Amazon Prime Video has only just launched their latest original Indian movie ‘Dybbuk’, but it turns out that the horror film is based on chilling Jewish mythology.

Whether you believe in the supernatural or not, many of us would agree that movies centering around paranormal activities are even scarier when they are inspired by real people or objects.

The latest movie to send chills down the spines of fans around the world is an Indian horror film called ‘Dybbuk’ which recently launched on Amazon Prime Video.

However, the tale of the Dybbuk runs deeper than viewers may realise and is based on a real concept from Jewish mythology that has even ‘cursed’ the likes of Post Malone and Jeffery Dean Morgan!

Dybbuk | Official Trailer

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Dybbuk | Official Trailer
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The 2021 Dybbuk movie…

Today, October 29th, Amazon Prime Video released their latest original Indian movie, a supernatural horror titled ‘Dybbuk’.

The film, produced by T-Series and Panorama Studios, stars popular Indian actor Emraan Hashmi in the lead role and is actually a remake of 2017 Malayalam movie called ‘Ezra’.

In the 2021 Dybbuk movie, a young woman called Mahi becomes in possession of a mysterious Jewish antique box. However, soon after Mahi brings the box home, the couple starts experiencing spine-tingling paranormal activities and begin to fear that the box is haunted.

“Mahi, a newly married woman, brings an antique Jewish box into her home. When Mahi and her husband Sam begin to have paranormal experiences, they soon learn that the box is a dybbuk containing an evil spirit. The couple then seeks the help of a rabbi to unravel its mystery. Will they survive this ordeal before their child is born?” – Dybbuk, via IMDB.

Dybbuk | Scary Teaser

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Dybbuk | Scary Teaser
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What is a Dybbuk?

Whilst the Amazon Prime movie is the stuff of nightmares, the ‘Dybbuk’ has been mentioned throughout history, with references dating as far back as the 16th century.

In Jewish mythology, a Dybbuk is a malicious spirit from the dislocated soul of a dead person that possesses people, mainly women on the eve of their wedding. According to legend, it can only be ridden when the spirit ‘achieves its goal’ or has been exorcised.

Interestingly, the term itself comes from the Hebrew verb ‘dāḇaq’ meaning to ‘adhere’ or ‘cling’ – like many of the early illustrations of Dybbuk having a spirit cling onto someone’s back. The term would form the basis of the contemporary Hebrew word for glue.

Whilst appearing in several historical texts, the legend of the Dybbuk gained global popularity in 1913 when Jewish author and playwright S. Anksy produced a stage play about the ‘possessions’.

The Dybbuk box…

The supernatural tales continue; the Dybbuk box from the 2021 movie is also based on a real wine cabinet that was claimed to be haunted by a Dybbuk spirit.

The story behind the box is that its former owner was a survivor of the Holocaust in Poland, and that the subsequent hauntings had brought him both bad luck and nightmares.

The Dybbuk box formed the inspiration for the 2012 horror movie The Possession starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick.

However, it turns out that the entire story was fabricated by Portland writer and furniture refinishing business owner Kevin Mannis.

Mannis had developed the backstory to the box as a way to promote its online auction, explaining how “I conceived of the Dybbuk Box — the name, the term, the idea — and wrote this creative story around it to post on eBay.”

Author Brian Dunning noted that the “whole idea of the box being inhabited by a dybbuk is nonsensical”, adding that “nowhere in the folkloric literature is there precedent for a dybbuk inhabiting a box or other inanimate object.”

Interestingly, musician Post Malone also claimed in 2018 that a string of bad luck was caused by contact with the box.

By Tom Llewellyn – [email protected]

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