An example of a wax sealed, wooden Dybbuk Box with currency as a security anti-tamper device.

Dybbuk Box Background

The dybbuk box, or dibbuk box (in Hebrew texts known as קופסת דיבוק, or Kufsat Dibbuk), is any type of box or bottle which is said to be possessed, haunted or holding captive a dybbuk.  A dybbuk is a forsaken and in some instances a coercive entity.  It is thought to be a controlling entity and even possess those who come in contact with it.  Overwhelmingly the Dybbuk is seen as a negative spirit however some dybbuks have positive attributes and are not coercive in nature. 

Historical


Historically Dybbuk Boxes have been associated with Judaic traditions and Jewish Mysticism however many cultures world wide retain elements that correlate to Dybbuks as a whole.  These includes traditions of contacting spirits, hauntings, the occult, appeasements of ghosts, paranormal occurrences, spell castings, evil spirits, exorcisms and rituals involving the use of energy emitted from the afterlife.


During the very early 1990s, online platforms such as AOL, Prodigy and USENET allowed Dybbuk Box collectors to trade in a greater scale than years previous.


USENET newsgroups also connected many early collectors with one another.  Using certain USENET newsgroup servers allowed individuals to connect to very obscure, underground newsgroups which facilitated an active trading community.


During 1996 a number of members of an underground newsgroup began receiving unsolicited Dybbuk Boxes from an unknown person, after they naively posted their contact details in a public message during a trade/exchange offering.  In total there were 9 or 10 boxes sent, each showing what appeared to be ritualistic murders. With each new box sent, the clarity of the situation grew as each box became more violent and graphic in design and contents.  


Of the original amount sent only a handful are known to remain, as some recipients buried their boxes or performed ritualistic destruction by fire.  The few boxes that were opened by the unwitting recipients, the contents pointed towards murder.  Photos of assumed female victims being being bound and tied, tortured and appearing murdered, as well as assumed personal items such as bloodied clothing were found inside.  Just as mysteriously as the boxes appeared the sender stopped mailing them with no apparent reason for the cessation.


It was during this time that the newsgroup fell apart and disbanded, with some members retaining contact with other, trusted traders and continuing exchanges.  


With the advent of The Onion Router (TOR) and .onion domains some of the original USENET traders migrated back to online exchanges via the dark web.


Some traders took to eBay, Amazon and other platforms such as Etsy to sell their dybbuk box collections, opting for a more transparent medium.


Other members created domain commerce sites in which to sell or trade to the Dybbuk Box market.  This has created a surge in previously unaware people who were able to partake in the collection of Dybbuk boxes.  


Sites such as “The Dybbuk Store” is administered by one of the original USENET traders and who continued collecting boxes.  This has allowed the public the ability to acquire Dybbuk boxes that have been sourced worldwide from other collectors.

Design

Originally a Dybbuk box was made from wood and would contain safeguards to keep the Dybbuk encased inside.  These safeguards were normally a melted wax coating that seals the box and something to show if the box had been opened after sealing, such as a religious scripture printed on paper, currency or an amulet.  These are also sealed into the wax at the time of creation. 


In some cases offerings are put onto the box such as religious artifacts, money or tokens as attempts to appease the Dybbuk.  

Warnings can also be found on Dybbuk boxes in order to prevent accidental or curious people from tampering and opening it.


Inside the box is usually items that may have belonged to the entity during life or items that may have been used during rituals during the first contact.  In some cases there maybe human remains such as bone fragments, teeth or hair.


Some boxes are adorned with photographs of the Dybbuk entity during it’s previous life.