A recurring theory is that the daughter Voirrey used ventriloquism to throw the high-pitched Gef voice around the house. On an American farm, there was Mike the headless chicken. Sometimes, Gef seemed to delight in tormenting the Irving parents. Although he reported no conversations with Gef the talking mongoose, he did catch and kill an unusual small animal that, he told local press, ‘answers to all descriptions’ of Gef… Indeed, she was an early fixation of Gef’s. Interesting history topics are just a click away. Gef was famous about 100 years ago. Voirrey Irving was twelve and thirteen years old at the time of the notoriety. Gef! Cover of Gef! Historic Mysteries provides captivating articles on archaeology, history, and unexplained mysteries. It didn’t take Gef long to enamor himself to the Irvings, quickly becoming more than a pet. But on being shown the sketch, Gef strongly objected, saying: ‘That ain’t me! : The Strange Tale of an Extra-special Talking Mongoose (courtesy Strange Attractor), Alleged photograph of Gef, showing him “in distinctly cat-like form” (May 1936) from Gef! “I am the ghost in the form of a weasel and I shall haunt you,” proclaimed Gef, a spectral creature that became part of the Irving family’s daily life in 1931. Yet to a reporter in 1932, James assured: “There are no spooks here.” The journalist with the Daily Dispatch in Manchester, which was Gef’s first appearance in the mainland press, wrote: Had I heard a weasel speak? I have not got my magic phones on.”. He sang songs – a personal favorite being Carolina Moon, recited texts, and mimicked other animals and sounds brought to him or simply overheard. On an American farm, there was Mike the headless chicken. In this time of craziness when we’ve all been forced into our homes I wanted to get creative, I knew exactly what I wanted to do, I wanted to have an excuse to shut the kitchen door on my adorable family, drink wine by myself and share my passion for all things tasty. Gef the Talking Mongoose by Thinking Sideways Podcast. Allison C. Meier is a former staff writer for Hyperallergic. : The Strange Tale of an Extra-special Talking Mongoose (courtesy Strange Attractor), The visual history of Gef is particularly interesting. The story of one of the weirdest poltergeist cases on record continues to run and run. Read our cookies policy. : The Strange Tale of an Extra-special Talking Mongoose (courtesy Strange Attractor). Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism. : The Strange Tale of an Extra-Special Talking Mongoose by Christopher Josiffe is out now from Strange Attractor. So what exactly was the Dalby Spook? In time, the Irvings moved out and a new owner, Leslie Graham, took up residence at the farm in 1946. When Price concluded his investigation and left the island, Gef reappeared, claiming that he had taken a few days holiday. At first, Gef made his presence known by random scratches, rustling, and general activity within the cavities of the farmhouse at Cashen’s Gap, close to Dalby on the Isle of Man. “Over the years my understanding of the Irving family’s experiences almost a century ago has taken many twists and turns, shifting in shape and form almost as many times as Gef himself, so I present here the facts of the case and leave you to draw your own conclusions as to who, or what that clever little mongoose really was,” Josiffe writes in a foreword. Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, Flipper the Dolphin, Lassie, Eddie (from Frasier), and both Mr. Cotton’s parrot and Captain Barbosa’s monkey, Jack, from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise are probably among the most famous of all, but there are undoubtedly numerous other examples people can cite. Looks more like a llama!’,” from Gef! In September 1931, the Irving family, consisting of James, Margaret and a 13-year-old daughter named Voirrey, claimed they heard persistent scratching, rustling, and vocal noises behind their farmhouse’s wooden wall panels that variously resembled a ferret, a dog or a baby. : The Strange Tale of an Extra-special Talking Mongoose (courtesy Strange Attractor), Gef! It has been superseded with stories of ghosts, UFOs, Bigfoot, and even dinosaur sightings. The Irvings continued to reside on the farm for another decade until James, the patriarch, passed away in 1945. The farm’s new owner, a man called Leslie Graham, proclaimed that he had shot and killed a ‘funny looking animal’ in 1946. : The Strange Tale of an Extra-Special Talking Mongoose (photo of the book for Hyperallergic). On one occasion he threw stones at Mrs Irving as she walked home and one morning when Mr Irving took too long to open the morning paper he lost his temper and cried out “Read it out, you fat-headed gnome!”. In "Gef! Gef became part of the family and it reminds me very much of the Bell Witch, except it was a lot less hostile - although still at times unpleasant and demanding. Tagged #unsolved mysteries #curious stories #thinking #sideways #thinking sideways. There's some indication the tale originated when 13 year-old Voirrey Irving, an accomplished rabbit hunter, began saying that dead rabbits she brought home were killed by her friend, a sentient mongoose, and before long she had her parents believing the tale and spreading it to their neighbors. It's a big Universe full of wonders. : The Strange Tale of an Extra-Special Talking Mongoose, out now from Strange Attractor, is Christopher Josiffe’s sweeping investigation into Gef (pronounced like “Jeff”). This does sound all fine and dandy, but there was a darker, more sinister side to the animal. Gef the Talking Monster, also known as the Dalby Spook or simply Gef, was an extremely bizarre and amazing animal-like spirit which was claimed to inhabit a farmhouse owned by the Irving family known as Cashen's Gap near the hamlet of Dalby on the Isle of Man. During his investigation, Price took care to avoid supporting or condemning the Irvings reports, trusting that facts would speak for themselves. You guessed it, he was a talking mongoose who got up to all kinds of hijinks. “The Mongoose That Talked & Lost For Words” In Peter Brookesmith (ed) _Open Files_. 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.. Georgia Guidestones: Who Paid for It and Why? A sample of fur, which analysis concluded that it was dog hair, most likely from Mona, the family dog. I agree. In his spare time he enjoys astronomy and Xboxing. : The Strange Tale of an Extra-special Talking Mongoose (courtesy Strange Attractor), “The slit in the matchboarding through which Gef threw a packing-case needle at Capt. Hairs thought to be from Gef turned out to belong to the family dog, and the few photographs Price was able to take were of poor quality, and one of them appeared to show a cat. We use cookies to make the site easier to use. : The Strange Tale of an Extra-Special Talking Mongoose (courtesy Strange Attractor). A convenient excuse as in the build-up Price’s arrival, Gef let his feelings be known. : The Strange Tale of an Extra-special Talking Mongoose (courtesy Strange Attractor), “This admittedly crude sketch, allegedly Gef’s attempt at a self-portrait, supposedly demonstrated his ability to grasp a pencil,” from Gef! Claiming to be a mongoose from India that was born in 1852 in India, the voice called itself Gef and always claimed it was a flesh and blood creature. Tragedy on the S.S. Ourang Medan – Fact or Legend. The Irving family themselves appear in these photographs, neatly dressed and apparently sane, posed in front of their remote home. I do not know, but I do know that I have heard today a voice which I should never have imagined could issue from a human throat: that the people who claim it was the voice of the strange weasel seem sane, honest, and responsible folk and not likely to indulge in a difficult, long drawn-out, and unprofitable practical joke to make themselves the talk of the world; and that others have had the same experience as myself. Note that he appears to be wearing boots whilst clambering upon his bed!,” from Gef! As James would later describe, what started as a “tap, tap, tap at night” within their walls developed into an ongoing conversation with this astute, and often snide, “man-weasel” who had decided to make their isolated home his own abode. Was it an elaborate hoax? Coming straight from the Mongoose’s mouth itself, the Dalby Spook was a name given to a mongoose that had managed to master the art of speech. In this episode of The Talking Mongoose, Stuart Steen McFaull chats to Paul Jones about FC IOM. Gef! Famed parapsychologists such as Harry Price learned about Gef and began an investigation. A family on the Isle of Man, in 1931, found that they had a rather strange house guest who called himself Gef. Mike the Headless Chicken and Dalby Spook. Gef also mentioned he was a mongoose born on June 7th, 1852 in Delhi, India. Josiffe concludes that when he started to research the case, he was “confident that a close reading of the primary sources,” combined with the recollections of the Isle of Man inhabitants, “would be sufficient to establish whether it had been a hoax, or a genuine paranormal phenomenon.” Instead, the deeper he looked, “the evidence became more conflicting, pointing on the one hand to fraud, and — at the same time — to something inexplicable.”, Examining Gef’s prints, from Gef! Founded in 2009, Hyperallergic is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. Gef happily feasted on biscuits, chocolate, and bananas. Researched extensively by legendary ghost hunter, Harry Price, Gef was thought to be a spirit that took shape in the form of a talking mongoose. Once when Margaret asked him about her husband’s long absence, Gef responded: “I don’t know. When this activity became more pronounced and developed into coherent speech, the 1930s British tabloid press went into overdrive and turned Gef into something of a media sensation. "I am a ghost in the form of a weasel, and I shall haunt you with weird noises and clanking chains." Les currently resides in London and is a freelance writer with a long standing passion for the unexplained and paranormal. I am the fifth dimension! Despite their written reports, magazine articles and books, several photographs of Gef, the talking mongoose (a.k.a. A wonder of the 1940s where an ordinary chicken survived for 18 months with no head after being cut off with an axe. Nowadays this story falls between the cracks of historical significance, much like reports of Rat-Kings, the Alpine Tatzelwurm, and the native American Thunderbird. He could be violent — “You don’t know what damage or harm I could do if I were roused. Several times in the last few decades, certain animals have obtained a celebrity status that has earned them a cult following. It might seem like quite a lot of pages to devote to one early 20th-century mystery, but Josiffe contextualizes Gef within a paranormal moment in Great Britain (emerging alongside such cryptids as the less verbose Loch Ness Monster, who drew international notice in 1933), as well as the enduring engagement with Spiritualism. Attack on Lady Florence Dixie: “Saved by Her St. Bernard”. I am a freak. He was a talking mongoose who lived on the Island of Man. The Irvings left the farmhouse, and Gef, in 1937. The strange saga of Gef the talking mongoose began in Autumn 1931 in an isolated hilltop farmstead on the Isle of Man known as Doarlish Cashen (Manx for 'Cashen's Gap'). As the family grew fed up with the incivility, and threatened to leave, Gef calmed down. In a nation long fascinated by the supernatural, the case of Gef the talking mongoose stands out as one of the most bizarre in British paranormal history. In the early 1930s however, an even more astonishing story of the Dalby Spook hit international headlines. © 2009-2020 Historic Mysteries. Yet as Colin Dickey wrote in his article on Gef! It was not a successful farm; James “Jim” Irving, an educated man, had previously been a traveling salesman, and although the farm was his retirement project, it was proving insufficient to support his wife, Margaret, and their daughter, Voirrey. Maybe the legend of Gef the Talking Mongoose was a collective fantasy, the product of a basic human desire for other-wordly wonder and magic. According to reports, Gef did much more than talk. I am a freak. Other accounts speculate that the precocious Voirrey told school chums of her chatty little pal, no doubt inspired by Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, a short st… Isle of Man News article heralding Chistopher Josiffe's imminent book on Gef (Christopher wrote the FT Gef cover story of a few years ago.) "If I were a spirit, I could not kill rabbits." London: Orbis Publishing 1983, pp. If Voirrey knew who or what Gef was, she took that knowledge to the grave in 2005 and left the world with one of the most bizarre and perplexing mysteries of any generation. Gef was famous about 100 years ago. Dennis. Was it somehow real?! : The Strange Tale of an Extra-special Talking Mongoose (courtesy Strange Attractor), Photograph from Gef! He refused to show himself to the family, and was often at times quite ill-mannered. Price also remarked on so-called peep-holes along the skirting boards and walls. 19-27. Imagine if Gef was discovered today, he would be all over the internet for days, weeks, or even months to come. Historic Mysteries is an Amazon Associate and earns from qualifying purchases. for the Los Angeles Review of Books, “Looking for a motive beyond profit and fame suggests a family in turmoil, a crisis that manifested itself in a mischievous and protective supernatural creature.” Whatever occurred, Voirrey, who died in 2005, never confessed a role in the creation of Gef. Subject: Gef, the Talking Mongoose. (Voirrey was not the Irvings’ only child; however, the two older children, Elsie and Gilbert, were already grown and living on their … Voirrey Irving, the young daughter who many considered to be responsible for a potential hoax, was adamant that the slain animal was not Gef at all. James Irving, age 58, Margaret, age 54, and their daughter Voirrey, age 13, collectively experienced the manifestation of Gef at their farmhouse on the Isle of Man. He’s the man who puts the kybosh on the spirits! That in itself is quite the testament to willpower and determination to survive anything. Gef often helped around the house, turning off stoves accidentally left on, awaking over-sleepers, and that kind of thing. I am the eighth wonder of the world!” Gef himself was unsure of his form, or powers, sometimes claiming to have magical abilities, or clairvoyance, which required some form of invisible technology. Gef even drew a self-portrait for the family. | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | DMCA Notice, This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Manx born and bred, self-confessed cooking addict and food snob. The corpse that he put on display was black and white and by all accounts was considerably larger than Gef. The animal eventually identified itself as Gef and was first discovered by the Irving family in September 1931. : The Strange Tale of an Extra-special Talking Mongoose (courtesy Strange Attractor), “Gap in the concrete step from which Gef’s voice was heard,” from Gef! He became a member of the family itself. But then again, maybe Gef … I don’t like that Harry Price! Gef (/ ˈ dʒ ɛ f / JEF), also referred to as the Talking Mongoose or the Dalby Spook, was the name given to an allegedly talking mongoose which was claimed to inhabit a farmhouse owned by the Irving family. It’s highly likely that what would happen now, happened then. “This admittedly crude sketch, allegedly Gef’s attempt at a self-portrait, supposedly demonstrated his ability to grasp a pencil,” from Gef! He was a talking mongoose who lived on the Island of Man. Dalby Spook, or Gef, was allegedly a talking mongoose which became a sensation in the 1930s. He did evaluate the family and considered them to be honest and decent people. When her parents attempted to move her bed to their room, he let out a shrill shriek: “I’ll follow her, wherever you move her.” It would also account for her father’s incredible earnestness in all of his discussions of Gef. Gef, when queried on if he knew what death was, said: “Yes, a changeover.”, “‘How Gef showed his fingers’ — Irving is pointing towards a pair of white, hand-like objects that protrude from the gap between the wooden rafter and the sloping roof. You guessed it, he was a talking mongoose who got up to all kinds of hijinks. I am a little extra, extra clever mongoose." He would often boast or brag that he was the 8th wonder of the world; he was an extra clever mongoose; perhaps most chilling of all. More by Allison Meier. Image credit: Canstockphoto. Price arrived on the island in the summer of 1935. TTM Episode 15: Interview with Shelley Langan-Newton Amanda Cashmore speaks with Head of Environmental Health, Glenn Blacker. HARRIS, Melvin. The depth of the slit (4″) is shown by the other knife which Mr. Irving holds.,” from Gef! For links, you can't do better than the Gef blog or the book Gef… The farm was home to 60-yr-old Jim Irving, his wife Margaret, and their 12-yr old daughter Voirrey. "I am not a spirit. Gef! The Irvings lived on a farmstead on top of a hill in Dalby. Links:Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GefGef: The 8th wonder of the world – http://gefmongoose.blogspot.co.uk/p/the-story-of-gef.html. That American-born movement centered on the belief that spirits were around us, and wanted to communicate with us. As a quickie, the first two pages (20+-) of Google results for the phrase all refer to Gef (and yeh! "I know who I am but I shan't tell you. Though he is largely forgotten, a small but obsessive band of researchers refuses to let Gef go.The Story of Gef by Clifford Malcolm Willett"If you knew what I know, you'd know a hell of a lot!" In the nearly 400 pages of Gef! Sometime after, the new owner shot a large mongoose-like animal which may have been the creature. What at first appears like an obvious hoax becomes something more complex, as Gef’s presence as a spirit, ghost, hallucination, possessed animal, indication of family hysteria, or a young daughter’s ploy for attention are all methodically examined. : The Strange Tale of an Extra-Special Talking Mongoose, A Mysterious 17th-Century Artist Who Saw Visions in Firewood's Rings, Irving Harper, a Mid-Century Designer Whose Playful Paper Art Deserves A Look, A Brief Guide on How to Get Your Creative Work Seen, Funded, and Supported, A Prison Abolitionist Ceramics Studio Is Helping Change People’s Lives, Arts Leaders Call for Senior Executives to Resign at Americans for the Arts, A Surrealist Yves Tanguy Painting Was Tossed in Trash at a German Airport, University of Florida Offers a Funded MFA Degree in Its Cutting-edge Studio Art Program, German Film Office and Arsenal Berlin Present “Comes the Revolution: The Berlinale Forum at 50”, UC Davis’s MFA in Design Program Welcomes Prospective Students to a Virtual Open House, Tulsa Artist Fellowship Provides Extraordinary Support, Washington University in St. Louis Offers Competitive Funding for Inclusive MFA Programs, Proudly powered by Newspack by Automattic. 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