|Gef the Talking Mongoose|
An alleged photo of Gef
|Theories|| · Hoax|
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.
- The disembodied voice of "Gef"
- A small, weasel-like animal
- Bitten fingers
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. According to the Irvings, a creature named Gef introduced itself and told them it was a mongoose born in New Delhi, India, in 1852. According to Voirrey, Gef was the size of a small rat with yellowish fur and a large bushy tail.
The Irvings say that Gef communicated to them that he was "an extra extra clever mongoose", an "Earthbound spirit" and "a ghost in the form of a mongoose" and once said, "I am a freak. I have hands and I have feet, and if you saw me you'd faint, you'd be petrified, mummified, turned into stone or a pillar of salt!" The Irvings made various claims about Gef: he supposedly guarded their house and informed them of the approach of guests or any unfamiliar dog. They said that if someone had forgotten to put out the fire at night, Gef would go down and stop the stove. The Irvings claimed Gef would also wake people up when they overslept. And whenever mice got into the house, Gef supposedly assumed the role of the cat, although he preferred to scare them rather than kill them. The Irvings say they gave Gef biscuits, chocolates and bananas, and food was left for him in a saucer suspended from the ceiling which he took when he thought no one was watching. The Irvings claimed the mongoose regularly accompanied them on trips to the market, but always stayed on the other side of the hedges, chatting incessantly.
In July 1935 the editor of The Listener, Richard S. Lambert (known as "Rex"), and his friend, paranormal investigator Harry Price, went to the Isle of Man to investigate the case and produced the book The Haunting of Cashen's Gap (1936). They avoided saying that they believed the story but were careful to report it objectively. The book reports how a hair from the alleged mongoose was sent to Julian Huxley, who then sent it to naturalist F. Martin Duncan, who identified it as a dog hair. Price suspected the hair belonged to the Irvings' sheepdog, Mona.
Nandor Fodor, Research Officer for the International Institute for Psychical Research stayed at the Irvings' house for a week without seeing or hearing Gef. Fodor did not believe deliberate deception had occurred and moulded a complex psychological theory to explain Gef based on "a split-off part" of Jim Irving's personality.
- Lemon Demon, Neil Cicierega's music group, wrote a song about Gef titled Eighth Wonder.
- Harry Price: The Psychic Detective by Richard Morris, a 2006 biography, includes an account of the Gef investigation.
- Gef is a recurring character in the web comic Semi-Charmed.
- In the cartoon "The Badly Animated Marvel Christmas Carol" Gef the Mongoose is a telephone support worker at Banshee, Ghoul & Spectre Services who answers when the Ghost of Christmas Present (Deadpool) calls to see if it's okay to push a tired J Jonah Jameson (Scrooge) around in a chair.