February 12th, 2004
Item: Dibbuk Haunted Jewish Wine Cabinet Box
Here's an excerpt from the original description of the box by the first seller, nw-net-trade.
All of the events that I am about to set forth in this listing are accurate and may be verified by the winning bidder with the copies of hospital records and sworn affidavits that I am including as part of the sale of the cabinet. The winning bidder will also be able to contact most of the persons mentioned herein for the purposes of verification, corroboration, and to gain insight into the full scope of whatever it is. During September of 2001, I attended an estate sale in Portland Oregon. The items liquidated at this sale were from the estate of a woman who had passed away at the age of 103. A grand-daughter of the woman told me that her grandmother had been born in Poland where she grew up, married, raised a family, and lived until she was sent to a nazi concentration camp during World War II. She was the only member of her family who survived the camp. Her parents, brothers, a sister, husband, and two sons and a daughter were all killed. She survived the camp by escaping with some other prisoners and somehow making her way to Spain where she lived until the end of the war. I was told that she acquired the small wine cabinet listed here in Spain and it was one of only three items that she brought with her when she immigrated to the United States. The other two items were a steamer trunk, and a sewing box.
I purchased the wine cabinet, along with the sewing box and some other furniture at the estate sale. After the sale, I was approached by the woman's granddaughter who said, I see you got the dibbuk box. She was referring to the wine cabinet. I asked her what a dibbuk box was, and she told me that when she was growing up, her grandmother always kept the wine cabinet in her sewing room. It was always shut, and set in a place that was out of reach. The grandmother always called it the dibbuk box. When the girl asked her grandmother what was inside, her grandmother spit three times through her fingers said, A dibbuk, and keselim. The grandmother went on to tell the girl that the wine cabinet was never, ever, to be opened.
The granddaughter told me that her grandmother had asked that the box be buried with her. However, as such a request was contrary to the rules of an orthodox Jewish burial, the grandmothers request had not been honored.
I asked the granddaughter what a dibbuk, and keselim were, but she did not know. I asked if she would like to open it with me. She did not want to open it, as her grandmother had been very emphatic and serious when she instructed her not to do so, and, regardless of the reason, she wanted to honor her grandmothers request.
I finally ended up offering to let her keep what seemed to me to be a sentimental keepsake. At that point, she was very insistent and said, No, no you bought it!
I explained that I didnt want my money back, and that it would make me feel better to do what I thought was an act of kindness. She then became somewhat upset. Looking back now, the way she became upset was just plain odd. She raised her voice to me and said, You bought it! You made a deal!
When I tried to speak, she yelled, We don't want it! She began to cry, asked me to leave, and quickly walked away. I wrote the whole episode off to the stress and grief she must have been experiencing. I took my purchases and politely left.
At the time when I bought the cabinet, I owned a small furniture refinishing business. I took the cabinet to my store, and put it in my basement workshop where I intended to refinish it and give it as a gift to my Mother. I didn't think anything more about it. I opened my shop for the day and went to run some errands leaving the young woman who did sales for me in charge.
After about a half-hour, I got a call on my cell phone. The call was from my salesperson. She was absolutely hysterical and screaming that someone was in my workshop breaking glass and swearing. Furthermore, the intruder had locked the iron security gates and the emergency exit and she couldn't get out. As I told her to call the police, my cell phone battery went dead.
I hit speeds of 100 mph getting back to the shop. When I arrived, I found the gates locked. I went inside and found my employee on the floor in a corner of my office sobbing hysterically. I ran to the basement and went downstairs. At the bottom of the stairs, I was hit by an overpowering unmistakable odor of cat urine (there had never been any animals kept or found in my shop). The lights didn't work. As I investigated, I found that the reason the lights didn't work also explained the sounds of glass breaking. All of the light bulbs in the basement were broken. All nine incandescent bulbs had been broken in their sockets, and 10 four-foot fluorescent tubes were lying shattered on the floor. I did not find an intruder, however. I should also add that there was only one entrance to the basement. It would have been impossible for anyone to leave without meeting me head-on. I went back up to speak with my salesperson, but she had left.
She never returned to work (after having been with me for two years). She refuses to discuss the incident to this day. I never thought of relating the events of that day to anything having to do with the cabinet.
Then, things got worse.
As I already indicated, I had decided to give the cabinet to my Mother as a birthday gift. About two weeks after I made the purchase, I decided to get started refinishing it. I was surprised to find that the cabinet has a unique little mechanism. When you open one of the doors, the mechanism causes the opposite door, and the little drawer below, to open at the same time. It is very well made. Inside the cabinet, I found the following items:
1 1928 U.S. Wheat Penny; 1 1925 U.S. Wheat Penny; One small lock of blonde hair (bound with string); One small lock of black/brown hair (bound with string); One small granite statue engraved and gilded with Hebrew letters (I have been told that the letters spell out the word SHALOM); One dried rosebud; One golden wine cup; One very strange black cast iron candlestick holder with octopus legs.
I saved all of the items in a box intending to return them to the estate. The family has refused the items, so they will be included in this sale of the cabinet.
After opening the cabinet, I decided not to refinish it. I cleaned it, and rubbed in some lemon oil. It was at this time that I noticed that there was an inscription in Hebrew carved into the back of the cabinet. I have no idea what it says or if it is significant. I have included a picture of that inscription below. On my mothers birthday, October 28, 2001, my mother called to tell me that she was going out of town with my sister for three days, and we postponed celebrating her birthday together until she returned. On October 31, 2001, my mother came to my shop. We were going to have lunch together, but before we were going to leave, I gave her the wine cabinet. She seemed to like it. While she examined it, I went to make a phone call. I hadn't been out of sight more than 5 minutes when one of my employees came running into my office saying that something was wrong with my mom.
When I went back to see what the matter was, I found my mom sitting in a chair beside the cabinet. Her face had no expression, but tears were streaming down her cheeks. No matter how I tried to get her to respond, she would not. She could not. It turns out that my mother had suffered a stroke. She was taken to the hospital by ambulance. She ended up suffering partial paralysis, and losing her ability to speak and form words (she has since regained the ability to speak). She could understand things being said to her, and could respond by pointing to letters of the alphabet to spell out words she wanted to say. When I asked her the following day how she was doing, she teared up and spelled out the words: N-O G-I-F-T. I assured her that I had given her a gift for her birthday, thinking that she didnt remember, but she became even more upset and spelled out the words: H-A-T-E G-I-F-T. I laughed and told her not to worry. I told her I was sorry she didnt like the cabinet, and that I would get her anything she wanted if she would promise to get well soon.
Still, I didn't associate anything that had happened with the cabinet itself or anything paranormal. Frankly, I dont think I ever even used the term paranormal until this last month.
I'll try to make this short now. I gave the cabinet to my sister. She kept it for a week, then gave it back. She complained that she couldn't get the doors to stay closed and that they kept coming open. There are no springs in the door mechanism and I have never found that the doors come open. I gave it to my brother and his wife who kept it for three days and then gave it back. My brother said it smelled like Jasmine flowers, while his wife insisted that it put out an odor of cat urine. I gave it to my girlfriend who asked me to sell it for her after only two days. I sold it the same day to a nice middle aged couple. Three days later, when I came to open the shop for the day, I found the cabinet sitting at the front doors with a note that read, This has a bad darkness. I had no idea what that meant. Anyway, I ended up taking it home.
Then, things got even worse.
Since the day I brought it home, I began having a strange recurring nightmare. Every time I have the horrible dream it goes something 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. I have awakened numerous times to find bruises and marks on myself where I had been hit by the old woman during the previous night. Still, I never related the nightmares to the cabinet, nor do I think that I ever would have.
About a month ago, however, my sister, and my brother and his wife came over to my house and spent the night. The following morning, during breakfast, my sister complained that she had had a horrible nightmare. She said that she recalled having had it a couple of times before, and went on to describe my nightmare exactly to the last detail. My brother and his wife froze as they listened, and then chimed in that they had both had had the exact same dreams during the night as well. The hair was standing up on the back of my neck and still is. As we talked, it became clear that the common denominator was that each of us had had the nightmare during the times that the cabinet was in our respective homes. I called my girlfriend and asked if she could recall having any nightmares recently. She described the same nightmare, same Hag, everything. When I asked her if she remembered the date when she had the nightmare, she said she did not. Then I asked if it happened to be the night before she gave me the cabinet back to sell for her. She said, Yeah! Hey, how did you know that?!!!
Now then, since my family discussion, it seems like all hell is breaking loose. For a week afterward I started seeing what I can only describe as shadow things in my peripheral vision. In fact, numerous visitors to my house have claimed that they have seen these shadow things. I put the cabinet in an outside storage unit and was awakened when the smoke alarm in the unit went off in the middle of the night. When I went to see what was burning, I opened the door and didnt see any smoke. However, I did get hit with the smell of cat urine. When I went back inside, the smell was there in my house. I DO NOT OWN A CAT AND I NEVER HAVE. I went back outside and grabbed the cabinet. I brought it back inside and tried to research it on the Internet. While I was surfing the net, I fell asleep and once again had the same freakin nightmare. I woke up at around 4:30am (when it felt and smelled like someone was breathing on my neck) to find that my house now smelled like Jasmine flowers, and just in time to see a HUGE shadow thing go loping down the hall away from me.
I would destroy this thing in a second, except I really dont have any understanding of what I may or may not be dealing with. I am afraid (and I do mean afraid) that if I destroy the cabinet, whatever it is that seems to have come with the cabinet may just stay here with me. I have been told that there are people who shop on EBAY that understand these kinds of things and specifically look for these kinds of items. If you are one of these people, please, please buy this cabinet and do whatever you do with a thing like this. Help me.
You can see that I have no reserve price or minimum bid. If I can make things any easier let me know and I will do everything within my abilities.
One more note. On the same day my Mom had her stroke, the lease to my store was summarily terminated without cause.
The measurements are 12.5" x 7.5" x 16.25"
ALL OF THE ITEMS THAT I ORIGINALLY FOUND INSIDE THE CABINET ARE INCLUDED IN THE SALE AND WILL BE DELIVERED WITH THE CABINET.
I bought the box from the first sellar above in the Ebay auction around June of 2003, out of curiosity about the 'haunted' box. After receiving a deluge of e-mail about the box, I set up a web site to answer some questions, which I stopped updating in September and haven't updated to this day because I didn't want to talk about it with anyone.
For the sake of information, I found that a dibbuk/dybbuk in Jewish folklore/mythology/teaching/whatever is a misplaced spirit that can neither rise to Heaven nor descend into Hell, essentially stuck in Limbo or purgatory. Here's another definition I found: 1. (Jewish folklore) a demon that enters the body of a living person and controls that body's behavior. Synonyms: dybbuk. 2. Evil Spirits, that cause mental illness, rage and changes of personality. The spirit or soul of a dead person that inhabits the body of a living one, with sometimes evil, sometimes positive results.
If you believe in paranormal phenomena, the box contains or is possessed by at least one dibbuk, possibly two, as the grandmother stated: a dibbuk, and a keslim. Keselim is a term similar to a turkish word that means "priest." This would probably correspond to the pair of wrapped strands of blonde and brown/black hair.
The Hebrew carving on the back, to my knowledge, is a relatively common Jewish prayer: Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one. Blessed is the name of his honored kingdom forever. Said frequently at times of fear, death, etc...
I was doubtful of the 'haunted' box, and I still don't believe in the paranormal. What happened in August and Septemember is likely coincidental, so I will relate it as I originally wrote it down in a log.
Sunday, 31 August 2003 Over the last week some interesting, though possibly coincidental, items of note have come up. Firstly, I share a house with six other people; we have been taking turns sleeping with the box in each of our rooms.
Two people are now complaining of burning eyes, one is listless and depleted of energy, and another became spontaneously sick. [In retrospect I would say it was alergies.]
A few days after these ongoing annoyances started, the air outside our house was filled with small bugs for several hours (a Friday). [Weird summer stuff?]
Last night (Saturday) we discovered that the box, now located in the back corner of the house, had come mostly open, though it had been shut and it seems unlikely that anyone could or would have touched it.
Wednesday, 10 September 2003 Though it seems impossible to prove that the box is a direct cause of misfortune, we have definitely seen a tidal wave of "bad luck."
Strange odors now permeate the house, the dumpster out back overflows with trash and decay, one roomate suddenly got bronchitis, and I broke a finger.
Several mice have died in the engine of one car, and more electronic devices seem to be dying everyday: xbox, toaster, t.v., and watches.
I don't really want to talk about anything between September and January, so I'll just say that I'm selling the box now for a couple reasons:
1. Around October 6th, I started feeling bad, with trouble sleeping. This problem has persisted through today.
2. I live alone now, and as of late I have noticed replacing a lot of burnt out lightbulbs, and getting many unusual car repairs (transmission fluid was burned out of the reservoir.)
3. I've started seeing things, sort of like large vertical dark blurs in my periphreal vision.
4. I smell something like juniper bushes or stingy ammonia in my garage often, and I have no idea what from.
5. Most disturbingly, last Tuesday (1-27-2004), my hair began to fall out. Today (Friday) it's about half gone. I'm in my early twenties, and I just got a clean blood test back from the doctor's. Maybe it's stress related, I don't know.
Anyhow, for personal reasons I very strongly do not want this box anymore. I hope there's someone on Ebay that will take this thing off of my hands. [I would just throw it away in the woods or something, but I know there has been some interest in it in the past.]
|Date:||February 12th, 2004 08:37 am (UTC)|| |
I wonder if there's a way to find a record of the previous sale?
|Date:||February 12th, 2004 08:41 am (UTC)|| |
*Fascination with tales of supernatural kicks in*
I want that box. :)
|Date:||February 12th, 2004 10:36 am (UTC)|| |
yeah, it would be cool to be able to verify the stories yourself.
|Date:||August 17th, 2004 10:06 pm (UTC)|| |
Here's the update on the box and yes it is real. Got to: