The True Story of the Dybbuk Box and Where It Is Now
What Is the Dybbuk Box?
The Dybbuk (sometimes spelled Dibbuk) Box is an item originally put up for sale on eBay by a man named Kevin Mannis back in September 2001. It was eventually sold to Losif Nietzke who was, at the time, a student in Missouri. Nietzke soon put the item up for sale and sold it to Jason Haxton, director of the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine at A.T. Still University. Haxton wrote about his experiences with this mysterious wine cabinet in a book called The Dibbuk Box. Eventually, Zak Bagans purchased the box from Haxton.
The Dybbuk Box is thought to be haunted, and many stories circulate about the paranormal happenings involving the box. The most detailed account of the effects of the wine box has been given by the original seller, Kevin Mannis.
What Is a Dybbuk?
In Jewish mythology, a Dybbuk (or dibbuk) is a malicious spirit that is believed to be the lost soul of a dead person. Instead of going to heaven, the soul becomes trapped in an object, and it will remain there until someone helps release the spirit.
The word Dybbuk comes from an ancient Hebrew word meaning "to cling."
What Happened to Kevin Mannis?
Mannis bought the cabinet from an estate sale for a woman originally from Poland, who had died at the age of 103. The granddaughter of the deceased was insistent that Kevin take the item after he'd purchased it after he offered to give it back to her because he figured it had deep sentimental value.
The granddaughter told him that the grandmother kept the box stashed away and would not let anyone open it.
Kevin took the item to his furniture refinishing shop and put it in the basement. One day when he left the shop while he went on an errand, he soon got a call from his frantic salesperson that someone was in the shop swearing and smashing things. Mannis returned to the shop to find the lights in the basement broken and the room filled with the stench of cat urine. The employee left and never came back.
The Dark Power of the Dybbuk Box
When Kevin started working on the box, he decided not to refinish it and instead cleaned it. He was getting it ready to give to his mother as a birthday gift. His mother came to the shop so the two could go out for lunch, at which point he gave her the box; when Kevin left briefly to make a phone call, an employee came to him saying something was wrong with his mother.
He returned to his mother and found her sitting in a chair, expressionless, crying, and totally unresponsive. She was rushed to the hospital, and it turned out she had had a stroke and lost her ability to speak for a time. During this time, she could only speak using a spell board on which she would point to letters to spell out words. When he asked her how she was doing, she spelled out, "No gift." When he said he'd given her a gift, she emphasized, "Hate gift."
He then gave the box to his sister. She kept it for a week and gave it back. He gave it to his brother and his brother's wife, who kept it for three days and returned it. The brother said it smelled like jasmine flowers, and his wife said it smelled of cat urine.
Kevin gave it to his girlfriend, who soon asked him to sell it for her. He sold it to a middle-aged couple and three days later found the box sitting in front of his shop with a note saying, "This has a bad darkness."
The Cursed Box
So, Kevin took it home. While he had the box at home, he began to have nightmares in which he was walking with a good friend, and when he looked into the friend's eyes he saw something evil looking back; the friend turned into a gruesome demonic hag that proceeded to beat him. He'd awake with bruises and marks on his body.
When his sister, brother, and his brother's wife came to stay the night, all of them had the same dream. It turns out Kevin's girlfriend had the same dream when she had the box.
Mannis also began seeing shadow creatures in the home, as did visitors. He put the box in a storage unit outside and was soon alerted by the smoke alarm in the unit. When he investigated there was no smoke, but there was that smell of cat urine which at that point also permeated his house.
He took it into the house and began searching the internet for information about the box. He fell asleep and had the nightmare and woke at 4:30 am to the feeling of someone breathing on his neck and to the smell of jasmine flowers. He again saw the shadow figure lurk down the hall.
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.— Kevin Mannis
Putting the Dybbuk Box on eBay
At this point, he put the item on eBay, hoping someone who knew more about the paranormal would take it off his hands and know what to do with it.
Finally, in June 2003, he sold it to a University of Missouri student named Losif Nietzke. Nietzke put it back on sale on eBay 8 months later, after he and roommates suffered insomnia and illnesses in the presence of the dreaded item.
Nietzke was able to sell it for $280 to Jason Haxton who had heard about it from a student who was also one of Nietzke's roommates.
Jason Haxton and the Dybbuk Box
Haxton claims to have experienced paranormal activity in the presence of the box, though he also states that it has had an anti-aging effect on him.
He claims that he experienced welts and hives when he first had the box, and he even experienced coughing up blood and choking. He has said touching it almost puts it into a liquid state. He relates that while he's had the box, he's seen strange lights and shadows.
Nevertheless, Haxton has taken a rather intelligent and academic approach to understanding the box. He has enlisted the help of scientists, paranormalists, kabbalists, and Wiccans to put the box into a more manageable state so he can keep it. He believes the force contained in the cabinet is neutral but plays off of who comes into contact with it. Its ultimate goal is to understand and reveal "truth" and that it was seeking the right owner to help it.
For a time, Haxton kept the box secure in an acacia wood ark lined with 24-karat gold and stashed it in his den, to keep it subdued. However, more recently he's admitted that he ended up putting it into a military-grade shock-proof container buried somewhere where it is well-hidden and won't be discovered.
Zak Bagans Acquires the Box
Zak Bagans, known for his work in the television show Ghost Adventures, ended up buying the Dybbuk Box from Jason Haxton. Bagans has the box as part of his collection of paranormal objects in his haunted museum in Las Vegas. Bagans will not let the public look at the box, however, if you'd really like to see it, you must sign a waiver that releases Bagans from liability if anything bad happens to you while viewing the box or immediately after.
Jason Haxton Interviewed About the Dybbuk Box
Is the Dybbuk Box Fake?
Despite the strange occurrences that have happened to those who have come into contact with the box, many people do not believe there is anything special about it. Many skeptics think that since the owners of the box believed it was cursed, they attributed their misfortunes to owning the box.
Chris French, of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths College, expressed skepticism at the idea that the box is haunted or cursed, saying:
[They were] already primed to be looking out for bad stuff. If you believe you have been cursed, then inevitably you explain the bad stuff that happens in terms of what you perceive to be the cause. Put it like this: I would be happy to own this object.
While French does have a point, one cannot discount the strange events that have happened to every owner of the box since Kevin Mannis.
Dybbuk Box: Real or Hoax?
Do you believe the stories about the Dybbuk Box are true?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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© 2015 Marquis Mayhem