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The Dibbuk Box Paperback – November 1, 2011
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No other tale in the history of our show has had such a profound effect on us, and our audience, as The Dibbuk Box. --Aaron Wright, Benjamin Grundy, Mysterious Universe
At our first ''Dibbuk Box'' production meeting, Sam Raimi said it would be best to have the actual box in our possession while we worked on the movie. The question was raised about who would be the caretaker for the box while it was here. In a room of ten, nobody would volunteer, each using a different excuse to avoid exposure to the box's curse. --Stan Wertlieb, Executive Producer of Dibbuk Box" aka The Possession
The Dibbuk Box is one of those head-scratching enigmas in the paranormal community. The box itself forces us to ponder big questions: Are curses real? Can spirits get attached to inanimate objects? Is there magic and mysticism left in the old religions of the world? I m glad someone with Jason Haxton's background and credentials owns this unusual object, and I m grateful he has so meticulously chronicled his experiences and the origins and mysteries surrounding this old cabinet. Be careful when you open The Dibbuk Box, you may just find a piece of yourself inside. --Jeff Belanger, author of The World's Most Haunted Places, host of 30 Odd Minutes
About the Author
Jason Haxton is the museum director at A. T. Still University Museum of Osteopathic Medicine. He speaks on medical history and exhibits artifacts from the museum worldwide.
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Top customer reviews
I will say this - the author did a great job of researching the box, its history, and the weird artifacts found in it. For that reason, I gave this a 4 star rating. For example, the author points out (and it's obvious) that the handle on the box and the general appearance is something from the 50s or 60s (or possibly even 70s) yet there's a back story indicating that it was brought over from Poland after the owner escaped from a Nazi prison camp. He documented his extensive research on the physical box and its contents as well as his exhaustive interviews to try and run down the truth. I like that he provided lots of information to back up what he found. He provides detailed information on the weird candlestick with the tentacle looking legs, the granite slab with Hebrew carved into it, etc. The only area where I felt he fell short was in not researching further what he personally observed about the box. It was as if I as the reader was to disbelieve everyone else but I was to take his word at face value. He does the same thing with the family member he interviewed. He doesn't provide evidence of investigating her past to see if she's telling the truth. That lack of objectivity was disconcerting when he did such a good job of objectively researching the box. While I wanted to believe their words as eyewitnesses, I felt that he should have accounted for things that may have affected their credibility.
Other issues: I was left wondering why he didn't ask for his money back once he realized the discrepancies about the age of the artifact. He never accounts for other variables - was the family member who backed up the story mentally ill? Is it possible that even if there was another original dibbuk box, the story was made up to scare the captors to help facilitate the owner's escape? As to his own observations, he didn't account for environmental factors, medications or physical ailments that might have effected his perception or that there may have been other causes of what happened to his home. For example, could the invasion of spiders be caused by the sugar-based lacquer on the box and not any supernatural manifestation? He says the other things that happened at the house were unprecedented but I felt like he didn't research other causes as thoroughly as he did the background on the box. Rather than being objective in that regard, he in effect asks the reader to take him at his word whereas he doesn't extend the same courtesy to others in the story.
With that said, though, the descriptions of the weird occurrences surrounding the box, which are described in detail and are documented with photos, are downright creepy. There seems to be a lot going on to just explain it away as coincidence. And it is here that the author is really engaging. I had trouble putting the book down. Also, it was every bit as scary as a Stephen King novel. If you enjoy scary stuff or are interested in the supernatural, or just interested in this pop culture phenomenon (the box was the subject of a Hollywood movie), I recommend the book to you. It's entertaining, a fun read, and will have you jumping with every unexplained creak in your house.
To get the best experience I recommend reading it as fiction. If you want a tale that confirms paranormal phenomena based on factual evidence, this one ain't gonna convince you.
This is Haxton's story as he experienced it, nothing more. I don't think he aimed at convincing people that demons exist, he saw and felt some pretty strange stuff and relates this experience in an entirely subjective manner.
We may never know what this box is, but Jason did his best to find out with the resources available to him. Hoax or not, the story is in essence a fascinating one.
This is a masterful book. It reads like a thriller, a who-dun-it (but you know exactly who did it) and a historical/journalistic quest. It compels you to go forward like any great novel, though this is supposed to be non-fiction. Indeed, it is the blending of fiction and fact that work so perfectly into the reality of the circumstances that makes this book a piece of art. I do not in any way believe that Mr. Haxton has invented any of this. Whether or not there was any paranormal activity involved does not matter. It is what the people involved with the dybbuk box believe that is of paramount importance.
No "true" paranormal story has chilled me so much since I read The Amityville Horror 30 years ago (that was proven to be a hoax, but not on the author's part). Bravo to Jason Haxton on a work very well done. I look forward to anything else he writes in the future.
And yes, I will be seeing "The Possession", which is based on this book.