Richard Case: How I’d Solve The Talking Mongoose Mystery

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

Paranormal investigator Richard Case talks to DAVID SAUNDERSON about the film, Nandor Fodor and the Talking Mongoose, and his thoughts about the historic real-life mystery

Richard Case and an illustration of Gef the Talking Mongoose.
Richard Case and an illustration of Gef the Talking Mongoose.

Richard Case Interview

Richard Case has more than 35 years of experience in paranormal investigations, Combining scepticism with a passion for history, he frequently broadcasts live from reputedly haunted buildings around the world. He has a special interest in the Gef the Talking Mongoose case, that has baffled experts since the 1930s and is the subject of a new film, Nandor Fodor and the Talking Mongoose.

DAVID SAUNDERSON: Thanks for talking to us today, Richard. We’re all fans of the Gef the Talking Mongoose case here at the Spooky Isles. When discussing the Gef the Talking Mongoose case, which aspects do you find most intriguing and why?

RICHARD CASE: I found the whole case fascinating and yet bizarre. The one I particularly enjoyed was the penny trick that Nandor Fodor was apparently fond of. They would hold a coin in their hands, and Gef would shout out heads or tails. And apparently, when some spiritualists arrived, Gef called out wrongly, as if to embarrass them.

Also, when he overheard someone mention that Viorrey was doing the talking, he vowed to kill their poultry. When further investigated, they had indeed found their poultry missing. Back a couple of hundred years , this would have put the Irvings at risk of being accused of witchcraft, and Gef would have been assumed to be a witch’s familiar.

Upon viewing the film, Nandor Fodor and the Talking Mongoose, for the first time, how did it resonate with your experiences as a seasoned paranormal investigator?

It resonates with me more from the psychological approach of Nandor Fodor. Admittedly, it was at a later stage that he reviewed the evidence. I do not consider myself an investigator into the paranormal. I am more interested in why people believe such fanciful things. Psychology is very important to me because of such beliefs.

Reflecting on the 1930s, in what ways do you believe the aura of that era impacted the approach to paranormal investigations compared to today?

The 1930s were a time of huge spiritualist beliefs after the Great War. Times were much harder for people, and it was vital to make a living, so I believe this may have played a huge factor in beliefs in spiritual matters; possibly the Irvings were struggling with the farm. It was said they could not sell it easily. But there is no evidence that this played any factor in Gef’s appearance.

If you were to delve into the enigma of Gef the Talking Mongoose, what initial steps would you take to unravel its historical and contextual backdrop?

I would study the background of Cashen Gap and the surrounding areas. There was a funerary urn with black ashes dug up nearby and reports of people avoiding the farm. The house originally at Cashen Gap had work men in the war who refused to sleep there due to the feeling of foreboding.

With the technological advancements we possess today, what specific tools or methodologies would you employ to probe into the paranormal allegations surrounding Gef?

I would use video and CCTV monitoring, as I’m not a fan of modern gadgets. I believe this would be sufficient for myself, and I would record behind the wooden panelling. But if Gef was real, he was notorious for disappearing at such times.

Given the rigid scrutiny from the scientific community towards paranormal phenomena, how would you address or surmount skepticism and critiques emanating from that sector?

I myself am very sceptical, but it’s unscientific to dismiss anything without a thorough investigation and gathering of empirical evidence. So I would insist on an open mind until we had finished our investigation.

In the digital age where social media reigns supreme, how would you use it for information gathering or disseminating findings regarding the Gef case?

I would probably check social media for any input from Voirrey or the family and friends for signs of any fraudulent activity.

While investigating historical paranormal incidents, encountering personal or sensitive data is inevitable. How would you approach the management of such delicate information? 

I would use the GDPR of today and respectfully request that all sensitive documents and information be kept strictly confidential.

Evaluating the investigative efforts of Nandor Fodor and Harry Price on the Gef case, what are your assessments on their methodologies and conclusions?

I was surprised Nandor decided it was probably James Irving’s split personality creating Gef after initially believing Gef was real. I believe their methodology was excellent and one I’d use myself. Observing the subject is the best way, and both Nandor, Harry, and Mr Lambert did this.

Delving into the legacy of Fodor and Price within the paranormal sphere, how do you perceive their influence reflecting on your investigative approach towards the Gef case?

I have always been a fan of the psychological aspect of researching these anomalies, and I believe Nandor was way ahead in this approach. It would be my first thought. I believe the Gef was possibly a split of either James or Voirrey. The speaking of Yiddish that Mr Irving was fluent in was a possible candidate.

Just to conclude, though I see no gains financially or otherwise for the Irvings to invent Gef, the photographic evidence was suspect, but knowing mongooses were introduced to the Isle of Man to control the rabbit population is interesting. And the fact that a creature was later killed on the farm

The enigma of Gef gets captivating for all who come across it. It had poltergeist elements but was not attributed to this activity. It remains a wonderful true story and a delight to research.

Nandor Fodor and the Talking Mongoose is available to watch on Amazon Prime in the UK from 20 October, 2023.

Find out more about Richard Case at The Ghost Challenger website.

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Watch Nandor Fodor and the Talking Mongoose Trailer

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