The Haunted Dibbuk Box

The Haunted Dibbuk Box

We’ve all done it, got carried away at an auction or made that mad impulsive purchase on eBay which we’ve immediately regretted. Most of us of course just end up a little out of pocket, poorer but wiser.

But for one Portland man attending an estate sale in 2001, the acquisition of an innocuous looking wine cabinet was to turn his world upside down.

Now known as the Haunted Dibbuk Box, the story of that antique wine cabinet and what happened to it, has gone on to capture the imagination of the paranormal world.

The Estate Sale

In 2001 antique dealer Kevin Mannis attended an estate sale and successfully bid on a small box shaped wine cabinet or cupboard that had caught his eye.

Keen to know a little of its provenance he was delighted when the granddaughter of the previous owner approached him and gave him a little of its history.

The cupboard had been owned by a Jewish lady called Havela. After escaping the holocaust in the Second World War, she made her way to Spain where she purchased the small cabinet.

She then traveled on to America where she lived until her death. Strangely the granddaughter referred to the cabinet as ‘the Dibbuk box’, a term Mannis had not heard before.

When he asked her what it meant, the lady explained that it was a term that her grandmother used to describe the cabinet.

On one occasion when she was asked about the origins of the cabinet, she spat three times and told her granddaughter it was a Dibbuk.

The old lady stressed that the box must never be opened or touched by anyone else. In fact she had been so concerned that it would be opened she insisted on the cabinet being buried with her.

For religious reasons this proved impossible. Hearing her story and realizing that the cabinet was a family heirloom Mannis offered to return it.

At this point the woman became agitated and upset making it very plain that she did not want it. Attributing her strange reaction to grief, Mannis took the box to his shop.

He was later to discover that a Dibbuk was the trapped soul of a malicious spirit and opening the cabinet he had just purchased was possibly the biggest mistake of his life.

Strange Events

Arriving back at his store, Mannis placed the box in the basement where he intended to clean and polish it before giving it to his mother as a birthday present.

He then left his business for a short period to run an errand. Almost immediately he received a phone call from his assistant.

She was hysterical and screaming claiming that there was an intruder in the basement smashing glass and shouting profanities.

Mannis rushed back to the store and ran into the basement. Strangely, every light bulb and fitting had been smashed and the smell of cat urine hung in the air.

There was no intruder in the basement and definitely no cat. The assistant left and never returned.

Two weeks later Mannis decided to make a start on refinishing the box.

Opening it he discovered that it contained two old pennies, a lock of blonde hair, a lock of black hair, a gold goblet, a dried rose bud, a statue engraved with the word ‘Shalom’ and a candle holder.

A strange collection of things but nothing sinister.

After polishing and tidying up the box, Mannis presented it to his mother when she came into his shop a few days later. Almost immediately his mother collapsed suffering a stroke.

Rushed to hospital, partially paralysed and unable to speak she managed to spell out H-A-T-E-G-I-F-T to her bewildered son. There was clearly no way that she was going to accept the cabinet.

Mannis then attempted to gift the box to various family members. Almost immediately they returned their gift.

Some complained that it smelt like jasmine flowers others like cat urine. Everyone who received the box reported feelings of dread, strange smells and unexplained happenings.

When a middle aged couple came into the shop and bought the cabinet, Mannis was relieved that it was out of his possession.

Three days later he found it sitting on the step of his store with a note attached ’This has a bad darkness’.

Almost everybody who came into contact with the box began to suffer from terrifying nightmares.

The nightmares often featured an old hag who would attack and terrorize the dreamer. Strangely the same old woman appeared in the dreams of different people.

Within months Mannis was at the end of his tether but loathe to destroy the box in case he unleashed even more mayhem, he made a very bizarre decision.

Ebay Auction

In June 2003, Mannis listed the wine cabinet on an eBay auction. Deciding that honesty was the best policy he recounted the box’s history and the paranormal phenomena he had experienced since purchasing it.

The strange listing attracted many watchers with some even offering to pray for Mannis and his family.

Of course the sensible amongst us wouldn’t dream of buying such a cursed object but human nature being what it is, bidding was brisk.

The successful bidder was a young man called Losif Neitzke. A student at Truman State University in Missouri, Neitzke began recording information about the box on his blog as soon as he received it.

What his motive was for buying the Dibbuk Box is unclear but if he thought he would be immune to its mysterious powers he was wrong.

Before long the student’s hair began to drop out, he suffered horrific nightmares and the lights in his home continually burnt out.

Jason Haxton

Jason Haxton, Director of the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine in Missouri had been following Neitzke’s blog with interest and offered to buy the Dibbuk Box from the young student.

A relieved Neitzke readily agreed.

Again the new owner or caretaker as he likes to call himself, began to suffer from bad dreams, vision problems, welts and hives as well as fleeting glimpses of shadow people.

This time though, instead of disposing of the box, Haxton decided to tackle the problem head on.

Removing the box from the vicinity of his family he worked with scientists, Kabbalists, Wiccans and experts in the paranormal, to put the box in what he calls a rest state.

He then sealed it in an Acacia wood ark lined with 24 karat gold. Haxton believes that as long as the box stays in its contained state, it cannot hurt anyone else.

Today it sits in his study, sealed and untouched.

So why not destroy it completely, it is clearly a very dangerous object?

Haxton himself confesses that he like others before him is strangely attracted to the Dibbuk Box and would regret losing it.

He can never envision a time when he is without the box and insists, like one of its previous owners, that it must be buried with him when he dies.

Conclusion

Curiosity surrounding the Haunted Dibbuk Box has not dampened over the years. Now the subject of books, films and documentaries, it’s story is known worldwide.

Despite its terrifying history there are still those who wish to own and possess it. Haxton receives countless requests from those who wish to examine or buy the box.

He declines them all.

Fortunately the Dibbuk Box is in safe hands, for now.

The restless soul trapped within is silent and powerless. Bought as an innocent looking wine cabinet and then sold in an online auction, the history of this little cupboard and the consequences of owning it are terrifying.

Any one of us could have bought this item and who can tell how many more there are out there in the world.

The story of the Dibbuk Box is a fascinating tale but it also provides a very important lesson. When it comes to buying at auction caveat emptor, let the buyer beware.

The eBay Haunted Picture – The Hands Resist Him

The eBay Haunted Picture

In February 2000 a strange listing appeared on eBay. Today the item is referred to as “The eBay Haunted Picture” and its history is rather spooky.

The listing described that the children depicted in the painting had been seen climbing out of the painting, and enter the room the picture was housed.

Even more disturbing were a series of photographs, which were said to be evidence of this paranormal activity.

The interesting post was quickly spread around the internet, and soon had over 30,000 views. Some of the people who viewed the listing and attached photographs reported that even after this brief exposure they had experienced unexplained and supernatural incidents.

Strange Paintings

This was not the first time a haunted picture captured the imagination of the public. There was the case of “The Anguished Man” which was was said to be possessed by the spirit of the artist, who painted the picture using his own blood and soon after committed suicide.

Another very popular case involved a range of prints showing children crying in distress, staring straight out of the picture at the observer. The most well-known of these was “The Crying Boy”.

In 1985 stories started being circulated that fires were occurring in the homes that contained these pictures and that after the fire the prints remained undamaged.

Stoneham’s Painting – The Hands Resist Him

The painting depicts a small boy standing next to a female doll, with a glass paneled door behind them. Behind the door there are many disembodied hands pressed up against the glass.

The artist, Bill Stoneham, created the painting in 1974 using a childhood photograph of himself and a poem, as inspiration.

Stoneham had been commissioned to deliver a painting and presented his finished piece to Charles Feingarten, who then featured it in his gallery.

The painting was reviewed by Henry Seldis who wrote a review about it in the Los Angeles Times. It’s first owner would be actor John Marley, well known for his part in The Godfather.

Within the next ten years Feingarten, Seldis and Marley were all dead and the painting slipped into obscurity for almost 3 decades, before being discovered by the couple who would eventually sell it on eBay.

When the couple found the painting they put it on display in their home where it remained until their young daughter started reporting some creepy events that were occurring.

She claimed that the boy and the doll in the picture where fighting and leaving the picture during the night.

Thinking this to just be a creation of the girls imagination, the father set up camera’s in the room to prove to her that there was nothing to fear.

But the images he captured did nothing but create more terror.

Paranormal Photographs

The photographs depicted the doll in the painting moving and using what appeared to be a gun to force the young boy out of the picture. Another showed the boy crawling out from the painting.

These eerie details were added to the eBay posting along with a disclaimer that indemnified the sellers from any liability.

The picture was sold for $1,025.00 to Kim Smith, another art gallery owner, and today it is housed in a storage room in the gallery.

Smith has been asked to display the painting a handful of times and each time the viewers have reported strange and uncomfortable feelings.

Even people who have bought prints of the painting have reported mysterious occurrences that they are convinced are caused by the picture.

Despite this Smith has been said that nothing serious has happened since he acquired the painting.

The artist, Bill Stoneham, has explained the representation of the images in the painting. He said that the doorway depicts the dividing line between the world as we know it and the world of fantasy beyond.

The doll represents a guide, which will escort the boy into this unknown realm, while the hands represent possibilities and alternative lives.

Stone said the picture left you wondering whether the hands were attached to bodies or whether they were dismembered.

Whether or not the eBay haunted picture truly is haunted or whether the hype surrounding it is purely fiction one thing is for sure; after viewing the image you cannot help but feel ever so slightly disturbed.