Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Isle of Man’s Talking Mongoose

The “creature” in the following story has been compared to a German paranormal entity called a Kobold.

The Kobold like a poltergeist is a playful little spirit that plays tricks on humans. Kobolds can be malevolent or benevolent. They take on various forms including animals.

Photo James Irving took of Gef.
Irving farmhouse: Doarish Cashen
The story of the talking mongoose circulated in1930. It centered on an isolated hilltop farm near Dalby on the The Isle of Man. The owners of this farm, James and Margaret Irving witnessed a series of bizarre incidents.

They and their daughter 13-year old Voirrey started to hear an animal scratching behind the walls of their farmhouse—known as Doarish Cashen-- in September of 1931. Eventually, these sounds evolved into what sounded like a baby crying and then into clearly spoken English.

James, Margaret, and Voirrey Irving
The entity that was talking introduced himself to the family as Gef, who claimed to be an earthbound spirit in the form of a mongoose. He told the family, he was born on June 7, 1852, in Delhi, India.

Voirrey Irving
Even though James and Margaret caught glimpses of Gef, the only person to actually see this spirit was Voirrey who described him as “a yellow rat-like creature, with a bushy tail.” Gef was friendly toward the Irving family, but he was also sometimes a nuisance to others.

When he wanted he could travel away from the farm and neighbors reported hearing odd sounds, which they believed was the Irving’s mongoose.

Gef loved to sing and knew the words to several favorite songs of the time.

He would spy on the Irving’s neighbors and return to share juicy gossip with the family.

The only proof he existed was the sounds he made, a few photos, Voirrey’s seeing him and the fact he moved or threw items around the farmhouse.

At one point he became so annoying to the family they announced they intended to move. This upset Gef so much he became more obedient.

The story about Gef eventually spread, journalists from all over flooded the Irving farm.

Harry Price, a famous paranormal investigator of the time visited the farm with a team. They found no conclusive evidence that Gef existed.

Photo Price's team took of Gef.
The family moved from the farm in 1937, later in 1947, the new owner claimed to have shot a “strange looking mongoose-like animal that he saw roaming his property.”

Some believe this was Gef, others felt Gef probably left the farmhouse along with the Irving family.

Still, others believed that Gef was just a fantasy that the Irving family made up to provide entertainment for themselves and neighbors.

Images of Gef for years were featured on beer mats in pubs across the Isle of Man.

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