Happy Jewish New Year!
In honor of this holiday, now seems like the perfect time to tell the tale of the Dibbuk Box, a haunted Jewish wine box.
Once upon a time, in 2001, a man bought an old wine cabinet at an estate sale. The previous owner of the cabinet, a Jewish woman who had survived a Nazi concentration camp, had just died at the age of 103. When he bought it, the deceased woman’s granddaughter told him that the cabinet was called a Dibbuk Box. She said that the box was always hidden in her grandmother’s sewing room, in a place far out of reach. When she asked her grandmother what was in the box, the grandmother spit three times into her hand and said, “A dibbuk. A keselum. The box is never to be opened.” The woman even asked to be buried with the box, but this dying wish was unfulfilled because it was unorthodox.
The man took the box home to refinish it. In order to do so, he opened the box. Inside, he found some seemingly innocuous items: coins, locks of hair tied with ribbon, a candlestick holder, a small granite statue, a dried rosebud. After cleaning the box, the man gave it to his mother as a birthday gift. Five minutes after he gave her the box, she had a stroke. The next day she could only spell out her reaction: “N-O G-I-F-T. H-A-T-E G-I-F-T.”
Later he brought the Dibbuk Box back to his own house. He then suffered recurring nightmares in which his loved ones turn into a violent hag-like figure. When his sister came to visit him, she complained of nightmares, and described the same exact scenario. He began to see moving shadows in his house and sometimes smelled an overwhelming scent of cat urine, despite never owning a cat.
Desperate to get rid of the box, he decided to list the item on Ebay. This is the creepiest Ebay listing I’ve ever seen. The box sold for $280.
Read the full story here. It will soon be published as a book, and a film version is in the works (with Sam Raimi producing).