August 22, 2012
Sam Raimi’s latest horror flick draws on ‘true’ tale, Jewish exorcism
Back in 2004, the horror-flicks mogul Sam Raimi was riveted by a Los Angeles Times article headlined “A Jinx in a Box?” which recounted the strange history of a wine cabinet brought to this country by a Polish concentration camp survivor. The box contained “allegedly, one ‘dibbuk,’ a kind of spirit popular in Yiddish folklore,” the article said — as well locks of hair, a rock, a dried rosebud, a goblet and coins.
Intrigued, Raimi — who grew up in a Conservative Jewish home in Detroit — perused a Web site devoted to the so-called “Dibbuk Box,” where, he learned, the Holocaust survivor had warned her family never to open it. That warning was disregarded by the furniture dealer who bought the box at the survivor’s estate sale in Portland, Ore., in 2001, and, so the story goes, five minutes after the dealer gave it to his mother as a gift, she suffered a paralyzing stroke, and that wasn’t all — light bulbs inexplicably imploded, the dealer and others began having nightmares about a “gruesome, demonic-looking hag” and were seeing shadowy beings in their peripheral vision. Desperate to be rid of the box, the dealer sold it on eBay, whereupon subsequent owners also reported the onset of mysterious illnesses, as well as petrifying paranormal events.
Read more at jewishjournal.com/the_ticket.