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Demon: Dybbuk


The Dybbuk is a very malicious spirit that can become so evil that it leaves many thinking is this a demon or ghost? This evil entity comes from Jewish mythology. The Dybbuk is usually male and in early biblical and Talmudic accounts are called "Ruchim" meaning "spirits" in Hebrew. In the 16th century, becoming known as "Dybbuks" which translates to "clinging spirit" in Yiddish.

What is a Dybbuk and What Causes a Dybbuk Possession?

Accounts of why a Dybbuk possesses a living being vary but here we list all the possible reasons.

  • Version 1 - The dislocated soul has done evil deeds and suffered "Karet" as a result. "Karet" means that the entity was cut off from God for these evil deeds done during their life.

  • Version 2 - This possessing spirit is thought to be a dislocated soul of a dead person who is seeking to take life back or finish a particular goal by force. The Dybbuk will cling and adhere to the living being host with some accounts stating that this spirit will leave the possessed victim after its work is complete if the aim is to complete unfinished business. Some Dybbuk may be helped and will exit the host body afterward.

  • Version 3 - In some cases, the entity is more confused than evil.

What Can Be Possessed?

A Dybbuk must possess a living being which varies from a blade of grass, an animal, with a human being the preferred vessel/target. Women are often the most susceptible or those with a neglected mezuzah, or simply a less spiritual home.

The Opposite of the Dybbuk

The opposite to the Dybbuk is the Ibbur, a righteous ancestor spirit who possesses the host vessel. The Ibbur will always ask permission before possessing the living being. Another version is the "Maggid" which is not an ancestor but nevertheless is a righteous spirit who may possess with permission.

How to Get Rid of a Dybbuk?

Getting rid of the Dybbuk can be done through an Exorcism which will release the possessing spirit from the host and free this soul from its wandering.

Most basic exorcisms require a pious man who is sometimes assisted by a "Maggid" or an Angel. Some reports claim an exorcism must be performed in the presence of a minyan (a group of usually ten male Jewish adults) or at a synagogue; sometimes both are required.

The exorcism will start with the interview of the Dybbuk. This interview is done to learn why the Dybbuk is still wandering and will help figure out how to convince the Dybbuk to leave. If the Dybbuk"s name can be determined, that would allow the person conducting the ritual the power to command the Dybbuk.

After the interview is complete, the next and final stage is the Dybbuk exorcism.

This last step also varies with the most common being (according to author Howard Chajes) with a combination of adjurations and various props.

- The exorcist will hold an empty flask and a white candle. He will then chant/recite a formulaic adjuration asking the Dybbuk its name if not already discovered in the Dybbuk interview. The Dybbuk is then commanded to leave the person afflicted and fill the flask. The dislocated soul will then enter into the flask causing the flask to glow red. The red glow confirms a successful exorcism.

Medical Term

Medical diagnoses claim that Dybbuk possession is the result of a "hysterical syndrome."

"True Story" Dybbuk Box eBay Listing

In this case, a 103-year-old grandmother left behind a "Dybbuk box" that she brought with her after leaving Poland then occupied by the Nazi. This box comes into the possession of an antique dealer in Oregon and after a series of bad luck lists the item on eBay as a haunted "wine cabinet." The box is bought for $140 by a college student, Iosif Nietzke, in Missouri who also falls victim to the mysterious misfortunes attached to the box. He then sells the box for double what he paid to a curator, Jason Haxton, at the Truman State University Museum. This curator wrote a book containing his bad luck accounts which were then published in a piece featured in the Los Angeles Times. Jason Haxton later became credited as a "production consultant" to The Possession (2012) film.



  • The Possession (2012) - Sam Raimi produced is a horror film based on the "true story" based on the Dybbuk box, a ceremonial "wine cabinet" used to contain the Dybbuk.

  • The Unborn (2009) - Directed/written by David S. Goyer about a Dybbuk that attaches itself to a young woman.


  • Rugrats episodes titled "Monster in the Garage" and "Toys in the Attic."

  • The Whispers Season 1 Episode 9 titled "Broken Child."

  • Paranormal Witness Season 2 Episode 4 titled "The Dybbuk Box."

  • Deadly Possessions (Ghost Adventures spinoff TV series) Season 1 Episode 1 titled "Robert the Doll/The Dibbuk Box."

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