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Gef: The Talking Mongoose / The Dalby Spook

JamesWhitehead

Piffle Prospector
Joined
Aug 2, 2001
Messages
14,013
I intend to visit the location, though the grave of the boggart may be hard to pin-point!

I did exactly that this afternoon and my prediction was predictably predictable. Never mind. Gristlehurst Lane is helpfully signposted as a public bridle-path and continues as tarmac for a while. There are more dwellings than appeared on my A to Z. It was a mild, grey afternoon and there was only the odd sound of cows shoulder-to-shoulder beyond the hedgerows to disturb the silence. They shifted without the need to emit a single vocal note.

On the map, the route looks square but it is more irregular on the ground. Beyond the half-way mark, the signpost changed from Bridle Path to Footpath. I was beyond the reach of Range Rovers, at least. In fact the way ahead resembled a muddy stream between two grassy banks. Soon I could hear the traffic on the Bury-Rochdale road and the route widened to take the wheels of motor vehicles from the gated farms. All too soon I was back.

I think the whole walk took about twenty minutes and I was back at the car by five-o-clock. A bit of turmeric-coloured shit on my shoe was quickly remedied. Had I learned anything of the Boggart?

Only that the land around there falls away at intervals into sudden dells, some seeming to have been scooped out of the landscape with a giant cup. We might imagine things buried there. I think we would listen in vain for any rich dialect; the region is gentrified with the pubs turned to expensive bistros. I encountered no one to ask but a weird stranger thinking of boggarts would probably be deemed a menace here; perhaps I was the boggart in that landscape now? o_O
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
48,896
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
I think the whole walk took about twenty minutes and I was back at the car by five-o-clock. A bit of turmeric-coloured shit on my shoe was quickly remedied. Had I learned anything of the Boggart?
Of course. The Boggart eats food that has turmeric as a major ingredient.
 

sherbetbizarre

Special Branch
Joined
Sep 4, 2004
Messages
5,076
The book will be ready for this London event in June...
Gef the Talking Mongoose
London Fortean Society
Tuesday, 6 June 2017


On the eve of his 165th birthday (“I was born June 7th 1852, near Delhi, India…”), the London Fortean Society at Conway Hall present for your delectation the strange story of Gef the Talking Mongoose.

In the early 1930s and for several years thereafter, an isolated farm in the rural south west of the Isle of Man became the focus of international media attention. Psychic investigators, spiritualists, psychoanalysts and reporters were all drawn to the lonely farm of Doarlish Cashen, whose inhabitants, the Irving family, steadfastly maintained that they were being ‘haunted’ by a super-intelligent weasel or mongoose by the name of Gef.

This mysterious entity was allegedly able to speak English and other languages, sing popular songs and hymns of the period, and would engage the family in nightly conversations about religion, the supernatural, and the afterlife.
Numerous people claimed to have heard the strange, high-pitched voice of Gef; a few even claimed to have seen him. Despite the absence of definitive proof, the case still remains an enigmatic one today.

Throughout the remainder of their lives, the Irvings - James, Margaret and daughter Voirrey - all insisted that the story had not been a hoax, and was true in all respects.

Christopher Josiffe, author of the definitive and official biography of Gef, will be giving an overview of this case, unique in the annals of paranormal research. He will also be examining some lesser-known aspects of the story - the parents, James and Margaret, not native to the Isle of Man, claimed to have previously enjoyed a more prosperous life in the city of Liverpool prior to their ill-fated ‘Good Life’ move to Man just after WW1. Is this true? And why were they forced to relocate?

In addition to Chris’s presentation and readings from his Gef! the Strange Tale of an Extra-Special Talking Mongoose book, writer and musician Chris Hill will be reading extracts from James Irving’s unpublished letters and diaries, giving an unparalleled insight into the family’s daily life with their extraordinary house-guest.

Copies of Chris's biography of Gef, published by Strange Attractor Press, will be available on the night.
eventbrite.co.uk/e/gef-the-talking-mongoose-tickets-33398544947
Event ended; no archived version found.
 
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sherbetbizarre

Special Branch
Joined
Sep 4, 2004
Messages
5,076
And finally ready to order -
Available now!

By Christopher Josiffe
HB Signed Special / Standard Paperback (with flaps!)
£25.00 / £15.99

Black and white illustrations throughout
ISBN 978-1-907222-48-1
210 x 148mm, 416pp

“I am the fifth dimension! I am the eighth wonder of the world!”

During the mid-1930s, British and overseas newspapers were full of incredible stories about Gef, a ‘talking mongoose’ or ‘man-weasel’ who had allegedly appeared in the home of the Irvings, a farming family in a remote district of the Isle of Man.
http://strangeattractor.co.uk/news/gef-strange-tale-extra-special-talking-mongoose/

And related events in London-
Gef! the Strange Tale of an Extra-Special Talking Mongoose book launch
TUESDAY
19:00, May 23, 2017

Lo & Behold Gallery
2B Swanfield St
London
E2 7DS

Gef-related music and readings, drink, potato pie and dead rabbits will be available on the night; hardback and paperback editions of the book will be available for purchase (signatures/dedications if desired)

Christopher Josiffe will be speaking at Treadwells bookshop (33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS) on Friday 26 May at 7:30pm.
Lore and Belief in the Case of the Talking Mongoose will seek to place the Gef mystery in the context of Manx fairy lore, and examine contemporary Spiritualist responses to the case.
Tickets are £8.
020 7419 8507
[email protected]

On Tuesday 6th June, Josiffe will be delivering a lecture for the London Fortean Society at Conway Hall (25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL) at 7:30pm. He will give an overview of the Gef the Talking Mongoose case, and will be highlighting some of its less well known aspects. Writer and musician Chris Hill will be reading from James Irving's unpublished diaries and letters.

Tickets are £5 + booking fee
[email protected]
 

Naughty_Felid

kneesy earsy nosey
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Messages
8,922
"Mongoose is the popular English name for 29 of 34[2] species in the 14 genera of the family Herpestidae, which are small carnivorans that are native to southern Eurasia and mainland Africa."
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongoose

So what's Gef doing in the IoM? Perhaps he's really a weasel?

Weasels are mammals forming the genus Mustela of the Mustelidae family. The genus includes the weasels, European polecats, stoats, ferrets and European minks.
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel

Are there any reports of him flying around on a woodpecker? ;)


Irvine turned loose some mongooses/mongeese? In 1914 on the farm to kill off rabbits. He must have acquired them on his travels.

Jef himself said he was a marsh mongoose and was born in new delhi in 1872
.
 
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McAvennie

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Mar 13, 2003
Messages
3,990
I'm still back on issue 359, maybe it dies down, but, third on the list of most shoe-horned, over referenced Fortean in the magazine behind Crowley and Michell has to be Gef the bloody Mongoose...
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
55,183
Location
Eblana
The strangest Gef theory ever, linking him to a Nazi cult, honest!

The man known as the Mongoose was a Nazi spy who was active during World War II. He earned his name for having a trained mongoose that would attack on command. In December 1943, he was stationed in a town in North Africa. There he operated out of a taxidermist shop. He was assigned to steal secret plans from members of the Women's Auxiliary Army that were stationed in the area, which included Betty Ross among their numbers. His agents' first attempt to steal the plans was foiled by Steve Rogers and James Barnes (secretly Captain America and Bucky).


https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/Mongoose_(Nazi)_(Earth-616)
 

Kondoru

Antediluvian
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
9,692
<Kondoru comes in, exhausted and soaked>

I climbed up Dalby mountain last sunday; its a horror of a journey; rough and rocky and there is a stream down the path. I slipped and fell in several times.

Whoever lived up there must have been very tough...and unfond of visitors. Talking Mongoose must have been the most normal thing about them.

(Did not see...or more to the point, hear, anything anything odd).
 

Analogue Boy

Bar 6
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
12,838
<Kondoru comes in, exhausted and soaked>

I climbed up Dalby mountain last sunday; its a horror of a journey; rough and rocky and there is a stream down the path. I slipped and fell in several times.

Whoever lived up there must have been very tough...and unfond of visitors. Talking Mongoose must have been the most normal thing about them.

(Did not see...or more to the point, hear, anything anything odd).

Thanks for the report.
 

Kondoru

Antediluvian
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
9,692
Im glad you liked it. Its a journey I have wanted to make since I first read about Gef in the Usbourne book.

Been to IOM several times these past years, but only this trip had the opportunity to make the walk.

No ruins except some vague markings. Whoever demolished the house did a very through job.

Chris is right in assuming the path (By way, really) is an old road. its a Hollowway.

Much easier on a study pony, methinks.
 

Indrid Drood

Loitering with Ludic Intent
Joined
Nov 13, 2017
Messages
195
I was just reading about fairies on the Isle of Man, and thought that some people here who are interested in Gef might find their appreciation enriched by some background on the presence of fairies on that island. The following is from GEORGE WALDRON AND THE GOOD PEOPLE by Stephen Miller.

'They call them the good People, and say they
live in Wilds and Forests, and on Mountains.
' So
wrote [London-born, Oxford-educated] George
Waldron (1687-1728) in his posthumously published
A Description of the Isle of Man (1731) of the Manx
fairy folk he found, or rather, of the native Manx who
encountered them in the Isle of Man.

When 'accidentally falling in Company with an old
Manks Man, who had used the Seas many Years,
he told me
' a tale about mermaids. But, as
Waldron wrote:

As I had not yet attained a thorough Knowledge
of the Superstition of these People, nor the
passionate Fondness for every thing that might be
termed The Wonderful; I was excessively
surprized at this Account, given with so serious an
Air, and so much, and solemnly averred for Truth.
I perceived they were not a little disgusted at my
Want of Faith, but to make a Convert of me, they
obliged me to listen to another, as odd an
Adventure as the former, which they assured me
was attested by a whole Ship's Crew, and
happened in the Memory of some then living.


Waldron, however, was not to be taken in by
these entreaties:

As nothing is got, by contradicting a fictitious
Report, unless you can disprove it by more
convincing Arguments than right Reason can
suggest, but ill Words, and, perhaps worse Usage;
I contented myself with laughing at them, within
myself, and attempted not to lay before People,
whom I found such Enemies to good Sense, any
Considerations, how improbable, if not impossible, it
was, that any body should give Credit to what
they said.


And in the end he was caught out himself when
it was clear that he was to remain a sceptic:

I should, however, have doubtless heard many
other Accounts of the like Nature, if, by my saying
little in Answer to them, and a certain Air of
Ridicule, which they observed in my Countenance,
and which, in spite of my Endeavours to the
contrary, I was not able to refrain, they had not
perceived that it was vain to attempt bringing me
over to their Side.


Whilst Waldron could dismiss his butter supplier
with her tales of fairy abductions and the woman
who talked of fairy changelings ('Another Woman
equally superstitious and fanciful as the former
' as
he wrote) and allow himself the indulgence to be
made 'very merry with a Story' from them, one of
his near neighbours was a different proposition.

Described as a Gentleman, and so, in Waldron's
eyes at least, a person of some social standing, he
came across the fairy folk at play one day, and
whilst in the past having 'affirmed with the most
solemn Asseverations, that being of my Opinion,
and entirely averse to the Belief that any such
Beings were permitted to wander for the Purposes
related of them
,' this incident made even him a
believer.

He was not to be the only person known to
Waldron who was to give him pause, however
briefly, for thought: 'Another Instance, which might
serve to strengthen the Credit of the other, was
told me by a Person who had the Reputation of
the utmost Integrity
.'

This time it was someone
who had business, unwittingly, with a fairy horse
dealer. Asking for eight pounds for his horse but
being offered seven, 'by a little Man in a plain
Dress
,' and accepting the bargain, both man and
horse then sunk into the ground and disappeared
into Fairyland. Waldron too had a neighbour
who was plagued by the Tarroo-Ushtey (Manx,
'Water-Bull') who set out with others to hunt
the beast with pitchforks, but with no effect;
another so troubled used a gun, this time with
success...

No doubt Waldron remained a sceptical and
metropolitan Englishman to the end of his days in
the Island, keeping his 'certain Air of Ridicule' as
he described it. Nevertheless, he still collected a
remarkable body of Manx fairylore, and at an
early date it must be noted, one also narrated to
him in Manx. It was straitened circumstances that
brought Waldron with his family in tow to the
Island, but when there he clearly became
fascinated with its vernacular Gaelic culture despite
his clear objection to everything he was being told
and asked, if not tasked, to accept that the fairy
world was fact, and one that was everywhere and
which you could not avoid being engaged with. No
matter how well your horse would be locked up
over night, the 'little Gentry' were sure to take it
for a nocturnal ride.

'But having run so far in the Account of
supernatural Appearances, I cannot forget what
was told me by an English Gentleman and my
particular Friend
' wrote Waldron. This particular
Englishman decided to cross the river at Douglas,
on horseback instead of using the bridge, and
when half-way across he heard fairy music which
caused his horse to stop and remain rigid for
close on three-quarters of an hour until he was
able to resume and complete his journey. 'He,
who before laugh'd at all the stories told of Fairies,
now became a convert, and believed as much as ever
a Manks Man of them all
.
 

Little_grey_lady

Devoted Cultist
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
125
I was on Isle of Man a few weeks ago and I'm most upset because when we crossed over the fairy bridge by bus, I wasn't paying attention and I missed the announcement. So I wasn't able to thank the fairies. My boyfriend heard the announcement, and says he said thank you on my behalf, so I'm hoping that will work.
 
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