Is Zak Bagans' Dybbuk Box The Most Haunted Object In The World?
October 16, 2018 10:00 PM ‐ Paranormal • Television • Halloween • Ghost Adventures
This article is more than four years old and was last updated in February 2021.
This Halloween Zak Bagans and the rest of the 'Ghost Adventures' team will be embarking on a mammoth four-hour live special. The highlight of the broadcast will be the moment when Zak dares to open his cursed dybbuk box on live television.
The cursed box is housed in a "protective case" in Zak's Las Vegas occult museum, which is the location of the live special. The infamous dybbuk box that Zak will be opening is believed to have a dangerous spirit attachment and has been described as "the most haunted object in the world."
The dybbuk box was nothing more than a family heirloom, that the family always stayed clear off and been afraid to touch. It had belonged to a woman who originally made and sealed the box after World War II, but in 2001 her granddaughter sold it on to an antiques dealer named Kevin Mannis.
The granddaughter warned that the box was supposed to contain a dybbuk, which in Jewish folklore is a restless, usually malicious, spirit believed to be able to haunt and even possess the living.
After taking the box home, Kevin started experiencing strange happenings in his home and even blamed the box for the stroke that took his mother's life. He was too scared to destroy it, so he sold it on eBay. It changed hands a few more times, its price increasing with each owner as the stories surrounding the box deepened. It even inspired the 2012 movie 'The Possession'.
Eventually Zak paid tens of thousands of dollars to buy the haunted item from Jason Haxton, who had been so terrified of the box that he kept it inside of a military grade box buried in the ground at a secret location. Once in Zak's possession, the box was placed on display in his museum, where it's been blamed for a black cloaked figure seen moving through closed doors in the room it's displayed in.
In order to see the infamous artefact yourself, you have to be over the age of 18 and sign a consent form waiving any liability should anything untoward happen to you.
Has The Dybbuk Box Been Opened Before?
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The halloween broadcast won't be the first time the box has been opened. While it was in the possession of Jason Haxton, he retrieved the box from its hole in the ground for a special appearance on Zak's television show, 'Deadly Possessions'. Zak had arranged to have the box placed in a containment room and Kevin entered the room alone and opened the box.
Inside the box was a dried rosebud, two coins from the 1920s, a small golden goblet, a bound lock of hair, an octopus-shaped candlestick holder and ceramic engraving of the word "shalom", which translates as "peace" and is used as a salutation.
Upon opening the box, the lights in the building started to flash, strange sounds were heard and most bizarrely, Kevin turned to face a wall, his demeanour and even his voice changed as he started to recite a strange story about a shadow man, "light from the hallway crept into my room, along with the shadow man too I assume." He then started speaking in tongues and making strange whistling sounds.
Although the box has been opened before, up until now Zak himself has been too terrified to open it, but plans to overcome his fear on live television on the night of Halloween. The box is described as being very dangerous and has even been blamed for at least one death, so who knows what might happen when the box it opened on Halloween night.
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Is The Dybbuk Box Really The Most Haunted Object In The World?
Zak paid so much money for the object because of its haunted reputation. He knew that displaying it in his museum would sell tickets. There's nothing wrong with this, having "the world's most haunted object" in an occult museum is a good selling point. Other tourist attractions do the same, they might boast that they have the tallest rollercoaster or the biggest wave pool, but these claims can be measured and validated, whereas how haunted something is can't be quantified.
In the case of Zak's dybbuk box, the claim is based on the testimonies of its former owners, most of which also profited from these claims, which doesn't make them the best witnesses.
British paranormal investigator, Charlene Lowe Kemp of Paranormal Hauntings, is a bit of an expert on haunted items and even owns a dybbuk box herself. We asked her if she thought the the box really lives up to its haunted reputation, "it would seem it has something about it that scares all involved with it. In the terms of visual proof, I haven't seen a lot from it, but I would never knock a claim and having one myself sometimes the things that happen seem too silly to report on."
If we assumed for a moment, that the past owners didn't invent and contribute to the object's haunted reputation for profit, then this means they must believed in it, but British skeptic Chris French thinks that they may have been "primed" in advance by the box's haunted reputation, which had them on the look out for "bad stuff."
Chris, who is head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths' College, said "if you believe you have been cursed, then inevitably you explain the bad stuff that happens in terms of what you perceive to be the cause. Put it like this, I would be happy to own this object."
The box has recently had a celebrity testify to its supernatural powers. US singer-songwriter, Post Malone, visited Zak's museum in June. During his visit Zak removed the protective case and touched the box, before touching the rapper on the shoulder. Zak now believes that Post Malone has been cursed by the dybbuk.
Since his visit, Malone has been involved in an emergency landing in his private jet, his car was involved in an accident, and armed robbers targeted a home in San Fernando they believed to be his. Although Malone was unharmed and unaffected by these three events, Zak still thinks that it was the curse of the box that caused them.
What Will Happen When The Box Is Opened?
Even when closed the box has been blamed for deaths and visitors to the museum passing out or vomiting. So open, these phenomenon are likely to increase. When the box was opened previously lights flickered and those around it started acting strangely.
Charlene thinks that opening the box could increase its activity. She said, "after talking to Kevin Mannis, the original owner, I could only assume he is scared it is going to be opened, his reports of activity from the box are still continuous until this day and I suspect by opening it they will grow."
One thing's certain and that's that Zak is likely to react strongly to the dybbuk box being open. He's known for his overly dramatic approach to ghost hunting, so it's likely something will spook or unsettle him once he peers inside the box for the first time.
We'll know for sure just how haunted the box is when Zak opens it for the first time during the special 'Ghost Adventures Live', which will air on the night of October 31st at 8pm EST on the Travel Channel in the USA, but will also be available to watch around the world via a live stream on the Travel Channel's Facebook page. For UK viewers, the event begins at 1am on November 1st.
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