8 Horror Movies With Creepy Urban Legends

8. The Dybbuk Box Is Real

Natasha Calis In The Possession 2012

Ole Bornedal€™'s sadly inferior possession tale The Possession (2012) lacks scares but makes up for it with some classy performances and direction. The likely explanation for both is that Bornedal didn€™'t feel that he was making a true fright flick, but more of an allegory for divorce.

Of course, those excellent performances could easily have been influenced by something else€: scuttlebutt from the set says that the cast were genuinely scared of the dybbuk box that formed the centre of the narrative. Stories circulated around the set about lights blowing out and unexplained fires in prop storage.

In interviews, Natasha Calis (who played the possessed kid) seems firmly convinced that there€™s such a thing in real life as a dybbuk box:€“ a wooden prison said to contain an ancient demon of Jewish legend. Jeffrey Dean Morgan went further, telling io9: "'Don't mock the box,' was sort of the mantra that we lived by while we were filming this... There was an LA Times article about a box that was bought on eBay. And then the people who owned the box some scary stuff started happening to them. No, I didn't want to.€ It might have freaked me out a little bit too much. Somebody wanted to bring the box to the set, the real box. I was adamantly against it. If you go and you look at what has happened to people that have had contact with an actual dybbuk box, it's not good stuff. It's not like demons flying around but it's like trees crushing your house, weird rashes. Why risk that?€"

Paranormal stories have been told about the dybbuk box for centur€ oh, who are we kidding? Writer Kevin Mannis, who also owned an antique furniture restoration business in Portland, Oregon, first conceived the idea a little over a decade ago, presumably while polishing a wine cabinet. One quick backstory later - about unsettling things happening around the box'€™s previous owners (nightmares about a terrifying old woman, an unexplained smell of jasmine, lights burning out, you know the sort of thing) - and the idea began spreading around the internet like chickenpox from a kids€™ birthday party. Mannis is even a credited consultant on The Possession, presumably because you can€™'t base a movie on a work of fiction without a kickback to the author.


Professional writer, punk werewolf and nesting place for starfish. Obsessed with squid, spirals and story. I publish short weird fiction online at desincarne.com, and tweet nonsense under the name Jack The Bodiless. You can follow me all you like, just don't touch my stuff.