Gef: The Talking Mongoose / The Dalby Spook

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Anonymous

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#31
Talking Mongoose Alert!

If fellow Forteans go to the webcrawler google.com and enter "talking mongoose" as the reference, there are 11,400 references to "Geoff", which should be sufficient for the most mongoose-obssessive. Research by Harry Price should be interesting as he was an avid investigator of ghosts/poltergeists, etc. Probably a bit gullible, too, but references to footprints, etc may well be among his stuff!
 

Creamstick1

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#32
Just dragging up this old thread, but to me, the Gef case exhibits most of the classic polergeist phenomena - I think it's likely that the family had a poltie, and arrived at the persona of 'Gef the talking mongoose'!
 

SmirnoffMule

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#33
I can see a mongoose in that fortean times gallery pic, though if I didn't know, I'd say it was a ferret. There's definately some mustelid-thing there. He's mostly hidden in the long grass - He's that dark thing you see. His head is on the left of the pic as you look at it, he's looking upwards, so what we can see is the underside of his chin. He's got white around his nose. Most of his body is hidden in the grass, but his tail, which is thick and bushy is trailing away on the right. Can anyone else see it or am I seeing ferrets in the flames?

Here's the link again if you can't be arsed to go back and find it.

http://www.forteantimes.com/gallery/gef.shtml

:cool:
 

butterfly27

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#34
Slytherin said:
I can see a mongoose in that fortean times gallery pic, though if I didn't know, I'd say it was a ferret......
Thanks Slytherin. I don't know how many times I've loked at that picture and all I've ever seen is grass.

But thanks to your description I can now see ..... Pepe le Pew.
Yes ... a skunk. No matter. At least I've seen something, which is more than I could before.:)
 
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Anonymous

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#35
My Main Man Gef...

An easier way to get at Dr. Fodor's article is the book "Haunted People, Story of the Poltergeist Down the Ages" by Hereward Carrington and Nandor Fodor.

It was put out by E.P. Dutton & Co. in New York in 1951, and in it is a reprint of an article Dr. Fodor had written fourteen years earlier for a newspaper. I get the impression that he wasn't happy with the article, as he felt it was written in a more "journalistic" than "scientific" manner, but he assures the reader that all of the facts in the story come straight from his diaries contemporary with his investigation. For what that's worth to you!

Also, I'm not entirely sure, but I believe Dr. Fodor was European, not American. I think he was Hungarian, or maybe Austrian, and he studied under either Jung or Freud, I can't remember now. He was a brilliant man...

The thing that strikes me the most, is Gef's response once to the question "What was he?"
his response; " I am the fifth dimension, I am the eighth wonder of the world. I can split the atom"
This in 1931?!

Another of his responses that I loved was, "I am a freak. I have hands, and I have feet."
He continues on with "And if you saw me you would be paralyzed, petrified, mummified, turned into a pillar of salt."

Wacky little mongoose, huh?

Trace Mann
 

minordrag

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#36
That's gotta be one of the strangest cases ever. I had never read those quotes. Thanks, Z. What great lyrics they would make!
 
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Anonymous

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#37
Here is the first of a series of contemporary newspaper accounts and articles I have found relating to the 'Dalby Spook' - sometimes also known as Gef. This article is from The Isle of Man Examiner - Friday, Febuary 19, 1932. It concerns the visit of representatives of the paper to the Irvings' home and the tale which they were told.

The article is not particularly well written - I have reproduced it as published. Some of the grammar is rather odd.

Any useful comments, I will add to the item. More to follow.
 
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Anonymous

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#38
" I am the fifth dimension, I am the eighth wonder of the world. I can split the atom... I am a freak. I have hands, and I have feet... And if you saw me you would be paralyzed, petrified, mummified, turned into a pillar of salt."

OMG - Gef the Talking Mongoose is Lee Scratch Perry !!

:eek!!!!: :eek!!!!: :eek!!!!:
 
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Anonymous

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#40
The article is interesting I think because it presents the story within a social context. There are various references to the fact that Mr Irving was considered respectable (a Mason) and to his previous employment. They seemed to like his daughter - who features much more as the story develops.

Much is made of the local ruffians and trouble - makers. This at a time when people moving to the island would have been treated as rich outsiders. Though I wonder whether he had roots or connections on the island - since Irving is a common name there and he had given his daughter a Manx name (Voirey).

It seems clear to me that the 'representatives' of the newspaper were convinced by the story and believed that the Irving family had encountered some previously undocumented animal.

I have several more items and hope to post them over the next few weeks.

To be clear. I don't believe this stuff. But it is a fascinating social / Fortean story.
 
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Anonymous

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#41
In the article I posted the other day, a local newspaper account from the week the story broke, there is no reference to the animal being, or being like, a Mongoose.

Today, in the various newspaper items I have yet to transcribe I found a letter written the following week, to a different local paper, in which the writer suggests that the animal descibed sounds rather like a mongoose.

The writer goes on to state that appx 20 years previously, the owner of a nearby farm "liberated a number of these animals to kill rats, and it is quite possible that the 'Spook' is a descendant of these".

I believe that this is the first suggestion that the animal was a mongoose.

[edit]Just found a reference to this in the article at http://www.resologist.net/ryook005.htm[/edit]

Up until this letter the 'spook' is described as a 'Buggane' - a particular type of 'spook' in Manx Folklore.
 

naitaka

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#42
Ahh, 'Between Two Worlds' - one of my all-time Fortean favourites. Those were the days, when you could buy a 300-page paperback by a noted author for 95 cents!

Interestingly, although Dr. Fodor had investigated many poltergeists, he didn't think that Gef was one. In the end he agreed with one of Gef's more modest descriptions of himself:

"I an just an extra, extra clever little mongoose."
 
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Anonymous

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#43
Today we walked the path followed by the journalists who wrote the 1932 newspaper article which I have posted as above. Here are some photographs showing the route they took and Dorlish Cashen farm.

I would not fancy walking this route on a cold winter night.

It was a great trip and I needed the exercise, though the photos reveal nothing new. Afterwards we went to the nearby ancient city of Peel for afternoon tea. Where I discovered a fantastic second hand and antiquarian bookshop.
 

rynner2

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#44
Great pics, Alb. Certainly sets the scene. I've known several places like that - always somehow transcendental.
I will lift up mine eyes to the hills: from whence cometh my help. (The Book of Common Prayer)
 

butterfly27

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#45
Here are a couple of sites which give further insights into the Gef phenomenon.

The first gives Voirrey Irving's final word on the subject

And the second gives a brief resume of Harry Price's involvement in what was then known as the Cashen's Gap case

I'm pretty sure Nandor Fodor was of Jewish extraction but I can't find any biographical info to back it up. He was also based in New York for a time and its probably this fact that has led to my assumption that he was an American.

EDIT: I just tested the second link and it doesn't work either here or on Google where I found it. Very strange.
 
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Anonymous

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#46
The Dorlish Cashen Buggane

From: Peel City Guardian And Chronicle - Saturday, Febuary 20, 1932. This is second of the contemporary newspaper accounts and articles I have found which relate to this story.

AW Moore's 1891 The Folk - Lore Of The Isle of Man describes various bugganes - a particular type of evil or mischievous spirit.

In this item, a local newspaper reporter describes visiting the farm one night in a fruitless search for the creature. He describes a crowd of forty locals laying siege to the house.

There is no suggestion here that the creature resembles a mongoose. It is described as having the body of a weasel or a cat and a pig's head, with great glowing eyes, hissing breath and a high pitched voice.

In another article, which I have yet to transcribe, Margaret Irving is quoted - she calls the creature Jack.
 
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Anonymous

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#47
I finally got around to transcribing and posting the rest of the first crop of local newspaper articles from February and March 1932 when the story first surfaced. You can find them at http://www.bunhill.com/dalbyspook.html

I've added notes. Anyone interested in this story should find the items fairly interesting. No suggestion in these early reports that the animal was called 'Gef'.

I have access to further similar articles from the following months and years but very little time at the moment.

This has all been posted in rather a hurry. Do please pm or email me if you find any obvious typos etc.
 
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Anonymous

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#48
Thank you Alb!

I would just like to tell you how much I enjoy your postings on this subject! Always full of details that I would have thought lost, and the pictures! Who else posts such consistently excellent posts? No one I've seen here yet!


Sorry about all the exclamation points!!!


Trace Mann
 
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Anonymous

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#49
Thanks.
You made me blush.

Incidentally - does anyone have a current email address for Mark Henson? I included a link to his page, on mine. Normally, I at least email people to say "hope that's okay".

<[email protected]> returns "no such user".
 
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Anonymous

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#51
Does anyone know where I can buy a copy (or a copied version) of the Harry Price book (1936) - "The Haunting of Cashen's Gap" ?
 
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Anonymous

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#52
Good Luck!

I've been trying to locate a copy of that one for a while now! I did find a copy on barnesandnoble.com's rare and out of print section, but they stiffed me for it after I ordered it, and then claimed that I had cancelled the order myself!
I, quite naturally, suspect a conspiracy....

I DID get to read it at the local Library, however, and it was worth it for the prints of the plasticine [sic] "tracks" Gef left for them. I wanted to photocopy every page of the book, but they frown on that for some reason.


Trace [I'll now keep an eye out for TWO copies] Mann
 

Stormkhan

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#53
I first came across Gef reading my Unexplained years 'n' years ago. It was a quite interesting until I saw the Unexplaineds "artists impression" taken from contemporary description. I'm sorry but it looks like a fat ferret wearing human gloves on its front paws and mascara!

I'm at work at the moment but I'll scan and post the "cartoon" Gef when I can. Ren and Stimpy, eat your heart out!
 
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Anonymous

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#55
mongoose magic

I'd just like to say that I haven't posted here for over a year now (nothing personal, folks, just "stuff" of my own to deal with). Last night, one of my cats was whittering on and I said he was like that "bloody talking mongoose thing", and I idly wondered if anything new had been unearthed about the phenomeneon. Now, I haven't looked at the FT boards either, for at least a year or so, and assumed my membership had lapsed. Imagine my surprise (as they say in Viz comic) when a message appeared in my email this morning, saying someone had posted to this thread, to which I (apparently) subscribed!!! Weird or what??!!
I think Gef's still playing tricks from the beyond . . . :eek!!!!:
 

Stormkhan

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#56
It were you, yer bugger! I'd heard nothing more of Gef, talking mongeese (sp?) any somesuch ... then I got a "thread reminder".

Then again, is is the Fortean Times lot jiggering up interest in a subject that seems to have gone into hibernation?

I swear, if I visit the Isle of Man (a worthy and hoped-for occasion) and I see a big-pawed, mouthy ***kin ferret, I'm going to interest it in Mr Steel-Toecap and his Amazingly Painful Boot! Talk yer way out of that `un!

Sorry, I'm grumpy! I'm feeling sensitive at the moment ... but not with bloody talking mongooses!
 
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Anonymous

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#57
If you do visit then give me a call. Well drop me an email first and I'll give you m'number. Assuming I'm not off trying to earn some money somewhere - then I'll pick you up, take you for lunch, and give you a tour.

Lots of other good stuff here for Fortean types. Not just Gef. I'm on the IOM now - and about 6 months of every year. When I'm not on the IOM - then I'm probably a few miles from Rennes Le Chateau. A whole different story.

The IOM is a fantastic place if you're looking for a few days away somewhere which is neither England nor Ireland. English people laugh at the IOM for being backward and conservative. But it isn't.
 

Stormkhan

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#58
Another reason for wanting to visit the Isle of Man ...

Jonathan Gash's "Gold of Gemini" novel, of the Lovejoy series.

I'll take the offer up on you, alb, when me 'n' Mrs Khan come to visit!
 

MrRING

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#59
I was just reading the link that was pasted here quite a long time ago:

http://www.resologist.net/ryook005.htm

And this bit interested me:

In the September of 1931, James Irving, his wife Margaret and their daughter Voirrey, started to hear strange noises like a wild animal, which emanated from the attic of the farmhouse. Curiously the "voice" behind these noises started to develop. In a similar way to a baby learning to speak, the cries started to turn into the words spoken by James Irving and were repeated parrot fashion by the unseen creature. In a very short space of time, the being had effectively learned to speak a good level of English!
Soon the creature, apparently a mongoose by the name of Gef, introduced itself to the Irving family. He told them that he had been born on June 7, 1852, in Delhi, India.
Why is this interesting? Because this is almost the EXACT THING that happened in the Bell Witch case. In that one, it started with scratching, animal sounds, and it eventually learned to talk over a period of time, and it originally appeared as animal (and a few times human) form. As I recall, it parrotted speach as well when it began, and it made statements much the same as Gef did about it's origins.

Total freakout!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:

EDIT because, after reading the whole account, it's almost exactly the same as the Bell Witch!!! Aside from the similarities I already noted:

Both expressed love and concern for some of the people in the house hold. Gef held Voirrey in highest regards, while for the Bell Witch it was the family matriarch who was it's favorite.

Gef claimed the be poisoned, while the Bell Witch apparently poisoned John Bell.

Both sang entertainingly.

Both would report the doings of area inhabitants from far away, something that couldn't have been known to somebody just using ventrilliquism.

Both stories were popular in the press of the day.

Both were shot and killed - the Bell Witch in an early animal manifestation, Gef supposedly at the end of his.

Even the appearance anomolies seems similar - Gef was supposed to be a mongoose, but pix looked inconclusive when they showed anything at all. When the Bell Witch manifested as creatures, they seemed at first to be a particular animal (a larege black bird, for example) but upon further inspection didn't look quite like a natural creature.

DOUBLE EDIT to add that apparently I'm not the only person who can see the similarity - there was a guy who posted to the Bell Witch thread who included a link to his theory, which is definately linking the two phenomenon. I think the idea is definately worth discussing - what was going on?
 
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Anonymous

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#60
Just found this thread - Gef is my "specialist subject" and there are a few bits and pieces that haven't been mentioned yet that might be of interest.

Gef and Voirrey were the subject of a video art installation in London in 2002 (I'll need to double-check the date and location - my references are at work). Voirrey was actually tracked down and interviewed for the piece which included some documentary footage shot around the farmstead (which is now just empty land). I don't know exactly what Voirrey said - I think she is reluctant to tell people about it because she assume people don't believe her. I'm not sure if she's still alive - she'd be in her 80s now.

One of the best resources is Harry Price and RS Lambert's book "The Haunting of Cashen's Gap". This was published in 1936 and has never been reprinted as far as I know. It's an odd investigation, and Price and Lambert basically come to the conclusion that Gef was the creation, concious or unconcious of Voirrey and/or her father.

The story about a farmer then shooting a mongoose a few years after the Irvings had left comes from a local Manx newspaper, which I think shows the farmer holding a ferret/mongoose-like animal.

The story is so peculiar and enigmatic that it's about time a new book or at least in-depth article was produced!

Adam
 
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