Spring Heeled Jack - was he a creature, an alien, or a man wearing some strange costume and a hidden jumping apparatus? During the 1830's, this 'man' terrorized England. Described as tall, thin, powerful, wearing a black cloak, the man could jump 20 to 30 feet vertical. It was reported that he had large pointy ears and nose, with red glowing eyes, and capable of spitting an odd white and blue flame from his mouth.
Can you imagine a mysterious masked creature that looks like a black shadow, with a monkey-like face, flaming red eyes, and sharp metal claws, attacking people at night, jumping four stories high and disappearing into thin air? Bunk, you say? Well, that's not what the people in East Delhi, India, thought last year. In May, just such a creature was repeatedly spotted, instilling terror and claiming two lives. The craze got to a point where vigilante groups armed with sticks patrolled the streets at night on the lookout for the creature and police announced a 50,000 rupee ($1,067) reward for information leading to its capture.1
He wore a large helmet and a sort of tight-fitting costume that felt like oilskin. But the cape was just like the ones worn by the policemen. His hands were as cold as ice and like powerful claws. But the most frightening thing about him was his eyes. They shone like balls of fire.---Jane Alsop
In August of 1877, Spring Heeled Jack appeared before a group of soldiers in Aldershot's North army camp.Spring Heeled Jack leapt and spat blue flames from his mouth.Witnesses claim that Spring Heeled Jack jumped over the men, clearing them by 10 feet or more.The sentry described the attacker as tall and thin wearing a helmet and oilskin suit.
ive got a book with a whole section on this creature person. ill try and dig it out see if theres any interesting things in there
Originally posted by Rev
The book I had said SHJ was a character n dime novels. Completely fictional.
Maybe they were wrong
Letters From Hell by Stewart P. Evans and Keith Skinner, tells readers that Spring Heeled Jack has: vague real-life origins of an attacker of women, whos identity was never known, so I consulted my library and the Internet to find out more about this real-life villain:
Over a period of nearly 70 years, a leaping madman startled and attacked young women. His attacks were often reported in the local and national press of England, however few people believed these tales when they started and today it is thought that he was just a made up bogeyman, used by parents to warn and control their misbehaving children.
Press reports of a peculiar leaping man appeared as early as 1817, then on October 11th of 1837 Polly Adams was attacked by a man that could leap over fences. In January of the following year, a resident of Peckham sent a letter to the Lord Mayor of London describing an attack by a creature he called Spring Heeled Jack. From then on, the press references to the attacker changed from Leaping Terror, and, Suburban Ghost to Spring Heeled Jack.
Nobody seems certain when Jack first appeared. Many sources say that reports of a peculiar leaping man were in circulation as early as 1817, but it was not until 1838 that Spring Heeled Jack became a figure of considerable and widespread interest and speculation. On 9th January 1838 the Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Sir John Cowan, revealed, at a public session held in the Mansion House, the contents of a letter he had received several days earlier. He had withheld it, he said, in the hope of obtaining further information. The correspondent, who signed the letter a resident of Peckham, wrote that, as the result of a wager, a person of the highest rank had adopted several frightening guises and set out to scare 30 people to death. He had already succeeded in depriving seven ladies of their senses, two of whom were not likely to recover, but likely to become burdens to their families. The resident of Peckham continued:
"The affair has now been going on for
some time, and, strange to say, the
papers are still silent on the subject.
The writer has reason to believe that
they have the whole history at their
finger-ends but, through interested
motives, are induced to remain silent."
We do not know why the Lord Mayor made the contents of the letter public, nor can we judge the truth of the letters allegation of a press cover-up, but from the quantity of letters that poured into the Mansion House it is clear that the activities of Spring Heeled Jack were common knowledge in suburban London.
Spring Heeled Jack had appeared as a milk-white bull, a white bear, and an enormous baboon; he had been seen dressed in a suit of shining brass armour, and on one occasion in one of burnished steel; once, in Hackney, he appeared as a lamplighter - who walked upon his hands and carried his ladder between his feet. His ability to make prodigious leaps was popularly ascribed to springs attached to his boots.
We tend to regard the Victorian era as an age of science and reason, not unlike our own. However, there was another Victorian age, running parallel with this, an age that believed in phrenology (reading fortunes via bumps on the head) and fairies, in ghosts and galvanism, in photographs and séances. And some Victorians, at least, believed in a man called Spring-Heeled Jack.
Sightings of Spring-Heeled Jack are recorded across England, from London and Chichester up to Liverpool, but they were especially prevalent in the Black Country, where they peeked in the 1880s. Descriptions of the creature vary, but the salient characteristics were his goatee beard, pointed ears and horns, and flashing, fiery eyes. Illustrations in the popular (and sensationalist) magazines called Penny Dreadfuls, show him as a kind of Hispanic version of the Devil. The one feature that never varied was his ability to jump; to leap over rooftops and across hedges. Such agility always allowed him to terrify his victims and to escape his pursuers. A bounder, indeed.
Originally posted by Creepy
maybe just a man in a costume with real springs in his heals...the original sightings lasted about the length of a human lifespan...or might have been a "weapon" the English were testing...
[Edited on 18-9-2003 by Creepy]