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Episode Recap: The Dybbuk Box


Subject Names: Kevin Mannis, Jane Howerton, Ida Mannis, Brian Grubbs, Brian's roommate Sam, Jason Haxton, Sophie
Subject Location: Oregon and Missouri
Paranormal Experience: A wine cabinet carrying a malevolent spirit

Kevin Mannis was searching for items for his antique store.  He found an estate auction of items from a Holocaust survivor who has passed at the fine old age of 103.  He won a lot that contained hundreds of dollars of items for the store, including a locked wine cabinet that the late woman's granddaughter called 'The Dubbuk Box". Even though Kevin is Jewish, and knew what a dybbuk was, he took the box and other items from the sale back to his store.

When everything was stowed in the store's basement, Kevin went to work on the brass lock that held the box shut. When he broke the clasp, the doors opened.  Inside, Kevin found some odd trinkets that he chalked up to being the items of a sentimental old woman, and didn't think anything of the box beyond it being an old wine cabinet.

Jane Howerton, Kevin's sales assistant, was tidying up the basement before opening one day when she got the feeling something was watching her.  She had spent hours in the basement alone before, even to the point of being able to walk throught it in the dark, but never had she felt that sensation of being watched.  When Jane stepped away to answer the phone, she heard a noise, and knew something was wrong. When she went to investigate, glass started breaking.  Lights she had turned off came back on. She called Kevin, begging him to come back to the store. It sounded like something was taking a baseball bat to the inventory. When Kevin finally got there, the wrought-iron door into the basement is locked. He hadn't locked it. On the other side, the lights were out.  The light switch was useless. Pulling a flashlight, Kevin went to find Jane.  All of the four-foot fluorescent bulbs had been cast to the ground. Other light bulbs were shattered. When he finally found Jane, she swore at him and walked out, never to return. Kevin blamed Jane for the damage, as he could see no other explanation.

Later that October, Kevin thought he'd found the perfect birthday gift for his mother: the box. Kevin was called away shortly after giving her the box. Ida examined the box, opening the doors. She felt a cold evil from it, and it kept her from moving or speaking. Kevin returned to find his mother incapacitated by a stroke. Kevin saw the terror in his mother's eyes.

Kevin realized that the common denominator in the situation was the box. It was time to sell it. An older couple bought the box, only to leave it back at the store's door within days saying the box had an "odd darkness about it". Since it wouldn't otherwise sell, Kevin put the box in a storage unit behind his house until he could figure something out. All that did was cause Kevin nightmares of a friend--any friend--turning into a violent hag who would beat him up. Kevin awoke with bruises. Every night, the nightmares came. That finally convinced Kevin that the box was cursed.

Doing what anyone would do with a cursed antique, Kevin put it up on eBay, hoping someone with occult knowledge might be able to properly dispose of it. He referred to it as a dybbuk box, and disclosed everything that had been happening. College student Brian Grubbs noticed that his roommate Sam was checking out the listing. About three weeks later, Brian had come home for lunch. No sooner did he set foot in the house than he was hit with the overwhelming smell of urine. He walked back into the kitchen, and was face-to-face with the box. Sam, in a fit of curiosity, had bought the box.

Sam began recording his experiences in a blog. The box also became a focal point for house parties, including a moment when Sam thought it would be funny to stick a girl's hand into the opened box. The boys thought they were playing innocent pranks. They didn't believe it was haunted, until the electronics began wigging out. Sam had to replace his laptop. Other electronics in the house began dying every day. One morning, another of Brian's roommates woke with heavily bloodshot eyes. Bugs were crawling all over the box, in the living room, up the walls, everywhere. Sam grew more reclusive, noting in his blog that he was seeing things. Sam began trying to get rid of the box.

Jason Haxton, a director in the local medical museum, was fascinated by Sam's blog.  He was interested in obtaining the box, trying to find a scientific basis for the things that were happening to Sam.  Sam put the box up on eBay, and Jason was on the case. He gave Sam twice what he'd paid for it. Jason scanned the box for contaminants, but all he found was the dripping of wax on the front door.  It looked as though the box had been used in a ritual of some sort.
Within days of the box arriving at the museum, the computers began crashing.  Weeks of work was lost. The light bulbs around the box began going out. Sudden illnesses affected the staff. They made Jason aware that the box was no longer welcome in the museum. Jason took the box, locking it into the trunk of his truck. Jason began dreaming of the hags every time he tried to sleep.
One night, Jason and his son were watching TV when his son saw something. Jason looked over, and saw a black mass behind his son. Neither of them could figure out what on earth it could have been.

Jason decided that the box needed to be isolated and "sealed" again. He took it to the basement of an unused rental property, left it there, and locked the door. He came home and took a ritual bath to cleanse himself of the evil of the box. It didn't work.  Suddenly, he felt something tearing inside him. He began vomiting mucus. Outside the door, his wife was panicked over a patch of bloody poison ivy.

Jason decided to call Kevin Mannis.

Kevin went back to the house where he'd bought the box. There, he met Sophie, the cousin of the old woman who'd passed away. Sophie told him the story of the box.  Prior to World War II, séances were something of a rage. Sophie's cousin had made a makeshift Ouija board with embroidery on a handkercheif. During one of the séances, the group contacted what they thought was a dybbuk. It haunted them as it tried to get them to bring it across. The girls used the box to trap the dybbuk once it had come across to our world.

Using that knowledge, Jason contacted rabbis and found the best way to seal the box. It has been hidden away for seven years. No one has reported further activity…so far. For now, it is safe.

How to Watch

Catch up on Paranormal Witness on Peacock or the SYFY app.