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The Real Story Behind the Dibbuk Box

Updated on September 4, 2012
The Possession movie poster
The Possession movie poster | Source

The Possession, a movie that was just recently released into theaters, focuses on an object known as a Dibbuk Box. The Dibbuk Box is a wine cabinet that is said to be haunted by a dybbuk, a malevolent spirit from Jewish folklore that enters the bodies of living people. In fact, the term, Dybbuk comes from the Hebrew word for adhere or cling.

However, there is also a real-life Dibbuk Box. The story, which the movie was loosely based off of, began in 2001 when Kevin Mannis, who ran an antiques business, purchased the box from a neighborhood estate sale. He learned from the host of the sale that it had belonged to her grandmother, who had also been the only member of her family to survive the German Holocaust. She, along with some other prisoners, managed to escape from the Nazi concentration camp they were sent to and were successfully able to make their way to Spain. It was in this country that she acquired the Dibbuk Box before she immigrated to the United States. The host told Mannis that when she asked her grandmother about the box, she was warned to never open it. Seeing how sentimental the box seemed to be to her grandmother, he offered to return it to her, but she became very upset and refused to take it.

When Mannis opened the box, he found two pennies from the 1920s, a small granite statue with the Hebrew word, 'Shalom' engraved into it, two locks of hair that were each bound with a cord, a dried rosebud, a candlestick, and a wine goblet.

Inside the Dibbuk Box


The book by Jason Haxton

The box began to cause him trouble only a half hour after arriving with it to his business. He placed it in the basement of the building and left to do some errands, leaving an employee inside the store by herself. Not too long afterward, he received a hysterical call from her on his cell phone. She told him that someone was inside the room with her and was breaking light bulbs and swearing. She also said that the intruder locked the security gates and emergency exit so she wasn't able to escape. However, when he arrived, he didn't find an intruder but saw that all the light bulbs in the store were broken, including the ones that were in their sockets. Needless to say, the employee never returned.

He decided to give the box to his mother as a birthday present. She seemed to like it, but only about five minutes afterward she suffered from a stroke. After the incident, she no longer wanted the box because she felt it was evil. Moreover, on the same day his mother had the stroke the FBI raided his shop without any explanation, and he lost the lease to it. He also became the victim of identity theft.

Mannis then gave the box to a number of people: first to his sister, then to his brother and his wife, then to his girlfriend, and finally to a middle-aged couple, but neither of them kept it for long. He eventually had no choice but to keep the box in his home. That is when he began to have a bizarre recurring nightmare, which he described like this: "I find myself walking with a friend, usually someone I know well and trust at some point in the dream, I find myself looking into the eyes of the person that I am with. It is then that I realize that there is something different, something evil looking back at me. At that point in my dream, the person I am with changes into what can only be described as the most gruesome, demonic looking Hag that I have ever seen. This Hag proceeds then, to beat the living tar out of me." Creepier still, when he awoke he would find unexplained markings and bruises on him where he had been hit by the hag in the dream. He also found out that his sister, his brother and his wife, and his girlfriend all had had the same nightmare when they had the box.

Furthermore, Mannis (as well as numerous guests to his home) began to see shadow figures out of the corners of their eyes. Everyone who had had the box also reported that it either smelled of Jasmine flowers or of cat urine. Finally, Mannis couldn't take it anymore and auctioned the box on eBay (You can still see the original post here). It was sold to Iosif Nietzke, who had begun to experience bad luck of his own, including unexplained electrical problems in his home and his hair falling out- even though he was only in his early twenties and was in perfect health. Once again, Nietzke put the box up for sale on eBay, and it went to university museum curator, Jason Haxton, who is still the owner of it. Haxton reported contracting a host of health problems after being in possession of the box, including hives, welts that spread all throughout his body, frequent nasal congestion, and coughing up blood. He eventually wrote the book entitled The Dibbuk Box .

The Sci-Fi channel series, Paranormal Witness, also released an episode about the box.

What are your thoughts on the Dibbuk Box?

See results

© Jennzie on HubPages, 2012


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    • Mark Tulin profile image

      Mark Tulin 

      2 years ago from Ventura, California

      Scary movie. Thanks for your review

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image


      2 years ago from Ohio

      What a fascinating story! Definitely creepy, but so interesting.

    • profile image

      Shaun Stacey 

      4 years ago

      I definitely would take a chance on it most definitely

    • profile image 

      5 years ago

      It be cool to find it n give it to someone you really dislike , dam I would in a heartbeat .Add Your Comment...

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What happens to the box after the last owner dies if he is only hiding it? I think it needs to be burned so no one else can find it again. Anything you purchase previously owned to be sure no spirits follow, I would bless it with oil prayed over in Jesus Name before bringing it into the house. I believe we are all energy incased in human body and energy lives on afterward, negative or positive. I just watched it on TV tonight and for the lady to feel she had anything to do with the Holocost is very sad. And to know now that the man who brought the idea of Euginics into the world and it ended up being used wrongly is just frightening what mankind can do to each other, what evil behind it all. Peoples hearts go after what is really in them that is why Jesus said to be careful what you love more than Him. I pray no one ever has to face the past again, it is time for humans to go higher in evolution and higher consciousness.

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 

      7 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      The first thing I'd do with a box like that is give it to my Mother. NOT! This sounds like a story created to sell movies.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      this novie made me

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I honestly don't. Know what to believe I just seen the movie and read online articles and the .movie was pretty creepy but the story for the real one was not quite as interesting at all I would believe it if I had experianced it for myself but haven't so....... I do believe in the paranormal and demons and angels but it would take an experience to make me believe

    • profile image

      mike smallwood 

      8 years ago

      If the owners of this box are so sure that it has some kind of power then why not let the some leading scienctific researchers and experts take a look at it and run every kind of test on it that is known to man. Until then I think it is a great way to add interest to the film "The Possession" from which most everybody learned of this thing. I also wonder if there are any more of these in exsitence?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Yeah totally believe in it, mind you just watched the movie the other day found it rather fascinating as I get into the spirits and so on. I didn't know it was based on true story until I had a lookie about the movie and it told me that it was. Because I'm polish was curious why on earth they would use polish words coming out of the box so investigated.

      Totally hooked on it now as can relate to it. I have nightmares nearly every day about ghosts and even about the old hag. I have seen shadows everywhere I lived just follows me as when I was younger I played with the Ouija board in Poland which was stupid thing to do and since then I had evil following me.

    • profile image

      kk love 

      8 years ago werid. I think that you should watch it before you read this stuff. Thank you.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Well now in a garage sale never get anything that is old antique or ancient BECAUSE you ever know for sure why people are trying to get rid of it and the dibbuk box is based in a true story that's wat made the movie scarier

    • profile image

      ryan elliote 

      8 years ago

      i believe that there are paranormal entities all around us most of them don't want to harm us or even know they are there. i know they exist because i have had experiences with these things many times, not all of them were evil. my sister and my mother told me that when i was little i used to talk to my grandfather, who died when my mom was three. my mom told me that i figured out his name on my own. ive had to deal with them my whole life. i even did when i was in jail, that is why i am not afraid.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Bunch of bullshit ! It just a movie...... Stick

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow! I would probably get rid oit by burning the box and destroying the pieces! Something needs peace and this box is just hosting its spirit! My grandmother always told me when I had a nightmare to turn to whatever it was that was scaring me and say in Jesus name and it could not be in the presence of his name and it would go away! I did this and it still works today!! Jesus is my savoir and nothing can defeat him not even death!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      wonder if the box is for sale?

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 

      8 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      This is a very interesting hub. I wonder if you bury it. Can you get rid of it by burying it?

    • jennzie profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks a lot for sharing this, DS Duby! Yes, that is probably why my views are going up. :-)

      Have a good night.

    • DS Duby profile image

      DS Duby 

      8 years ago from United States, Illinois

      I shared your hub on Reddit today and they're lovin it tons of comments hope the views are doing the same

    • jennzie profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, everyone! I don't know whether I believe that this thing is really haunted, but I definitely wouldn't want to take a chance!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I hope I never unearth it by accident. I just watched the Paranormal Witness episode about it. Don't know what causes all that misfortune, but I don't need to tempt fate.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts

      A very interesting and fascinating hub that makes you wonder which made a very thrilling read .

      Vote up and more !!!

    • efeyas profile image


      8 years ago from Some Sunny Beach, USA

      The actual Dibbuk box wasn't even used in the movie because the actors were afraid to be around it. Actually , during the filming of the movie the production team encountered highly unusually incidents with lights and props. A fire even? Not sure about that though. Voted up & interesting

    • DS Duby profile image

      DS Duby 

      8 years ago from United States, Illinois

      Very cool article Jennzie, it definitely makes me want to be a little more careful when shopping for antiques. It's hard to find articles on possessed or cursed objects now a days, it's refreshing to read this one. You did a great job of telling the story. Voted up, awesome, interesting and shared.

    • Paradise7 profile image


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Very spooky. I'd dump it someplace and hope it wouldn't come back on its own!

    • Loveless City boy profile image

      Loveless City boy 

      8 years ago from LAS VEGAS!!!!!!!!

      Interseting Hub, I have never heard of this Dibbuk box intill now. Thanks for sharing this. Voted up


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