more or less in order to play with the paranormal, and use it as a prop to scare the hell out of girls who would enter their living quarters. It was more or less a novelty. It is mentioned in The Dibbuk Box, by Jason Haxton as well:
The two decided that, if they won the auction, they would examine and test the box for its haunted properties. If they discovered it truly did contain a malign spirit, they would entomb it in the apartment basement so the entity could haunt future inhabitants of their rundown building.
However, the kids did begin to experience some events they couldn’t explain, such as electronics always failing and crapping out on them for no apparent reason. Brian claims that he had yet another roommate who was affected by the box, in the sense that his eyes became a target somehow. They were bloodshot and filled with red, as if his capillaries had burst. This seems to coincide with a lot of the issues that Jason Haxton has had as well, so I can’t say that I am surprised by this. Usually spirits of all kinds, in the form of malevolence, will follow the same type of motive – do what they’re good at, do what works, and do what provokes intense emotion so that they can feed off of it and become stronger.
Something also worthy of note is the fact that in the book, Jason Haxton didn’t mention the level of involvement from Brian, though he did mention that he was involved to some degree. But according to the show that interviewed him, Brian seems to have experienced a rather good portion of paranormal events himself.
The show goes into detail further about such things as Kevin Mannis finally unearthing some form of “history” about the box from a very elderly woman named Sophie, but as stated above, you can read the entire account of this from The Dibbuk Box, by Jason Haxton. In fact, there is even a chapter about this specific group of events called “Sophie’s Story“. It is chapter seven in the book. Without giving too much away, Mannis refused to put this “Sophie”, or ANY members of the original estate selling family in contact with Haxton, and always came up with excuses when pressed, so take the entire Story of Sophie with a grain of salt, as it cannot be verified by anyone other than Kevin Mannis.
From this point, Kevin’s story and Jason’s seem to merge, and this is where it seems to become more authentic in the sense that both sides seem to at least agree on these events actually happening. From this point, this is also where Jason comes into the picture on the show and begins to contribute his own details from his point of view. To learn more details about ultimately what research was done, and what information was actually verified, debunked, or proven to be at least questionable, I strongly recommend that you read The Dibbuk Box, by Jason Haxton.
Before moving on from this section, there are some things that I also found noteworthy. ‘Paranormal Witness‘ makes absolutely zero mention of the fact that when Jason Haxton stored the Dibbuk Box in the subterranean area of his rental property, that he bound it and sealed it there by using a Wiccan ritual. It doesn’t go into detail about any of the things he did, the processes that he had to undergo, and the things that happened to him during this ritual. They do mention that he had to finish “it” by washing himself, but they don’t go into detail exactly why. They briefly show Jason’s wife come to him, experiencing severe skin irritations in the form of bloody blisters and swelling, which she apparently contracted due to simply just touching Jason’s clothing that was worn during the sealing or binding ritual. But that was all.
Further, a rather huge part of the original story was that on the same day that Kevin Mannis’ mother had a stroke, his shop was raided by multiple law enforcement agencies. He claims it was local, state, and federal agencies, and that there were approximately 60 people there. He was never told why they raided him, but almost immediately after this, his shop closed down and never re-opened. I find it auspicious that this was neglected to be mentioned. Unfortunately for Mr. Mannis, it seems that there is a good amount of information that would seem to discredit him, and maybe the television crew opted to leave this information out for that reason. I guess we will never know. Mr. Haxton himself even stated that he had doubts about the original story. From The Dibbuk Box, by Jason Haxton, it states:
“The original eBay listing to sell this item identifies people who, in reality, are composites of several people with false histories. Their purported experiences with the box are untrue based on interviews. Various sources tell me that the Dibbuk Box and the written online account were conceived and created by a person who, on the other hand, continues to insist that the story was not faked and that the other sources are mistaken.”
THE EVENTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE BOX
It is not uncommon for a Dybbuk / Dibbuk to cause physical injury, usually in the form of health problems, specifically diseases of some kind. As stated above, they are formerly human souls, so they have an intimate and working knowledge of the human body. So, to suddenly fall ill is not uncommon. The antiques dealer, Kevin Mannis had an issue with his mother where she had a spontaneous stroke, and he had been undergoing constant medical / emotional issues, such as anger, rage, depression, and fatigue. The college student who created the eBay auction also had issues, such as losing his hair in his early twenties in the timespan of less than two weeks, and constantly feeling ill. Not to mention, but each and every single person who had come into contact with this box had allegedly had basically the exact same set of chronic nightmares, some of which they awoke physically bruised due to the beatings they received in their dreams. This entity apparently had enough strength to physically affect our dimension and cause damage to items such as light bulbs, wood, iron gates, doors, and in certain instances, people. While the dream phenomena may have been disproven through Mr. Haxton’s research, there were different types of dreams that different people had, so the power of suggestion could very well be at work here, though I personally doubt it.
There was also a section in the original text of the story that I found interesting. At the estate sale, the granddaughter of the woman who originally owned the Dybbuk / Dibbuk Box refused to take it back, and constantly re-affirmed that the antiques dealer had purchased it, and that he now was the official owner. That transference of ownership is actually extremely important. It is for this exact same reason why people in the paranormal community advise others suffering from hauntings to positively assert their claim over their own living space: because the energy of the living supersedes the energy of the dead, and ownership dictates what will be permitted, acceptable, and unacceptable. A common recommendation is to tell the person enduring these hauntings to lay out the “laws of the land”, and to be assertive with their own space. This applies, once again as you may have guessed, strictly due to the rights of ownership. If the person suffering the hauntings had a friend over, and that friend started laying down rules for the paranormal entities to follow, that friend would most likely be hurt in some way because they would have no authority over the space / land. The same principal applies to this box, once it was sold: it no longer belonged to the woman, and she no longer had any responsibility or authority over it. And I truly believe that she knew this at the point of sale.
Now, the second thing that piqued my interest is related to the storage of the box. I listen to a lot of paranormal broadcasting shows, such as Coast to Coast AM (since the Art Bell days) and Darkness Radio. And specifically, I can recall two people who deal extensively with haunted items speaking about the proper storage or disposal process of said haunted items. John Zaffis, noted demonologist, stated that the best way to dispose of these items is to bind them first, usually in some type of container that is either blessed, or composed of iron, or blessed AND composed of iron, and then by taking that enclosure to be either buried deeply underground, or tethering it to a heavy weight, and dropping it into deep, running, natural waters. Essentially, now-deceased Priest-Exorcist Malachi Martin, author of one of the best and scariest books dealing with real-life, non-fiction cases of possession that I’ve ever read, Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans, also more or less stated pretty much the exact same things.
To have an item such as this free and openly stored in your home would mean very, very bad things. How this Dybbuk / Dibbuk was confined to this box is unknown to me. Apparently, there were some items also stored inside the box – two locks of hair, one granite statue, one dried rosebud, one goblet, two wheat pennies, and one candlestick holder. Jason Haxton describes it best, since he has all of these items in his possession:
The largest item within the wooden container and what caused the box to weigh so much was a sculpture of four different colors of granite stones, assembled in an odd design that seemed to defy gravity. The largest section of stone was brilliant white, peppered throughout with gleaming ruby dots and flecks of black. The whiteness made these random spots visually leap from the surface. This stone had four Hebrew letters carved deeply and filled with copper. No doubt it took great skill and time to do this kind of work without breaking the stone. Later, I learned that the letters spelled out the Hebrew word shalom, which means “peace.”
The remaining objects were a dried rose, a thing from nature now dead, and two pennies whose dates of 1925 and 1928 linked the objects to years long ago. I wondered what was important about those dates: perhaps a birth or a death? Based on the familial tokens and the Hebrew lettering on two of the pieces, I reasoned that the box, itself an unusual but not unique item, had belonged to someone Jewish who must have added the carved lettering. It had been described as a wine cabinet.
The hair I imagine could have been used for some type of binding ritual, and much like quartz, I believe the granite statue may have been used for energy containment, but as an alternative, it could have just been a blessed object placed in the box to help neutralize the negativity of the entity. I have no clue what the rosebud could have been present for, and the same goes for the rest of the items, except for the candelabra. The candle holder was most likely blessed by a Rabbi, or other religious scholar, and probably at one point was used to burn blessed candles. This is not uncommon, and is actually fairly frequent even in the Catholic / Christian religions. I personally believe that these items were placed inside the box because that is where the spirit was being contained, obviously. And also obviously, it was closed for a reason. I do not believe that destroying the box would have helped any, either. While that box existed, the entity that was confined to it was somewhat grounded. It was contained to whatever location that box was in. If the box no longer exists, or has been destroyed, this spirit would then be free to roam and raise hell for anyone that it would come into contact with. And this is not good.
It is also important here to note that it was not just a Dybbuk / Dibbuk that was allegedly bound within this box, either, there was claim that a “keselim” was also enclosed in the box with the Dybbuk / Dibbuk. Now, the term / title is strikingly similar to a turkish word, meaning “priest.” However, this cannot be confirmed, as a search for this will yield almost no useable results. Thankfully though, a reader and fan of this site has spoken up and informed me of what the definition of this term could possibly mean. I will go into that at the end of the article. If this is true, then that means that someone, most likely whoever bound the entities to the box, enlisted the assistance of the holy dead to help them contain this wicked thing. That is one of the parts that disturbs me.
IN CONCLUSION (OR INCONCLUSION)
In the end, probably the most disturbing aspect of that story? The fact that all of it can be verified, and that all of it is plausible. Reaching into Jewish folklore, these entities are extremely powerful, more powerful than other human souls, and they are abnormally wicked, even when compared to that of the demonic. The odors of cat urine were most likely present when the negative entity was conducting its blitzkrieg, and the smell of Jasmine flowers was most likely there when the purer entity was working to contain the malevolent spirit. But smells have been known to be a major tool of the malevolent, being that one of their main goals is to cause what is known as diabolical confusion, which is where the senses become so perverted and convoluted that you are not sure if you can any longer trust them, and begin to question your own sanity. It ensures that you are uncomfortable, uneasy, taken out of your element, disgusted and often times revolted by what your senses are reporting back to your brain. That is also where this very blog got it’s name from. Because of its efficacy, it is a very powerful assault tool that is commonly used by the demonic. It should also be noted that at times when people claim to have witnessed Holy entities, such as saints or the Virgin Mary, the odor of flowers was extremely strong in the area where those entities were allegedly present.
According to Mannis in a quote taken from a prominent LA Times article, he had this to say after the first incident in his shop basement, after his store clerk was attacked:
“When I got back to the shop, I went to investigate. I remember heading toward the back and walking into what I can only describe as a wall of scent. It smelled like jasmine flowers. You could take one more step and not smell a thing, and take a step backward and be surrounded by it again.”
Physical assaults are not exactly uncommon either, however, the severity of the physical assaults varies depending on the strength of the entity, and the one that was contained in this box seems to be extremely powerful. I wouldn’t say that it was as strong as or stronger than a Devil, per se, but it was definitely as strong as or stronger than the average, low-level demonic entity. It caused a stroke, assaulted a clerk, caused physical nightmares for everyone it came into contact with, unleashed additional shadow entities, and left a great many people distressed, worried, frightened, sick, and defeated. It incited panic and left them too scared to seek help because for the most part, most people thought they were going insane, which is also a symptom that could very well have been inflicted by the Dybbuk / Dibbuk.
In relation to shadow beings, even Kevin Mannis claims to have had such experiences that he learned about involving not one or two, but many. This is one of those stories though that can’t be verified, as Mannis claims that it was pointed out to him by two vagrants around the neighborhood of his old shop. Here’s the excerpt taken from The Dibbuk Box, by Jason Haxton:
[The drifter] said, “Listen, I know what you do down there. I saw it. We all know what you do down there.” Again, I asked, “What are you talking about?” He actually brought me over and pointed down. He said, “You see that? You can see right through there. You should watch what you’re doing and not let other people see if you’re going to be involved.” I said, “Involved in what?” And what he described to me was eight or ten guys in dark black coats and black hats, in the basement, dancing around, having some sort of a party. He actually described dancing in a circle—around and around, faster and faster. Which . . . is impossible because I was the only one who had access to my shop. I was the only one who had a key, and I hadn’t been there for three days.
My opinion on shadow people is not hidden. I hate them. I personally have seen them all my life, and after delving into much research and time, I have come to learn that according to the Hebrew religion, these beings, while in the form of a shadow, are young, but very malevolent, and very dangerous. They are known as the fledgeling Se’irim. At first, when they are weak, they enter our realm, they are shadows, but as they feed, and live by stealing energy from other living things, they take more solid forms. They are Azazel‘s footsoldiers, and they are nasty creations. As time goes on, allegedly, at least in the world of demonology and theology, they take on the forms of beings that are usually a conglomeration of species. This is where the Satyrs come from, where the Minotaur may have been created, and all of the other Egyptian gods such as Anubis, Horus, or other “half-man/half-beast” creatures emanated. They haunt children, and affect sleep mostly, invading dreams. When there are shadow people around you, you will notice that you are constantly drained, always tired, and lack the desire to actually get up and do anything. It is a very sublime existence, and that is mainly due to the fact that they are literally living off of your energy. The more they scare you, the stronger they get. The more you panic at their presence, the less they will try to conceal themselves. All-around, these things are pretty bad. If you have shadow people, like the owners of the Dibbuk Box did, it is best that you do everything you can to get rid of them, before they become an even larger problem than they currently are.
The actions described above pointed out to Mannis by the drifter could potentially have been a summoning ritual. Shadow people have been known to enter through some type of portal, and then as soon as they are strong enough, create their own, separate portal so that they can invite the bigger guns to come through and wreak even more havoc than what is currently in play. This is a tactic that they have used, and it was very famously used by the demonic in the story told of Arne Johnson in the “Devil in Connecticut” book, written by Gerald Brittle and consulted on by such famous Demonologists as Ed & Lorraine Warren. A child had come under diabolical siege, and once the demons were present, they engaged in rituals that allowed them to bring a hell of a lot more demons into the fray. When reading The Dibbuk Box, by Jason Haxton, this was the first thing that I thought about, in relation to this ritual. While that story resulted in murder and was known as the “Demon Murder Trial”, Johnson was ultimately convicted of manslaughter, but the media had a field day with this story. It has been the topic of many debates as to whether or not it was a hoax, but it’s validity is not what I am referencing here, just the portions of the story, “validated” by actual Demonologists.
This box – it causes constant bad luck, and allows no peace or tranquility to remain in your life. Another byproduct of the box was that wherever it went, it seemed to attract a noticeable quantity of insects. Sometimes spiders, sometimes centipedes, sometimes roaches, etc. This is also not uncommon, and a sudden flux of insects should be considered an event that forces you to look up and take notice, because in the world of the paranormal, it usually isn’t a very good sign. As a matter of fact, one of the most powerful demons in Hell is Beelzebub, the “Lord of the Flies”, and has been known to take the form of a giant fly with the pattern of a skull located on it’s wings. As previously covered by Diabolical Confusions, Beelzebub also has established a “hall of fame” in Hell, called the “Order of the Fly”. It is not a far stretch to see how insects correlate with the world of the demonic.
The fact that shadow entities were also more prevalent is an extremely eye-opening thing, because while most people do not believe all shadow beings to be malevolent, I personally do, and it has nothing to do with religion. Entities project themselves either a) how they perceive themselves, or b) how they want to be perceived. If they know you are afraid of something such as a shadow person, and they decide to take on the form of the Jungian shadow archetype, then dammit, trust me, it’s a negative entity. When a damned spirit makes itself appear grotesque to the eye, and stands at over 7’0” tall, mark my words: it’s not there to be your friend.
Even further, in another direct quote from the LA Times article by Leslie Gornstein, this bit of information is also worthy of note:
“Haxton has been aided by Rebecca Edery, an Orthodox Jewish bookkeeper who lives in Brooklyn and whose father studied cabala. It was Edery who helped uncover the purpose of the box. “The two doors on the outside open up just like the Holy Closet,” or Aron HaKodesh, a receptacle for Torah scrolls, Edery says. “And I saw round, metal hoops on the inside of the doors that would hold scrolls. This particular size is used when going to comfort the family of the deceased.”
Edery says she is convinced the box was sacred and had been intentionally stuffed with some sort of spirit. “This was done deliberately, for a specific purpose.” She believes that to put an end to the misfortunes, the box needs a formal Jewish burial involving a 10-man minyan, or prayer group.”
As I stated, it is believed that this box needs to be religiously buried. Not necessarily to help the Dybbuk / Dibbuk move on, which would also be good, but to keep it once again contained, and confined so that it can no longer unleash it’s siege upon the world it comes into contact with.
There are also some things that make me wonder. For example, as I stated above, the entire reason for the existence of a Dybbuk / Dibbuk is because usually, there was something that was left unaccomplished in its life. Most times, the entity will attempt to break through to deliver some type of message. I don’t want to give away too much, because Jason hasten goes into severe depth as to what he thinks that message it. I strongly recommend that you buy The Dibbuk Box, by Jason Haxton, and read chapter ten, entitled “The Kirksville Connection”. Mr. Haxton invested a LOT of time and money into properly researching this topic, and I believe he did an amazing job. The theme here is Judaism, and Mr. Haxton found a connection between the box, the spirit, and the Nazi’s that connect to the US, in a location very close to Mr. Haxton, and where the box currently resides. Unfortunately, a lot of this connection is based upon Sophie’s story, which is unverifiable, but it is a connection nonetheless, so it may help to shed some light on to what exactly the box’s message could have been.
While some may believe that the apparent (and incorrect) lack of a message was evidence of a hoax regarding the box, my point of view is aimed directly at the human being that used to actually BE the Dybbuk / Dibbuk, before death. For example, in the case of a Dybbuk / Dubbuk, for all we know, that person could have been a serial murderer hundreds of years ago, that was captured, cursed, and killed by a person or people who used their religion to carry out the curse. Now, it’s only message could be that it wants to exist causing pain, illness, suffering, and even death. It may just want to continue accomplishing in death what it accomplished in life. BUT, this entire paragraph is just a hypothetical theory of mine as to why there is no easily discernible message transmitted in this particular case, so please take this entire section with a grain of salt, I am quite literally just offering you some food for thought. As stated, there is a very strong theory that the message has been passed on, but I will leave that one in Mr. Haxton’s book, so feel free to investigate on your own.
Further than that, my own experience and research during this remote investigation lead me to believe that the Dibbuk Box may have actually been created as an egregore.
Kevin Mannis inadvertently described this as well, in his AOL Public Journal of November 25, 2004:
There seemed to be a noticeable change in the atmosphere around my home. I have never been one who was even the slightest bit prone to having any kind of a feel for something like I am trying to describe now. The emotional atmosphere of my living environment became palpably less tense. It is just a matter of fact.
I started thinking about all the things that had started working again, happening again, since I finally had gotten rid of it. Had I somehow become a modern scapegoat by bringing this item into my life? Back in biblical times, when things seemed worse than normal, the whole town would gather together and a goat would be brought forth. Each person was offered the opportunity to lay a hand on the goat and transfer from himself to the goat any sin, bad deed, perceived wrong, or whatever else was bothering the person or community. Once all the bad and evil was placed upon the goat, it would be sent off into the desert taking all the “evil whatever” with it. Perhaps this item was nothing more than a psychological version of the scapegoat—only to touch it was to transfer the bad and evil into whoever handled it. It was a scapegoat or scape-box that behaved in the reverse. The power of negative thinking with this item seemed to run rampant throughout the Internet cosmos. There was something about that box that was real. I had really experienced it. My family had really experienced it.
At first, I thought it might be a Buddhist Tulpa, but after more research, I came to the conclusion that it has to be an egregore. It does not fit the proper parameters as a tulpa, and I have discussed this at length with people who know a lot more on that topic than myself. So I have to digress to my secondary theory of it being what I stated above – an egregore.
What exactly IS an egregore? Let me explain. Taken from Wikipedia: “Egregore (also egregor) is an occult concept representing a “thoughtform” or “collective group mind”, an autonomous psychic entity made up of, and influencing, the thoughts of a group of people.” Even further, according to The Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary: “Egregores Coined by Eliphas Levi, who explains it as “the chiefs of the souls who are the spirits of energy and action” (SD 1:259). They are beings “whose bodies and essence is a tissue of the so-called astral light. They are the shadows of the higher Planetary Spirits whose bodies are of the essence of the higher divine light”.
Finally, the Golden Dawn Glossary defines an egregore as: “Egregore: from a Greek word meaning “watcher.” A thought-form created by will and visualization. A group egregore is the distinctive energy of a specific group of magicians who are working together, creating and building the same thought-form or energy-form.”
What does all this mean? Not only “magicians” can create egregores. Anyone with dedication, passion, intensity, and emotion can create one. While it is very hard, it is not impossible. Simply put, an egregore is a sentient being that was nothing, but came into existence because you believed in it. Your belief gave it life. And your continued emotions toward it (love, fear, hatred, resentment…) feed it, and allow it to grow. Some philosophers have even gone on to state that God itself is an egregore – that nothing existed, but all of humanity began to believe that God existed, and then, so He did. So while he created us, we may have created Him. This contradicts many beliefs world-wide, and it is still a theory, but can anything in theology actually be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt?
And to sum it all up: Even if Kevin Mannis invented this whole story to sell the box, and possibly have a movie made: the original eBay auction has had hundreds of thousands of views. If hundreds of thousands of people believed that this box has been haunted, possessed, or otherwise paranormally powerful, then it is very possible that those people could have MADE it those things. Expand on that, and ever since that auction, millions of people have taken an interest, and know of the box. The more that know, the more that believe – what’s to say that their belief isn’t fueling this mysterious box?
In regards to a section of this story that goes far too astray, one obvious question goes unanswered: What the hell is a keselim?! Luckily, I have some very educated readers at Diabolical Confusions, and one of our commenters filled me in on what this could be. Thanks go out to “Paurian”, for his explanation and contribution to this article which was discovered throughout his own hebrew research:
“The misspelling of Dybbuk should have clued everyone that “Keselim” was also misspelled, but people with a slight understanding of Hebrew see the “im” pluralization and assume that the author really meant “Keselim”.
Hashem can send spirits out in much the same way a manager can send out a salesman. Death, deceit, misfortune, healing, strength, etc. are sent out to force a turn of events on the time-map so that we don’t stray off God’s overall plan. Some people call it karma when some unforeseen event evens the score for the better or worse… but if you think of many events as being orchestrated through the use of unseen forces and you phonetically type out “Keselim” to its closest sounding Hebrew word, you get a word that sounds like “Keesalon”. כישלון translates into the english word “failure”. The Hebrew wikipedia page for Kisalon shows a trainwreck jetting out of the wall of a building, in an apparent disaster (Link). Kisalon is failure and destruction in concentrated form.
What I propose is that the Dybbuk and the Kisalon entity (spirit) are in partnership. Since the Dybbuk has an extremely high understanding of the human body and psyche, and a stronger capability to bind to the human body and encase the soul of its original owner… we’re talking about a mixture that’s very close to the mythological Pandora’s Box.
Now push this out a bit further … if this Dybbuk were to be able to posses a body, not only would it encase the soul/mind of that person into a torturous dream state (think of eternally living in room 1408), but the Dybbuk and Kisalon, now breaching the physical world through a human host, would conjointly to rise to power. It could send out the Kisalon like a Nazi would send an attack dog. The evil eye is strongly believed to be able to cast a Kisalon at people, which is why you’ll see the Hamsa popularly worn as a charm. I don’t believe the Hasma can protect against it effectively, but the power of suggestion and faith to overcome evil circumstances is a good strength in itself. If, however, a Kisalon were able to feed off of living energy, I don’t know what could stop it. Angels have rank such that only one at the same or higher rank can defeat another, but I’m not sure of spirits… so this could get very ugly.
The original link from above was all written in Hebrew, so here is the English translation.
The bottom line? Don’t mess with things you don’t understand. You could get hurt, or even sometimes, in extreme cases, killed.
In my opinion, based on all of the things that I personally have researched, learned, and been witness to, I believe that this box is exactly as “haunted” as it is said to be. Of course the movie will dramatize it a little bit more, but in the long run, yes, these things can – AND DO – happen, and yes, it can claim lives. I believe this story, which is surprising because of how skeptical I am, and how often my “bullshit meter” goes off during stories like this. Too many credible people have had experiences with this box. Too many of the stories are highly, highly accurate and detailed with all of the “right” information. I have heard of many elements to this story that I’ve seen or read about in other cases. Frankly, Kevin Mannis was either really naive about the paranormal, and just recorded exactly what was happening to him, or he was a full blown expert in the matter pretending to be ignorant of demonology. I personally believe the first option from above, and do genuinely think this box should be encased in iron, engraved with specific prayers in multiple religions, undergo being the focus of a ritual or two, and then weighted down and thrown into a deep part of the ocean.
As far as the book, The Dibbuk Box, by Jason Haxton, I did notice that while it was a very, very interesting read (to me at least), there were some things that concerned me. One of those things would be the fact that Mr. Haxton is obsessed with this box. Make no mistake about it, there is no mincing words, he is obsessed. However, at least in the beginning, I don’t think he even realized that his obsession was present. It was prevalent enough though to make him go forward not considering the fact that if this box was genuinely haunted/cursed, it could potentially put his family in danger. However, I do not think that obsession is always a bad thing. Haxton did what he could to contain this box, and thankfully, it came into the hands of someone who was very capable and dedicated enough that some excellent private detective work was done, and for the most part, the story has been told from beginning until current. Unlike what ‘Paranormal Witness’ would have you believe, the box is currently encased in Acacia wood lined with goldleaf in a modern “arc” of some kind, and further nestled in a military dropbox in Haxton’s home. This will not be something Indiana Jones goes hunting for, as the show portrayed. However, the movie is coming out, and there are millions of eyes watching. I would be careful if I were Mr. Haxton, as all of this sudden interest could strengthen whatever the hell is in the box.
This is a rather long article, and like Jason, I could have gone on and on about the topic based on the extensive notes that I took while reading the book, watching the show, and reading on the internet. Even in the form of the paranormal, I could have delved into more explanations, given examples, referenced and cited demonic entities and activities, but in the end, it would only distract from the actual story, and I felt that this was a rather good length to continue. Like Mr. Haxton, I have a feeling that my interest of this box is not over, and I will be keeping my eye on it as best as I can from afar. I do still think that it needs to be buried deep in the earth or anchored into the deep ocean, if only to contain the evil held within it.
But that’s just me. Some people would rather “borrow it” and make a movie out of it.
NOTE: This article will be updated in the future. I am currently engaging in more research on the topic. Let’s hope it doesn’t take years….
- The Encyclopedia of Demons & Demonology, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley, ISBN-13: 978-0-8160-7314-6
- The Dictionary of Demons – Names of the Damned, by Michelle Belanger, ISBN 978-0-7387-2306-8
- The Dibbuk Box, by Jason Haxton, ISBN-13: 978-1-61248-012-1
- A Jinx in a Box?, by Leslie Gornstein, LA Times Article
- Devil in Connecticut, by Gerald Brittle, ISBN-13: 978-0-55323-714-6
- The Torah
- The Bible
- The Quran
- A Dictionary of Angels by Gustav Davidson, Library of Congress Number 66-19757
- Sepher Ha-Razim (a/k/a The Book of Mysteries) by Michael A. Morgan, ISBN 0-89130-615-3
- Jewish Magic and Superstition by Joshua Trachtenberg