Cashen's Gap

views updated

Cashen's Gap

An isolated place on the Isle of Man, United Kingdom, known in the Manx dialect as Doarlish Cashen, that was the scene of a celebrated haunting by a talking mongoose named Gef. According to the Irving family, who lived at Cashen's Gap, this creature ate rabbits, spoke in various languages, learned nursery rhymes, and imitated other animals and birds.

The case was investigated personally by Harry Price in company with R. S. Lambert (then editor of the radio magazine The Listener ), but the animal refused to manifest until after they had left. The case may have been related to poltergeist phenomena, since Voirrey Irving, the 13-year-old daughter in the family, was closely associated with the manifestations of the talking mongoose. Price failed to detect any evidence of fraud.

The case was also investigated by Dr. Nandor Fodor, then chief research officer of the International Institute for Psychical Research. He interviewed several witnesses, some hostile to the phenomenon, but the evidence to support it proved strong. Fodor did not accept a poltergeist explanation and suggested half seriously that Gef may have been a mongoose that had learned to talk.

Many years later, after the whole affair had died down, a strange unidentified animal was killed in the district. Some suggested that it might have been Gef.


Price, Harry H., and R. S. Lambert. The Haunting of Cashen's Gap. London, 1936.