This box was discovered by the owners of a 19th century property in rural Worcestershire, whilst they were digging foundations in the properties rear garden.
A Dibbuk, or Dybbuk is from Jewish folklore. In essence, a dybbuk is a malicious or malevolent possessing spirit believed to be the dislocated soul of a dead person.
The word “dybbuk” comes from Hebrew, meaning “attachment”. The dybbuk (spirit) attaches itself to a living person and inhabits the flesh. According to Jewish belief, a soul that was unable to complete its mission during its lifetime is given another opportunity to do so as a dibbuk. It sometimes leaves the host body after accomplishing its goals.
The information thats follows includes testimonies from a couple we will name John and Irene to protect their identity. These statements were recorded with their permission during our initial visit to their home and we have obtained permission to document the facts and the photographs they took at the time.
We were called to investigate this box in 2013 after the couple who found it began experiencing horrific nightmares and disturbing visions. John, the home owner, a man in his late 50's, had been digging up the old yard outside his victorian property, to lay new foundations for a new patio area.
About 3 feet down he hit something solid, and what he uncovered was this wooden box. After dusting it off John took it indoors. They were intrigued as the box was bound with twine as if someone didn't want it to be opened. They weren't sure what to do so decided to leave it while John continued his work.
As Irene began to prepare the tea that night she remembers feeing very uneasy as the box sat on her dresser in the kitchen.
"I felt like the box was watching me" she told us. "I know that sounds stupid, how can a box watch you, but it just made me feel very uneasy and I had to put it somewhere out of the way". - Irene.
Irene put the box down the cellar and decided to leave it there until John decided what he wanted to do with it. Not long after, maybe 2 or 3 days later, John and Irene began experiencing problems with electrical equipment in their home.
John: "We had just had a new kitchen fitted and had a new cooker, microwave and fridge. Within a few days of each other, they all stopped working. We couldn't believe it. We called the engineers in who said there was no explanation as all of the major parts were still functioning. They replaced them anyway, but I think we were all a bit confused about the whole thing".
John decided one evening to go down into the cellar and have a better look at this old box. He flicked the switch to his cellar light, it wouldn't work. Down he went in torchlight, when out of the corner of his eye he saw something run across the cellar.
John: "It went from left to right, straight past me. It was too big for an animal, and seemed to be standing on 2 legs, like a man. I felt a breeze as it ran past me. It really shook me up".
Irene: "He came running up form the cellar in a right state. He said someone was down there. I didn't know what to think. My first thought was that we had a squatter or a burglar or something. I called the police straight away".
The police arrived and immediately went into the cellar. They found nothing. As standard procedure they took a statement from the couple before leaving.
John: "they must have thought I was crazy, but I know what I saw".
The following evening Irene bought the box up from the cellar, cut away the string that bound it together and opened it.
Irene: "I immediately felt a heaviness in the air. It was as if I had done something bad, something I shouldn't have done. I can't explain it but I felt guilty".
Irene and John both took the box outside to get some fresh air. They examined the items inside the box and decided to take a photograph before closing the box again. (pic opposite)
Inside they found:
A small silver coloured candlestick
A brass coloured pot bound with string
A small glass drinking cup which looked burnt on the base
A handmade wooden cross
A white shell
A few twigs/some kind of herbs
A broken wooden horse shoe
Its not clear what each item may have been used for, but a drinking vessel, candle holder and herbs are all well known items to be found in ritualistic boxes or on alters. The brass pot is probably the most fascinating. You can apparently hear something soft inside when shaken, but as it is bound, neither John or Irene wanted to open it. They had seen enough.
According to folklore, once the box is opened, the entity within is released and set free to either attack, or attempt possession of whoever opened it.
The next few weeks passed without incident, until John began having violent nightmares. He had never experienced anything remotely like this before. He recalls that about 3 weeks after they opened the box, he had a nightmare in which a man was watching him while he slept. He knew the man wanted something from him, and even though John knew it was a nightmare, he couldn't wake up.
John: "I remember screaming to myself in the nightmare, wake up wake up its just a dream, but I remained locked into this mans stare".
He was eventually awoken by his wife Irene, who had woken to the sounds of her husband crying out in his sleep.
They put it down to simply a bad dream and went back to sleep. John didn't have this dream every night, but most nights, the man would visit him and either sit at the foot of the bed, or stand over him watching him.
John: "sometimes I felt like I couldn't breathe, as if there was some heavy force upon my chest. Other times I wouldn't see his face at all, just his eyes".
John and Irene didn't make the connection with the box at all, they just assumed John was going through a phase of restlessness.
To cut a long story short, over the months that followed the couple experienced many disturbing things including visions, hallucinations, nightmares and headaches. Not only this, but John also began to notice physical changes. He found his hair began falling out in noticable amounts, his eyes seemed to be more bloodshot and sensitive to light, and he developed a slight tremble in his right hand.
Irene: "He had the general appearance of someone 20 years his senior, we couldn't understand what was happening".
John: " I felt tired all the time and the disturbed sleep didn't help".
They decided that the box must have some kind of curse or bad luck associated with it, and were determined to rid themselves of it. They tried to sell it at a car boot sale but no one wanted it. They through it in the bin only to find it waiting for them at the front door. They felt helpless. In the end, they did some online research and gave us a call. When we arrived we felt a very heavy presence within their home. Also, a smell, a bit like rotten fish. Irene said she found it impossible to get rid of the smell. They had turned the house upside down and cleaned absolutely everywhere but still it came back. John handed the box to our psychic Kathleen, who jumped when she held it as if she had received an electric shock. We knew we were dealing with something different here, something that we had little to no experience of. We agreed to take the box away with us. John and Irene explained that they had re-bound the box with its original string but that the problems were still happening.
We have spent 3 months researching the meaning behind Dybbuk boxes and the Jewish folklore around dark spirits.
Apparently Dybbuk boxes usually contain the soul or spirit of a demon, or demonic force, captured within to protect our souls. After several sessions with a local Demonologist, we believe the spirit to be safely contained within the box once more.
We have not had any further violent occurrences.
We have been in touch with John and Irene, and they have not experienced anything negative for 12 weeks to date, and say that the atmosphere within their home has lifted and they feel they can breath again.