The timing of this episode of Paranormal Witness couldn’t be better. With the recent release of the hit movie The Possession, the Dybbuk Box is getting more press than ever.
The history of the Dybbuk Box itself is simple enough. It was owned by a Holocaust survivor and brought into the United States after World War II. After the original owner passed away it was sold as part of a lot at an estate auction in 2001. This is where the show takes over.
The episode starts off with Kevin Mannis buying the box. He was the owner of a small antiques store in Portland, Oregon. He examined the box and its contents and thought little more about it. Shortly after he opened the box there was a terrifying event that was recounted by an employee of the store. Something broke all the lightbulbs in the storeroom where he was working alone. She could hear someone in there but couldn’t find anyone. When Kevin arrived at the store he found the storeroom gate locked and upon opening it the employee ran out and never returned. He searched the storeroom, having entered by the only access point. There was no one in there and he initially blamed the broken lightbulb on his employee.
It wasn’t long after that incident that he gave the box to his mother as a birthday gift. Within minutes she suffered a stroke and had to be hospitalized. Mannis took the box and put it into storage. At this point horrific nightmares started. He eventually became so terrified that he decided to sell the box on eBay.
It’s at this point that many viewers may remember hearing about the box for the first time back in 2003. The box garnered national headlines for its listing on eBay.
Mannis warned any bidders of what happened to him and his family in a lengthy ad about the box. Nonetheless a college student purchased the box.
Iosif Neitzke was the student who purchased the box. Between June 2003 and January of 2004, he owned the box. Everything seemed fine until they opened it. After that they began to have a series of issues with illness, electrical appliances stopped functioning, car repair issues and so on. Most disturbingly to Neitzke was that his hair was falling out rapidly and he began to have nightmares and see things out of the corners of his eyes. He detailed these events in his blog. Eventually things became so bad that he also decided to get rid of the box. He also sold it on eBay. In his auction listing he reposted what Mannis had written and added his own experiences. Despite that there were 51 bidders. The Dybbuk box sold for $280 (plus $20 shipping).
Jason Haxton, Director of the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri was the next owner. He had the same problems that everyone else had with the box. The difference is that he studied it scientifically and put the box through a battery of tests. He concluded that there is no scientific explanation for what happened. As a result to the threat to himself and his family, he contacted Mannis and begged for help. Mannis initially refused but then agreed to do what he could.
Mannis returned to the home where the estate auction had taken place. It was there that he found out the history of the box and why the woman who owned it had said it must never be opened. It seems that she and her friends had been conducting sÃ©ances back before the war. They had apparently made contact with a demonic force and figured out a way to trap it inside the box.
Paranormal Witness ends with Haxton explaining that he finally consulted Jewish scholars and Rabbi’s who could help him return the demon to the box and seal it. Haxton has hidden the sealed box in an undisclosed location. It’s not for sale at any price.