Buying and selling objects with a haunted reputation has become a cottage industry on eBay. Many such items have a dubious history centered on urban legend rather than real evidence. The Dibbuk Box, however, is another story altogether.
Jason Haxton, Current Owner of the Box
Jason Haxton, the Dibbuk box's current owner, is the museum director at A. T. Still University Museum of Osteopathic Medicine. He is well-respected in his field, and travels the world speaking about medical history and museum artifacts. The Dibbuk box was originally purchased at an estate auction by an unsuspecting antique store owner. Since then, the box has frightened and baffled its owners with the strange activities that surround it, including Jason himself as the current owner.
The Story of the Dibbuk Box
LoveToKnow (LTK): Jason, can you briefly describe the history of the Dibbuk Box?
Jason Haxton (JH): The story of the Dibbuk Box comes to me from the first buyer, Kevin Mannis, who bought it as a wooden wine cabinet for his antique furnishings shop. He decided the wine box might be a nice gift for his mother. Almost immediately, anyone near the box suffered its wrath. First the shop clerk left alone with the box heard cursing and the sound of breaking light fixtures. She fled left the shop in terror, never to return there to work.
When Kevin's mother received the box, she suffered a stroke leaving her partially blind, unable to speak and paralyzed. Soon, all kinds of unexplainable events occurred surrounding the box. Anyone who slept near it would have dreams of being pummeled by a demented hag, notice odd scents, and see dark shadowy figures.
Fearing for his sanity and afraid that harming or destroying the box might leave these spiritual entities in his home, Kevin sold the wine box to a college student in an online auction. The student also witnessed the unexplainable. When his hair started to fall out in clumps, he decided to get rid of the box.
I leaned of the box through the student's roommate, and I was curious about it! I purchased it and immediately had unexplained health problems with my vision, experienced choking, and saw odd lights and shadows. I got in contact with the family who created the box, which was meant to connect a Jewish family with the spiritual world during the Holocaust. The wooden wine box was originally supposed to be buried with a 103-year old family member, but an Orthodox Rabbi refused the request.
Owning the Dibbuk Box
Carving on the box's back
LTK: What types of experiences do you attribute to the box?
JH: Prophetic dreams, health problems such as vision loss, choking, metallic tastes that last for weeks, sudden welts and hives, and shadow creatures that float across the floor and along walls.
LTK: Why do you continue to keep the Dibbuk Box, and how can you ensure it doesn't harm your family?
JH: Being the "caretaker" of the Dibbuk Box for almost seven years, I've experienced a range of thoughts and feelings about it and its effects. Each caretaker who has passed the Dibbuk Box on reports both relief and loss. All regret losing control of it.
I decided not to act in haste and get rid of it like my predecessors. Instead, I've worked with scientists, kabbalists, Wiccans and those in the paranormal to diffuse the energy and put the artifact in a rest state. For the past several years I've sealed it within an acacia wood ark lined in 24 karat gold. It has indeed calmed its effects.
I've always done my best to keep the Dibbuk Box away from my family. My kids were very young when I first bought it, so it was easy to do. For most of the last seven years, they had no idea where it was located or about the depth of my research. That seems to act as a buffer.
In the last seven months since writing the book and with the upcoming movie, I've talked more about the box with my kids. It is still an enigma to them and to me.
LTK: How does your family feel about your possession of an artifact with such an odd history?
JH: My wife has no interest in the paranormal. My kids are more like me in this aspect. They approach the Dibbuk Box topic with respect and caution. Although it is easily accessible within my den, I've never seen them make any attempt to have anything to do with it in any manner. It's kind of like a sleeping junk yard dog in the corner of the house. It's over there nestled in its military case, in its ark, and it's best to just leave it be.
LTK: What are your future plans for the Dibbuk Box?
JH: Actually, after all these years, I cannot see myself being without it. So it stays with me.
And when I die? It might seem odd, but I would like the Dibbuk Box to buried with me and for it to be finally gone from this world.
That written, my son, a junior in college, tells me he's not comfortable with burying the box with me. It is more of a fear that doing this could somehow bring a curse on him. That's the problem of trusting the living to carry out your desires.
LTK: What are your theories about the box?
JH: I believe that the box is somewhat neutral - neither evil nor good. I believe it was designed and equipped to move a person toward their innermost desire or wish. Of course, sometimes what a person wants is not always a good thing for them or others.
The Dibbuk Box moves toward understanding and exposing the truth at the smallest level. Its original acting out against its early owners and others was a way of continuing to move toward the ultimate goal of its creator. Those not willing to move it forward received stronger assaults from it until they let loose of the box so it could find someone who would fulfill its destiny and accomplish the goal or task it was given. Now the journey and its work is finished. As long as the Dibbuk Box remains contained with no one requesting anything more from it, it will stay in a neutral state.
Book and Movie
LTK: Talk about the process of writing your upcoming book. What can readers expect?
JH: I actually never planned on writing this book solo; however, having gone through four co-authors and wanting to get it out before the movie, I had no choice but to do it on my own. My last co-author was a brilliant paranormal writer who completely broke down when the curse followed him home and manifested in him, his kids, and his house. Once he sent back all the material I gave him and stopped working on the book, everything returned to normal. He still refuses to speak of it.
Left on my own, I found a wonderful published mentor, Giles Fowler. We worked on the book for about seven months. Then I had several rabbis as reviewers. I feel confident it will be a good read. It has the whole collection of events from my first hearing of this odd artifact until the day my manuscript went to the publisher.
LTK: When will your book be available, and where can people find it?
JH: The book is going through its second review and set of edits, which I plan to have done in a few days. Then it will be set up for print.
A hard copy is available as a pre-order through the Dibbuk Box website. It will also be available as an e-book. Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble also have pre-ordering available.
LTK: IMDB shows an upcoming January release of a Dibbuk Box movie staring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick. Were you involved in the film?
JH: I never wanted a film to be made, and when I was approached by the producer's lawyer, I firmly said, "No! No thank you."
Trust me, that does not work with Hollywood film lawyers. After some heavy coercion, I relented. I signed a legal contract seven years ago - that is how long Hollywood has had its eye on the box. The film is called The Possession, and I am listed as a production consultant.
Response to Attention
LTK: The Dibbuk Box almost seems to have a consciousness of its own. Do you have any sense about how the box "feels" about all of the recent attention?
JH: I don't think the box or its consciousness has any specific feeling on these things going on, but that these are just the means to provide the truth. The wish of its creator is coming to light in a few months. That was the assignment, and its job will be complete. I cannot see how this information juggernaut could be derailed at this point. So it's resting. Mission accomplished.
A Word of Caution
What the future holds for Jason Haxton and this mysterious box remains to be seen. The one thing you should take away from this story is that people should always be extremely careful when interacting with any object, or any "thing," that produces paranormal activity. Never let curiosity override your better judgment.