Seeking Gef the Talking Mongoose – Isle of Man exploration 2023

SEPT 2023, I ticked off another from my bucket list and did a rather gruelling 1.5 hour uphill trek to find the location of the farmhouse formerly owned by the Irving family in Cashens Gap.
It was here that, in 1930, a mysterious creature visited the family and subsequently caused much frustration and annoyance. The creature created a lot of interest. Not only from locals, the story was given extensive coverage by the tabloid press in Britain in the early 1930s. The Irvings’ claims gained the attention of parapsychologists and ghost hunters, such as Harry Price, Hereward Carrington, and Nandor Fodor.
The creature was a mongoose, called Gef. Oh, and Gef could talk.
In my search, I also found an old well that would’ve given the Irvings their water supply.
I was told that the trek back down is easier. It wasn’t.
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.
The story of Gef became popular in the tabloid press, and many journalists flocked to the Isle to try to catch a glimpse of the creature. Several other people, both locals, and visitors, claimed to have heard Gef’s voice, and two claimed to have seen it; however, physical evidence was lacking. Footprints, stains on the wall, and hair samples claimed to be evidence of Gef were identified as belonging to the Irvings’ sheepdog, as were several photos that were claimed by the Irvings to depict Gef.
Margaret and Voirrey Irving left the home in 1945 after the death of James Irving. They reportedly had to sell the farm at a loss because it had the reputation of being haunted. In 1946, Leslie Graham, who had bought their farm, claimed in the press that he had shot and killed Gef. The body displayed by Graham was, however, black and white and much larger than the famous mongoose and Voirrey Ir

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