Gef the Talking Mongoose, from the Isle of Man, is probably one of the strangest paranormal tales the Spooky Isles has ever seen. NIA JONES reports.
Although now a largely forgotten tale, the sensational Gef (pronounced Jeff), the ‘talking mongoose’ of the Isle of Man, or as he is sometimes known, the Dalby Spook, caused an international media stir during the 1930s.
Attracting attention from the general public, the press and the psychic community, this very strange and intriguing twist on the ‘text book’ haunting was even investigated by renowned paranormal researchers Nandor Fodor and Harry Price.
It all began in a somewhat remote farmhouse outside the hamlet of Dalby on the Isle of Man. Cashen’s Gap, or Doarlish Cashen in Manx, was a very basic and modest home to the Irving family; James, wife Margaret and daughter Voirrey.
According to the Irvings – the family began to hear scratching and unfamiliar noises coming from the attic and within the walls of the farmhouse in the September of 1931, the noises gradually escalated into a strange mixture of growling, hissing and barking. Sometime later there was an unsettling gurgling, much like a baby’s.
Soon discovering that if they made a noise or said a word it would be repeated back to them, and within a short time the entity could converse with the Irvings pretty well.
It said his name was Gef, and that he was “a little clever, extra clever mongoose”, an “Earthbound spirit” and “a ghost in the form of a mongoose”.
Gef the Talking Mongoose claimed he was born in New Delhi, India on June the 7th, 1852, but never elaborated on why or how he came to dwell on the Isle of Man. Oddly, there were mongooses let loose by a farmer on the island in 1912, to help deplete the surplus rabbit population.
The creature preferred to stay in places where he could speak but stay hidden, usually in the brewage, long grass and weeds around the farm and inside the farmhouse walls, visitors claimed they too had heard the creature speaking and making noises.
For helping around the house Gef the Talking Mongoose was rewarded with bananas, biscuits and chocolates from a saucer suspended from the ceiling, he also enjoyed wandering around the hamlet, eavesdropping on the locals in conversation, reporting back all the gossip to the Irvings.
Proving a more than mischievous house guest, Gef the Talking Mongoose disrupted the family greatly by throwing objects about the farmhouse and causing them to be broken.
On several occasions he woke the family up at night due to the chaos and racket he was producing, Gef was chastised for his antics but then pretended he had been poisoned and was dying in insufferable pain, which truly upset the Irvings.
Growing tired of his conduct the Irvings threatened to leave, Gef became upset and cried “Would you go away and leave me?”
Gef the Talking Mongoose was only ever seen by Voirrey
Gef was only ever seen by Voirrey, she described Gef as looking something like a weasel, but the size of a small rat with yellowish fur and a large bushy tail.
But Gef did once let her father touch him by putting his hand behind the wall; in the process he scratched his finger on one of the creature’s razor sharp teeth, Gef became concerned that the scratch may become infected and advised James to “Go and point some ointment on it.”
Margret and Voirrey Irving had to sell the farm in 1945 after James died. Farmer Leslie Graham bought the farm in 1946 and claimed to have shot and killed Gef; however, the creature he displayed was black and white and much larger than a mongoose. Before her death in 2005 Voirrey Irving expressed that she was very certain that the animal killed was not Gef, she also maintained that her experiences with Gef were by no means her creation or a hoax.
Despite the various theories questioning the sanity, reputation and intentions of the Irving family, the story of Gef continues to baffle and the origins of the phenomena are still debated. So, was Gef a fraud, a haunting, a Poltergeist in disguise, a mass psychological fabrication or just simply an intelligent talking mongoose?
We may never have the answer…
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