Gef: The Talking Mongoose / The Dalby Spook

Analogue Boy

The new Number 6
Aug 10, 2005
<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.


Dec 5, 2003
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
Nov 13, 2017
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

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
,' 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

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
Oct 12, 2009
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.