Jason Voorhees, Friday the 13th and the Worship of the Female Goddess Named Mom?

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Featured Scary Movies and Series

Soon we celebrate Friday the 13th … again, or specifically, Friday November 13th which is our second this year! For horror fans Friday the 13th dates on the calendar mark the greatest excuse to Netflix and chill, while rewinding some of the greatest slasher movies of all time. 

When you think of the evil villain serial killer who stalks morally bankrupt camp counselors, it’s hard to believe that Jason Voorhees kept us captivated for 12 movies.  We still think that there is one more epic 13th movie left in the franchise, because that number would make sense, right? 

If you are a fan of the Friday the 13th movie franchise, and you are planning on ordering some pizza and binge watching as many movies as possible this evening, we’ve got some fun facts and lore about the storyline that you may find pretty cool. 

The Reverence of Friday the 13th in Homage to the Female Goddess (And How That Got Changed)

Throughout ancient history, both the day ‘Friday’ and the number ‘13’ were held in sacred esteem and were strongly associated with the Great Goddesses, and with the power of the feminine energy.  There are roughly 13 menstrual cycles in a year for women, and it is the number of lunar potencies (told you about the moon tonight) blood and fertility.

The number 13 was always a lucky number.  Sanctified in Ancient Israel, and the number of spiritual strength and renewal for Pre-Columbian Mayans. In the Wiccan faith, a powerful gathering of a coven is 13 members and for the ancient Egyptians, the very last phase or cycle of life on this planet ended at 12, and the afterlife began on the 13th.  The number was also representative of the Goddess Shekinah, the yin to the yang of the duality of the supreme God.  In the Islamic faith, Friday is the Sabbath.

The attribution of both Friday and the 13th day were so tied to mystical strengths and powers, that when matriarchal societies were suppressed by patriarchal morals and laws, they flipped the switch.  The day became “evil” or a day of activity but unrest, and less spiritual significance.  And the number 13? It became a superstitious magnet for misfortune and bad luck.

Was the movie Friday the 13th written to acknowledge the power and significance of the feminine Goddess, rage, and retribution? More specifically, was it a nod to Jason’s mother (who dies at the end of the first film?)

When we consider the epic history and characterization of Jason Voorhees, he ends up being a rather complex villain (for a guy who never spoke a word). One thing is clear; that big guy loved his Mom, because witnessing her death spurred another 11 movies about vengeance to restore the only woman that actually meant anything to Jason at all.  Talk about a “Mommy Dearest” complex tantamount to Norman Bates. 

https://youtu.be/G4t4g8T422g

Was the first movie ever supposed to be about Jason?  Or was it ‘taking Friday the 13th back’ for the Goddess? It’s a head scratcher… you tell us what you think. Betsy Palmer was pretty darned terrifying with her mom hair helmet, fisherman’s sweater, and incredible machete skills.  You could definitely tell she worked in the camp kitchen.

13 Fun Facts About The Friday the 13th Original Film You May Not Know

For diehard Jason Voorhees fans, we’ve dug deep and hard for some interesting facts (that everyone else isn’t sharing a blog post to celebrate today).   If you have something to add to our list, don’t forget to leave us a comment below.

  1. Frank Mancuso Jr. was the producer of the original 1978 version of ‘Halloween’ and its success was the inspiration to write and produce Friday the 13th. Both franchises grossed over $529 million dollars in box-office receipts by 2018.
  2. The highest grossing single film in the Friday the 13th series had a co-star.  A five-razor fingered co-star and an epic duel to the death (again) for both Jason Voorhees and Freddy Kreuger. Released in 2003, Freddy vs. Jason grossed $114.9 million dollars. 
  3. The 2009 remake of the original Friday the 13th was the second highest grossing film in the series, with earnings of $92.67 million dollars.
  4.  The original mask for Jason was supposed to be an umpire’s mask.  Totally less scary than a white hockey mask.  We’re glad they made the switch.
  5. The famous “ki ki ki… ma ma ma” sound effect that accompanied Jason, was composed by Harry Manfredini, to imitate a young Jason encouraging his mother to “kill kill kill, ma ma ma”.
  6. Jason racked a body count of 167 victims over the course of 12 movies. Which didn’t include Freddy Kreuger because Freddy is no one’s victim.
  7. Its cheaper budget wise if the masked killer doesn’t return for the next movie.  It’s all about keeping production costs low, so Jason Voorhees has actually been played by 13 different actors.
  8. Camp Crystal Lake was actually New Jersey Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco.  It used to sell memorabilia from the original movie, but now the most exciting thing on the website are Boy Scout Badges.  They do sell special Halloween event tours for fans and camp fundraising.
  9. The ‘Goody Two Shoes’ guy next door character Bill? He was the real-life son of Hollywood legend Bing Cosby.
  10. Filming for the movie lasted only 28 days.  Victor Miller wrote the script in two weeks.
  11. Kevin Bacon agreed to shave his armpits for the bunk murder scene.
  12. The full body count in the original movie was 11.  Including the unlucky snake.
  13. Gene Siskel (yep, Siskel and Ebert) gave Friday the 13th zero stars. Not only that, but he was a Broadway fan of Betsy Palmer, and gave the audience her personal address, and told them to write her letters in protest for the exploitation of her theater talent in the movie.

Happy Friday the 13th from all of us at Puzzle Box Horror.  If you have some fun fan facts to share, hit us up in the comment section or on social. We love it when you banter with us on horror and paranormal movie fandom.

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Nostradamus and Ancient Predictions About Pandemic: Did We have Prophetic Warnings?

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Featured Horror Mystery and Lore

Still rubbing your eyes and thinking you are in some kind of bad B rated horror movie about a viral epidemic that spreads throughout the world?   We tried that whole thing where you take a nap and wake up hoping for an alternative reality; yet here we are.  Global pandemic. Just like some of our favorite apocalyptic movies.  Except we’re living it, and we don’t know when things will ‘go back to normal’.

The writers are Puzzle Box Horror have been spending some time on the couch (not the therapists couch —(yet) just our regular couch with our dogs and favorite horror books or movies). And we’ve been watching some pretty ‘out there’ claims about ancient prophesies about plagues.   So, we thought we’d do a bit of digging to see if oral tradition, history and lore have provided us with a warning about a global pandemic.

Meet Nostradamus the Prophet Most Likely to be Misquoted on Social Media

You can’t really talk about eerie futuristic predictions from prophets, without hearing Nostradamus’ name come up in conversation.  But do you know why this unusual and uncannily accurate contemporary prophet is thought to be one of the more reliable sources for future predictions?

Nostradamus was born in France in 1503, and he became a renowned physician who specialized in treating plague victims in both Italy and France.  He was surrounded by death and the battle for life constantly, and many people believe he suffered both a psychotic break and psychic awakening at the same time as he began to delve into occult practices.   He wrote a book called “The Prophecies” in 1555.

While dealing with the plague, Nostradamus developed some innovative and highly effective therapies, that focused on hygiene (which was revolutionary at the time in medicine) and the use of natural extracts including rosehip, Vitamin C, low fat diets and fresh air and exercise for his patients.  Because of his celebrity status as a successful physician and healer, he was financially supported by wealthy families in Provence.

While Nostradamus was traveling on a medical mission to Italy, his wife and children succumbed to the plague.  The fact that he was unable to heal or save his own family, did significant damage to his celebrity reputation as a renowned healer, and he lost much of his patronages from the upper class in Provence as a result.

 In 1547 he remarried a rich widow named Anne Ponsarde, and they had six children together.  Nostradamus published two medical books “Galen, the Roman Physician” and “The Traite des Fardemens”, which was a recipe book of medicinal concoctions for treating the plague as well as preparations for cosmetics to hide symptoms of illness effectively.

The prophet would spend hours before a bowl of hot water, in which a secret blend of herbs was steeped which he would inhale.  After imbibing the infusion, he would then begin to write his prophesies, many of which have come true throughout history, since the publishing of “The Prophecies” in 1555.

Some suspect that the use of psychedelic compounds was used by Nostradamus to acquire the state of mental levity and clairvoyance, where he could see into the future and predict events and disasters.  We may never know what ‘herbs’ he used, but there are an impressive number of predictions that seem to have come true over the past 465 years.

The Meme About Nostradamus Predicting COVID-19 Pandemic is False

Of course, in a high-stress super surreal “what kind of horror movie has our reality become’ moment in human history, there is going to be a meme that gets everyone going.  We’re not against memes that are funny, but this one is pretty convincing and terror inducing if you are already feeling more than a little unhinged about the current world events.

When you read that meme, you are probably thinking… ‘woah, that’s pretty coincidental considering the current pandemic’.   Well, that’s the thing about fake memes; they are meant to convince you that they are true and freak you out more than little.

Snopes fact checked the meme, and guess what? In all the quatrains in Nostradamus, there is no reference as indicated in the meme.  So, you can scratch that one off the list of lore and legend; and if you think about it, Nostradamus lived in a time of plague, lost family to plague, so predicting a dire plague in the future wouldn’t have been that revolutionary for him.  Plague was kind of part of their daily back in the 1500s.

The Prophecy from a Buddhist Monk That Made Us Lose Sleep

We don’t debunk paranormal, and we are explorers into horror and the unexplained.  So, even though the meme about Nostradamus was a wash, that doesn’t mean that there are not other kinds of prophesies out there that DO strike that creepy note for accuracy, beyond circumstantial evidence.

“The year 2020 – The year all of China will weep. The omens will be so bad that the New Year will not be celebrated. Then the plague will come. It will come with a fury – the tigers and the wolves will hide in the mountains. The plague will encompass all the land – and will eventually spread to the whole world. Very soon – rice will become so expensive that no one can eat. Then the rivers will sink all the boats. People in that year will only be able to harvest rice in the very early spring. There will be no harvest of late season rice, beans, wheat, and oats because vast clouds of locusts will lay waste to the entire countryside.”

This was written by a Buddhist Monk in the Forbidden City (Gentleman Zigong) in the 20th century, and excerpt from the “Ancient Internal Bible”.  Then the Buddhist Monk furthers:

“I, Gentleman Zigong, will tell you Chinese in 2020 how to survive. Remain very close to your families and your neighbors. The best is to have stored up plenty of gold and food to live and share freely with those you love. Tolerate no thieves among the people. Be uniters and not dividers. If you can do all these things, you will survive.”

Have you heard of any other prophesies that seem to point toward the current COVID19 global pandemic?  Share a link with us in the comments below.

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Why You Should Never Buy a Dybbuk Box on eBay

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Lifestyle

This Dybbuk box was for sale on Etsy.

For hardcore paranormal believers, the subject of haunted objects holds a lot of fascination.  Is it possible for a demonic spirit to be encapsulated in an inanimate object? And if so, what happens if you become the owner, and you open it?

We did a little research in January to see how many Dybbuk boxes were actually for sale on eBay.  At the time of writing, there were 367 Dybbuk boxes for sale on eBay, and each of them came with a ‘caveat emptor’ or buyer-beware warning like: “dangerous apparition attached” and “do not open”.

We’ve all heard about people who experience disruptive and even life-threatening encounters with the paranormal by accident; they move into a house, use spiritual messaging like a ouija board or tarot cards, or visit a haunted location and something ‘hitches a ride’ back home with them.  But would you ever willingly purchase a haunted object and bring it into your house?  Let us know in the comments below. 

What is the Judaic History and Culture Surrounding Dybbuk Boxes?

Dybbuk boxes were used in the Hebrew faith for thousands of years, but they were not something that was talked about publicly.  Imagine a situation where a family or home was infected with a benevolent entity; the Rabbi would come to your home, study it and then determine the intervention which would seal the demon in the box. 

However, in the Jewish faith, these Dybbuk boxes were never intended to be passed on to another individual. In fact, if your family had a Dybbuk box, it was like having an entity that had attached itself to your household; a curse that could last generations.  And so, the Dybbuk box and the existence of them were a secret among devote Hebrew families; they hid the box, and they protected it from being opened or damaged.  

The Jewish faith actually downplays demonology, but there are many examples within the historical religious texts that provide instructions on dealing with demonic manifestations.  Demons in Hebrew text are called Sheydim.  The first Sheydim of course, was Lilith. 

In Jewish mythology, a Dybbuk is actually a malicious spirit that is believed to not be demonic, but the disenfranchised soul of a dead person. Dybbuks can possess people to accomplish a goal, such as revenge or in the act of bringing someone to justice for a horrific crime.  This is another reason why the Dybbuk boxes were not always feared in the Hebrew faith, but respected.  

From that perspective, the box represented insulation of the spirit from influence (or preventing it from possessing someone).  But the Dybbuk itself may be a close family member also who passed on; the perspective of the box and entity is much different in the Hebrew faith.  And very different from the horror movies and occult accounts that proliferate the web today, about haunted boxes and Dybbuk demons. The rough translation of the word “Dybbuk” in Hebrew means “to cling”. 

If you are interested in learning more about Judaic demonology and mythology, check out the podcast “Throwing Sheyd” by Miriam Brosseau and Alan Jay Sufrin. 

Are Dybbuk Boxes Truly Sealed?

So, assuming you believe that a benevolent entity is trapped inside a Dybbuk box, how exactly do you prevent the spirit or demon from escaping the box?  We can imagine that the idea of having a Dybbuk box as part of your paranormal collection of lore may be appealing, but probably less so if you think there is a possibility that it can get out, and start causing real problems for you. 

One thing you will notice about Dybbuk boxes for sale (and historical write-ups about them) is that they are always sealed with wax.  But not just any kind of wax.  The ritual for sealing a Dybbuk box involves a Rabbi or a Priest and incantations, followed by the sealing of all possible exits for the entity from the box by white wax.

White candles are known in lore and ancient religions for having a cleansing and purification power, that repels negative energy and provides protection.   All colors on the spectrum are derived from pure white light, which has the power of consecration.  White reflects no light and has virtually no ability to absorb energy (white candles conduct less heat than other colors of wax).  Therefore (if you believe the lore) the white wax acts as an impermeable barrier preventing the entity or spirit from leaving the box. 

Now you know why so many Churches worldwide use white candles in temples and places of worship.  For more than 2,000 years, white candles have been used in all faiths to repel evil, and prevent demonic influence from harming people. 

Can a Dybbuk Box Influence You If It Is Not Opened?

There are many fascinating stories about people who have purchased or inherited what they believe to be an authentic haunted Dybbuk box.  Again, is not the box that is the problem; it is what was sealed inside of it. 

The internet is full of spooky stories about people who purchased a Dybbuk box, only to have it arrive at their home with a crack in the box (due to damage in transit).  Those individuals share some spectacularly creepy paranormal experiences, that were so disturbing, they either resealed the box and sold it to someone else or they buried it far away from their home, to protect themselves (and others) from the benevolent influence inside the box. 

Some signs that people have reported around Dybbuk boxes (which may indicate authenticity and an evil or unquiet spirit inside) are:

  • The smell of cat urine, rotting eggs, or sulfur. 
  • Nightmares of demons, the box or the box breaking open. 
  • Unexplained scratches, burns or welts on the body of the owner or anyone who touches the box. 
  • Unusual bad luck, feeling emotionally drained, or unusual feelings of anger toward those in close relationships with you. 

The most internet-famous case to date is the story of the Dybbuk box that was owned by a man named Kevin Mannis, in 2001.  Mannis purchased the wine cabinet from an estate sale of a woman who was originally from Poland.  The granddaughter of the deceased woman insisted that Kevin keep the box (but never open it), even after Mannis tried to give the box back to her, as it had been in her family for generations. 

While Kevin Mannis owned the Dybbuk box, he stored it briefly in his restoration shop. He received a call from his employee that someone had broken into the basement and was ‘smashing up the place”.  When Mannis arrived, he went into the basement (where the box was stored) and found the lights broken and shattered, and a thick scent of cat urine.  His employee left after the examination of the basement and never returned. 

Kevin wanted to refurbish the wine cabinet as an antique and give it to his mother. After he cleaned it up, his Mom arrived at his shop to go out to lunch, and he gave her the box as a gift.  After she returned home, a family friend called him to say that his mother was found in a chair with an expressionless face, crying but otherwise unresponsive.  At the hospital, she was unable to speak, but they gave her a spelling board to point out letters so she could communicate. 

She typed out two sentences: “no gift” and “hate gift”.  Mannis gave the box to his sister (who was curious about it too) and after a week she returned it to him claiming that her home smelled like jasmine flowers and cat urine.  He gave the box to his girlfriend to sell for him (as he was afraid to touch it again) and the middle-aged couple who purchased it, left it on his front door with a note saying “this has bad darkness”.  

He returned to his mother and found her sitting in a chair, expressionless, crying, and totally unresponsive. She was rushed to the hospital, and it turned out she had had a stroke and lost her ability to speak for a time. During this time, she could only speak using a spell board on which she would point to letters to spell out words. When he asked her how she was doing, she spelled out, “No gift.” When he said he’d given her a gift, she emphasized, “Hate gift.”

He then gave the box to his sister. She kept it for a week and gave it back. He gave it to his brother and his brother’s wife, who kept it for three days and returned it. The brother said it smelled like jasmine flowers, and his wife said it smelled of cat urine.

Kevin gave it to his girlfriend, who soon asked him to sell it for her. He sold it to a middle-aged couple and three days later found the box sitting in front of his shop with a note saying, “This has a bad darkness.”

While Kevin Mannis owned the box, he reported being tormented by a malevolent spirit:

“I find myself walking with a friend, usually someone I know well and trust at some point in the dream, I find myself looking into the eyes of the person that I am with. It is then that I realize that there is something different, something evil looking back at me. At that point in my dream, the person I am with changes into what can only be described as the most gruesome, demonic-looking Hag that I have ever seen. This Hag proceeds then, to beat the living tar out of me.” — Kevin Mannis

The Kevin Mannis Dybbuk box has changed hands and currently belongs in the private collection of haunted objects and paranormal expert, Zak Bragans from the television series “Ghost Adventures”. 

Do you think Dybbuk boxes are real, or a hoax? Have you ever been in a room with one and had a paranormal event that you can’t explain?  Share your story with us, and leave us a comment about your haunted object experience.

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