I discovered Gef the Talking Mongoose while looking for tulpas on Facebook. Clearly his story was too fantastic, I had to write a link to it.
“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.” (Gef the talking Mongoose)
During the early 1930′s, a family living in a remote farmhouse on the Isle of Man claimed multiple encounters with an elusive 79-yr-old talking mongoose named Gef.
Gef was investigated by the two leading psychic researchers of the era – Harry Price and Nandor Fodor – neither of whom were able to draw any definitive conclusions about the case.
Whether cryptid or poltergeist, tulpa or hoax, Gef was undeniably one thing – utterly unique. Let us join together to celebrate the wit and wisdom of this archetypal trickster!
Who – or what – was Gef the talking mongoose? Was he merely “a little extra, extra clever mongoose” as he once claimed? Or was he – as he claimed on another occasion – truly “the eighth wonder of the world”?
Some think Gef was a poltergeist. Some think he was a demonic spirit. And then again, some think he was no more than a bizarre Folie à Deux created by a lonely adolescent girl and her father.
Whatever Gef was, he deserves his place in the Fortean pantheon of immortal tricksters. For above all, he was a bringer of mischief and mirth – a challenge to authority and a subverter of mundanity.
“If you knew what I know, you’d know a hell of a lot,” Gef once remarked. Amen to that.
“I am not a spirit. I am a little extra, extra clever mongoose.”
“I am a ghost in the form of a weasel, and I shall haunt you with weird noises and clanking chains.”
“I’ll split the atom! I am the fifth dimension! I am the eighth wonder of the world!”
I’ve just read a good page about
Hinzelmann, a sort of house spirit that haunted a household in Germany in 1582. The page is here.
Occasionally, Hinzelmann would take the form of a black marten and boast that no one could catch him. I also offer these two quotes for comparison:
“If thou here wilt let me stay,
Good luck shalt thou have alway;
But if hence thou wilt me chase,
Luck will ne’er come near the place.”
Gef: “If you are kind to me, I will bring you good luck. If you are not kind, I shall kill all your poultry. I can get them wherever you put them!”
I wonder if this kind of behavior is M.O. for ermine house spirits.
Voirrey Irving, who took Gef under her wing, died in 2005. In an interview published late in life, she maintained that Gef was not her creation.
And something I discovered while researching Gef – Hoover the Talking Seal
Hoover (1971? — July 25, 1985) was a harbor seal who was able to imitate basic human speech.
Hoover was an orphan when he was found by George and Alice Swallow in Maine in 1971. George and Alice decided to take him home. At first the baby seal didn’t want to eat, but soon he ate at the pace of a vacuum cleaner (hence his name). When Hoover outgrew the bathtub, he was transferred to the pond outside their house where he began to imitate people’s voices. Again he was moved, this time to the New England Aquarium, where he told visitors to “Get outta here!” in a thick New England accent.
Thanks to this, he became famous, and appeared in publications like Reader’s Digest and The New Yorker and television programs like Good Morning America.
Where’s your precious science now?