Gef the talking mongoose in the Wall Street Journal

Wow, Gef, the incredible story of the talking mongoose from the Isle of Man in the U.K. has made a splash in the Wall Street Journal.

In England, Researchers Investigate Case of the Talking Mongoose –

The University of London’s Senate House Library is one of the finest academic research institutions in England. On a recent day, a lecture room in the imposing Art Deco building was filled with the world’s pre-eminent authorities on a talking mongoose named Gef.

In a nation long fascinated by the supernatural, the case of Gef the talking mongoose stands out as one of the most bizarre in British paranormal history. Though he is largely forgotten, a small but obsessive band of researchers refuses to let Gef go.

Gef (pronounced “Jeff”) was a furry animal who is said to have skulked around the remote house of a poor farming family, the Irvings, on the Isle of Man in the 1930s.

Gef moved into the Irving house and began a relationship with the family, talking to them, describing things going on in the village and being a bit ornery here and there. He was a bit weird even beyond that fact that he spoke. He offered the family a bargain of sorts:

“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!”

Back in April, there was a researchers symposium on the Gef phenomena. Christopher Josiffe is perhaps the world’s leading expert on Gef. A group of over 30 gathered to discuss the legend and the mystery that remains. Gef was seen to act somewhat like a poltergeist that took animal form although it was not clear if he was a mongoose, weasel or a squirrel.

Read this fantastic tale about the history of Gef and why he is still fascinating. For more, check out this Monster Talk episode with Josiffe.

Josiffe also did this wonderful piece for Fortean Times (where Gef is well-known and well-loved).

Gef the Talking Mongoose | Fortean Times.

It may sound REALLY odd but it’s a fun tale about a lonely family in a desolate place that has an extraordinary thing happen to them. Gef became a celebrity. Then he disappeared one day never to return. Was he hoaxed by the bored daughter? Was the owner himself involved in a fraud? While offered money for rights to the Gef story and payment for visits, Irving refused adding intrigue to the case.

In the 21st century the creepy tale of Gef is still remembered and pondered. That’s pretty cool.

Gef reported said:

“Of course I know what I am, and you are not going to get to know, and you are only grigged because I won’t tell you. I might let you see me some time, but thou wilt never get to know what I am.”

Gef: The Eighth Wonder of the World: The Story of Gef.

Sketch of Gef - He didn't like it.

Sketch of Gef – He didn’t like it.

  7 comments for “Gef the talking mongoose in the Wall Street Journal

  1. Eve
    May 1, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    Phred the Binturong tells me that Gef the Mongoose was a fraud.

  2. May 1, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Monster Talk had a fantastic episode on this very topic. Absolutely worth a listen.

  3. ApexDisorder
    May 1, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    Understanding how the physical anatomy
    Of speech is created lends this story impossible, (we all know this).
    Science is F@ckin Cool.

  4. Dan Green
    May 1, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    I friended a “Gef Mongoose” on Facebook (really) when I ran across his name there a few years ago. I didn’t know his story at the time, just liked the name. The more I learn about Gef, the better it gets.

  5. Lee
    May 1, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    After listening to his threat I believe he was a respected authoritarian figure in the Mafioso!

  6. May 2, 2014 at 1:15 AM

    A transcript of my lecture “‘Gef’: A Modern Sphinx as an Esoteric Lesson about Oneness” may be read at

  7. KevinM
    May 8, 2014 at 9:52 PM

    Really people are still taking Gef seriously? As far as I’ve ever found in my (admittedly brief) research of the subject even Harry Price only presented the story as a “weird things people claim to have experienced” story not something he really advocated. Gef (assuming Gef existed) sounds more like a trickster spirit then a talking animal (less Mister Ed more Coyote or Loki). Regardless even as a believer in the paranormal I’d say the whole thing was a big pile of mongoose dung (your option if it was talking or not).

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