The “True” Story of the Haunted Dibbuk Box that Became ‘The Possession’


The Possession movie posterLionsgate is finally ready to unleash The Possession (previously titled The Dibbuk Box) on August 31 and today sent over the first piece of artwork for the flick, which is carrying the “based on a true story” tagline, but just how “true” can this thing be? Let’s look a little closer…

The film centers on Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Stephanie Brenek (Kyra Sedgwick) and their youngest daughter Em who has become strangely obsessed with an antique wooden box she purchased at a yard sale. Fast forward and it turns out the box is haunted by an evil spirit and based on the title you know where it goes from there. Blah, blah, blah…

Now, for the “true story” bit, which is a bit more intriguing as far as I am concerned no matter what you believe.

A 2004 article over at The Los Angeles Times opens with this:

A small wooden cabinet went up for auction on EBay. Inside were two locks of hair, one granite slab, one dried rosebud, one goblet, two wheat pennies, one candlestick and, allegedly, one “dibbuk,” a kind of spirit popular in Yiddish folklore.

The seller, a Missouri college student named Iosif Nietzke, described the container as a “haunted Jewish wine cabinet box” that had plagued several owners with rotten luck and a spate of bizarre paranormal stunts.

For more, an official website for the box is online ( where the history of the box with the first buyer of the box relaying this story:

At the time when I bought the cabinet, I owned a small furniture refinishing business. I took the cabinet to my store, and put it in my basement workshop where I intended to refinish it and give it as a gift to my Mother. I didn’t think anything more about it. I opened my shop for the day and went to run some errands leaving the young woman who did sales for me in charge.

After about a half-hour, I got a call on my cell phone. The call was from my salesperson. She was absolutely hysterical and screaming that someone was in my workshop breaking glass and swearing. Furthermore, the intruder had locked the iron security gates and the emergency exit and she couldn’t get out. As I told her to call the police, my cell phone battery went dead. I hit speeds of 100 mph getting back to the shop. When I arrived, I found the gates locked. I went inside and found my employee on the floor in a corner of my office sobbing hysterically. I ran to the basement and went downstairs. At the bottom of the stairs, I was hit by an overpowering unmistakable odor of cat urine (there had never been any animals kept or found in my shop). The lights didn’t work. As I investigated, I found that the reason the lights didn’t work also explained the sounds of glass breaking. All of the light bulbs in the basement were broken. All nine incandescent bulbs had been broken in their sockets, and 10 four-foot fluorescent tubes were lying shattered on the floor. I did not find an intruder, however. I should also add that there was only one entrance to the basement. It would have been impossible for anyone to leave without meeting me head-on. I went back up to speak with my salesperson, but she had left.

She never returned to work (after having been with me for two years). She refuses to discuss the incident to this day. I never thought of relating the events of that day to anything having to do with the cabinet.

Another relays this story:

Since the day I brought it home, I began having a strange recurring nightmare. Every time I have the horrible dream it goes something like this: I find myself walking with a friend, usually someone I know well and trust at some point in the dream, I find myself looking into the eyes of the person that I am with. It is then that I realize that there is something different, something evil looking back at me. At that point in my dream, the person I am with changes into what can only be described as the most gruesome, demonic looking Hag that I have ever seen. This Hag proceeds then, to beat the living tar out of me. I have awakened numerous times to find bruises and marks on myself where I had been hit by the old woman during the previous night. Still, I never related the nightmares to the cabinet, nor do I think that I ever would have.

The authenticity of it all depends, essentially, on what you believe as the site says, “Here is the story of the haunted wine box, exactly as it appeared on eBay. You form your own opinion.” Get the full story here and if you’d like a larger look at the poster above click here.