It was 2004, an eBay delivery arrived at the home of Jason Haxton that would unexpectedly change his life forever. Soon after he opened the package, his eyes turned red, his body reacted in a breakout of a rash, and he would randomly feel choked.
The events that occurred following receiving this antique wooden box led Haxton to believe he had been cursed by a dybbuk, also known as Dibbuk; part of Jewish mythology which is a possessed spirit claiming to be the soul of the dead.
Haxton was a high school graduate from Texas, he described feeling “paralysed by pain” and often would have traumatising night terrors.
The box was the inspiration for the 2012 horror film “The Possession”. In the movie, the victim of the box is a young girl who becomes obsessed and, as a result, cursed by the malicious spirit.
The thriller declares to its audience as being based on true events, which may be why it sparked such interest and set viewing records in cinemas.
The tale begins when Haxton first learnt about the box from a worker at the medical school where Haxton attended as a director. The worker spoke of a Jewish wine cabinet that was owned by his roommate and was believed to be possessed.
The roommate decided to get rid of the box after experiencing attacks on his body, such as severe hair loss and strange odours. He made a listing on eBay, adding the description “Dibbuk Haunted Jewish Wine Cabinet Box”. Clearly, he was not subtle and made no attempt at masking the fact that this box came with a curse.
The box came with several strange items, such as locks of hair, a wine goblet, and some grubby pennies.
Haxton came across the listing, he had a hobby for searching for antique items, and he ended up winning the bid for around $280. He had planned on giving it as a gift to his illusionist friend, unfortunately, his friend declined and he was stuck with it.
Haxton purchased the box with no belief that any harm would come to him, he was generally a sceptic of all things haunted. This was until the strange happenings began, and he decided there was no other possible explanation than a curse.
He even described himself as “science-based”, but the correlation between his illnesses and acquiring the box was too strong to deny.
In his first stages of disbelief, he took the box to the lab and tested it for poisonous materials and various kinds of heavy metals, however, the results were negative across the board.
Haxton had discussions with professionals in science and in spiritual teachings. The shared advice was to store the box gold-lined wooden cage, intended to counteract the evil and deadly force. This saw miraculous results, his illnesses cleared up almost instantaneously and he felt just as he did before the box came into his life.
Throughout this journey, the box was acquiring an increasing amount of attraction online, it became known as the infamous “dibbuk box” and Haxton was pounded with internet requests. He used this advantage, creating a website for the box which was gaining six figures worth of visitors.
The box even made the LA news. Eventually, in true Hollywood fashion, Haxton was approached and sold his story to a production company and the thriller film was released later that year.
Haxton doesn’t feature in “The Possession” himself, it is a young girl who is possessed by a vengeful spirit after she purchases the Dybbuk box at a second-hand sale. The family try to fight the powers of the evil spirit displayed by their daughter, as it inhabits her body in a deadly manner.
Haxton praised the movie as a collective portrayal of the stories told by all who have come into contact with the box.
More recently, Haxton’s tale was published as a book – “The Dibbuk Box” – which provides a written account of the haunted experiences.
Haxton’s family have shared their opinions on the phenomenon, his mother has expressed her son’s love for research over the years, but does not share much of an opinion on the box itself. Whereas his sister is a firm believer of the story and supports her brothers’ ventures.
Historically, the myths of the dybbuk date back way before Haxton’s story came to light. It is a Jewish belief trending from the 16th century.
The whereabouts of the haunted box currently is in a highly secure container, hidden underneath the ground and hopefully never to be unearthed again.