Voirrey Irving was twelve and thirteen years old at the time of the notoriety. Yet as Colin Dickey wrote in his article on 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. He did evaluate the family and considered them to be honest and decent people. 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. He sang songs – a personal favorite being Carolina Moon, recited texts, and mimicked other animals and sounds brought to him or simply overheard. As arts communities around the world experience a time of challenge and change, accessible, independent reporting on these developments is more important than ever. Josiffe journeys to the ruins of the Isle of Man farmhouse, torn down in 1971, where it all began, and revisits the 1936 book on Gef — The Haunting of Cashen’s Gap — authored by Richard S. Lambert with paranormal investigator Harry Price. Gef often helped around the house, turning off stoves accidentally left on, awaking over-sleepers, and that kind of thing. Can you think of another "talking mongoose"? 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. : The Strange Tale of an Extra-Special Talking Mongoose (courtesy Strange Attractor). Hyperallergic is a forum for serious, playful, and radical thinking about art in the world today. 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. : 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. I could kill you all, but I won’t” — and proclaim godlike talents — “I’ll split the atom! 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.) Historic Mysteries is an Amazon Associate and earns from qualifying purchases. In the early 1930s however, an even more astonishing story of the Dalby Spook hit international headlines. Georgia Guidestones: Who Paid for It and Why? I am a little extra, extra clever mongoose." Manx born and bred, self-confessed cooking addict and food snob. Although he never got to see or hear Gef for himself, Price was able to collect evidence that could corroborate the Irvings’ version of events. Image credit: Canstockphoto. Gef! Gef was famous about 100 years ago. The farm was home to 60-yr-old Jim Irving, his wife Margaret, and their 12-yr old daughter Voirrey. So what exactly was the Dalby Spook? He was a talking mongoose who lived on the Island of Man. Tagged #unsolved mysteries #curious stories #thinking #sideways #thinking sideways. 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… On an American farm, there was Mike the headless chicken. He’s the man who puts the kybosh on the spirits! Please consider supporting our journalism, and help keep our independent reporting free and accessible to all. I am the fifth dimension! The Irving family themselves appear in these photographs, neatly dressed and apparently sane, posed in front of their remote home. TTM Episode 15: Interview with Shelley Langan-Newton Amanda Cashmore speaks with Head of Environmental Health, Glenn Blacker. On both sides of the Atlantic however, two early stories about real extraordinary animals emerged a generation or two ago. 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. That in itself is quite the testament to willpower and determination to survive anything. The Irvings' farm was located at Cashen's Gap near the hamlet of Dalby on the Isle of Man.The story was given extensive coverage by the tabloid press in Britain in the early 1930s. are images and accounts from Josiffe’s years-long obsession with this singing, stealing, multilingual talking mongoose (who was said to speak phrases in English, French, German, Yiddish, Spanish, Flemish, and Hebrew). 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? Surely, this is a puzzle of the mind rather than the paranormal realm. Famed parapsychologists such as Harry Price learned about Gef and began an investigation. : The Strange Tale of an Extra-special Talking Mongoose (courtesy Strange Attractor), Gef! We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Dalby Spook, or Gef, was allegedly a talking mongoose which became a sensation in the 1930s. 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! Gef! 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. Richard welcomes a TV producer and author to discuss one of the strangest cases in paranormal history: A talking mongoose that terrorized a family living on an isolated farm on the Isle of … 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. A wonder of the 1940s where an ordinary chicken survived for 18 months with no head after being cut off with an axe. “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. © 2009-2020 Historic Mysteries. : The Strange Tale of an Extra-special Talking Mongoose (courtesy Strange Attractor), Alleged photograph of Gef, showing him “in distinctly cat-like form” (December 1935) from Gef! 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. 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. Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism. You guessed it, he was a talking mongoose who got up to all kinds of hijinks. On both sides of the Atlantic however, two early stories about real extraordinary animals emerged a generation or two ago. Imagine if Gef was discovered today, he would be all over the internet for days, weeks, or even months to come. Gef the Talking Mongoose) can now be told. Was it somehow real?! | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | DMCA Notice, This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Dennis. On a farm in Manx, Doarlish Cashen in the United Kingdom’s Isle of Man, in the early 1930’s, Mr. James T. Irving discovered what he thought was a strange animal inside his house. 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. He could be violent — “You don’t know what damage or harm I could do if I were roused. : 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”). : The Strange Tale of an Extra-Special Talking Mongoose by Christopher Josiffe is out now from Strange Attractor. : The Strange Tale of an Extra-special Talking Mongoose (courtesy Strange Attractor). The animal eventually identified itself as Gef and was first discovered by the Irving family in September 1931. Once when Margaret asked him about her husband’s long absence, Gef responded: “I don’t know. Subject: Gef, the Talking Mongoose. 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