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THE DYBBUK BOX: an ebay legend

Okay, so you know how Hollywood has a big boner for religious possession movies? The ones where a character’s soul gets overtaken by some sort of satanic force, and the only hope is to hire a Catholic priest to exorcise the thing out? So…what would happen if you got a Jewish demon?

In Jewish folklore a Dybbuk (Dih-bick) is a disembodied spirit believed to have sinned during its human life, and therefore most wander the earth until it finds a living person’s body to settle into. Like the Catholics, the people of the medieval Jewish community believed that the only way to expel the dybbuk was with the help of a miracle-working rabbi.

Though there aren’t as many stories of the Dybbuk in popular culture, one tale managed to gain a hearty amount of traction on the internet when business owner Kevin Mannis purchased an unassuming wine box cabinet from an old woman’s estate sale in 2001. Mannis was told by the woman that the box had belonged to her grandmother, a Polish Holocaust survivor, who had lost her entire family in a concentration camp before fleeing to Spain, where she purchased the box. The grandmother described herself and a few other Jewish women trying to summon an evil spirit to fight the Nazis, and subsequently banishing the demon to the box. She referred to it as the “Dybbuk Box” and told her offspring that it must never be opened.

Naturally, Mannis opened the box.

Inside he found some locks of hair, a dried out rose bud, some wheat pennies, and a few other random items: nothing that seemed too threatening. After purchasing the box and bringing it back to his furniture store, all hell broke loose. A woman working for Mannis called him one day, claiming that there was someone in the store, breaking everything and she had been locked her inside. When Mannis arrived, he found the hysterical young woman on the ground, sobbing, while none of the lights worked and an overwhelming stench of cat urine permeated the air. She refused to discuss what had happened and immediately quit after being at the job for two years.

Not relating this event to his recent purchase, Mannis gave the box to his mother as a birthday gift. Soon after recieving the present, his mother suffered a stroke. She relayed to him that she hated the cursed box, and told him to take it back. Mannis tried gifting the cabinet to several other people, but their experiences were always the same; one person, who had actually purchased the box, returned it, claiming it had “a darkness”.

And then came the nightmares.

Mannis took the wine cabinet home for himself, only to be plagued by the same reoccurring nightmare each night. He, and visitors of his home, witnessed large, looming shadows around the box, and strange odors. The possibility of something paranormal being attached to the box became too much of a reality for Mannis, and, afraid to destroy it for the repercussion of what it holds, he opted to list it on eBay in 2003.

You can read the listing in its entirety here.

The box found its way to two different owners after being sold on eBay. Each owner described its eerie presence and experiencing waves of bad luck following its purchase.

The Dybbuk box ended up with its second eBay purchaser, Jason Haxton, Director of the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine in Missouri. Haxton launched a website in called, which propelled the story to become an absolute internet legend. In 2004, the rights to the Dybbuk Box story were sold to a Hollywood production company, and in 2012 Sam Raimi released a film called “The Possession”, inspired by the saga.

Haxton ended up giving the box to Ghost Adventures star Zak Bagans to display in his museum of haunted and cursed paraphernalia in Las Vegas, where in 2018 Post Malone came into contact with it. The rapper soon after experienced a surge of bad luck, which his fans attributed to his visit with the cursed wine cabinet.

The story kind of ends there, and it kind of doesn’t.

In a 2021 interview, the original owner Kevin Mannis admitted to fabricating the entire history of the Dybbuk box.

“I am a creative writer,” he says. “The Dybbuk Box is a story that I created. And the Dybbuk Box story has done exactly what I intended it to do when I posted it 20 years ago.Which is to become an interactive horror story in real-time.”

The entire interview can be read here

So, maybe the Dybbuk box isn’t possessed by a Nazi-fighting demon and it’s just a regular ol’ wine cabinet. But how can we explain all the strange phenomena surrounding it? Maybe we are the ones who create the evil possessions with our negative energy. Maybe we are the ones who manifest our own bad luck with ill will. At the end of the day, I’m still not touching that thing.

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