The following paragraph is taken from Richard Morris’ Harry Price: The Psychic Detective, page xv. It is likely one of the best I have read in a long time:
He sought out a talking mongoose called Gef on the Isle of Man, who it was said spoke several languages, could recite poetry, travelled around the island on a bus to bring back gossip and was partial to cream buns. Price also set out to prove the uselessness of transcendental magic by showing how attempting to turn a goat into a handsome man on top of the Harz mountains in Germany was bound to fail. It did, but he got to smear the chest of an attractive girl with a stick black substance which he claimed was an alchemical ointment, though The Times described it as ‘looking and smelling exactly like boot polish.’ The event, though, did bring him an appreciative audience, largely made up of prominent Nazis.