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Springheel Jack

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posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 06:33 AM
This is a strange creature of folklore. One I would of personally ignored it if wasn't for the fact that I was told my grandfather saw this strange creature(?).

It was in Birmingham in the 1960s (UK) it which this thing was seen in the garden where my grandfather lived, its clothing seemed to be sparking all over it jumped over a fence like it was on springs or something.

There has been many sightings of this creature including most recently in 2012. It seems to be ageless since sightings occurred before the turn of the century as well.

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 06:36 AM
reply to post by Frankinpillow

Hmm, never heard of that one at all. Not far from me either. Will keep an eye on this thread. See what emerges.

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 06:53 AM
reply to post by Frankinpillow

Found a bit on you you tube for you.

I reckon it's this guy.

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 07:06 AM
reply to post by Frankinpillow

Yeah i read about this when i was a kid. Some people now a days are convinced he was an alien because of his appearance, the way he acted and his ability to jump, something the German army once tried to replicate by placing springs in their boots. However they discontinued this practice after several German soldiers broke their ankles. Heres a bit more info,

It always puts me in mind of the Devils Footprints incident in Devon. Kind of a way lol

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 07:33 AM
reply to post by Frankinpillow


Talk about a blast from the past

My mum used to scare me into eating my vegetables telling me spring heeled Jack never attacked boys with vegetables inside them

What can I say ? It worked

I'd forgotten that, thanks for the memory


posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 10:45 AM
reply to post by Frankinpillow

Hi Frank,
Old jack is indeed a very interesting character, but he's visited ATS a few times before I'm afraid..

SHJ thread 1
SHJ thread 2
SHJ thread 3
SHJ thread 4
SHJ thread 5


posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 02:50 PM
So there is a Springheel Jack early 1800's London and then Jack the Ripper later 1800's London. What is the reasoning behind calling them 'Jack'? What is the meaning of 'Jack' beside it being a name?

The red glowing eyes and being able to leap or take to the sky is similar to the Moth Man of the Ohio River.
Why would a creature show themselves and then just jump away? Territorial perhaps but what's the point of making yourself known abruptly and then retreating into the dark?
How did the few people that are said to have died from the encounter die? Heart attack from fright maybe?

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 03:04 PM
reply to post by TheLieWeLive

I think Jack was used for a unknown person like we use John Doe, like you pointed out Jack the Ripper. The leaps and bounds that this entity seems to perform maybe something to do with gravity perhaps? Or may be there are a lot of forces at play here we are not aware of? I think all these events are inter linked somehow, perhaps trying to get our attention for some unknown reason.

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 03:59 PM
Like many ATSers, Spring-Heeled Jack was one of those characters in the books I read as a kid. As a kid, he seemed supernatural and scary. When I revisited the story as an adult, he seemed much more of an urban myth mixed in with Chinese Whispers and hysteria.

If we try and place ourselves back in old England, it was ripe for scary encounters in the gas-lit streets and my own imagination regards that location and era as a twilight place. It might be fun to be a time-travelling tourist, but who'd really want to live there? Not me.

Probably the best investigation of SHJ was undertaken by Mike Dash in his Spring-Heeled Jack paper; definitive imo. It's a heck of a long read and ultimately concluded that the original reports were genuine, but unlikely to be anything more than a group of noble/wealthy gentlemen pranking the urban populace for kicks.

If we make the assumption that some, at least, of the 1837-38 reports had some basis in fact, the ‘noble’ theory would neatly explain both the distribution and the sheer fecundity of reports. Such a relatively well-funded group would undoubtedly have had the means to travel from the far west of London to the East End, which in the days before public transport would have been a significant problem for the less well off. (According to one letter writer, ‘It is stated that some individual (‘gentleman’ he has been designated) drives about with a livery servant in a cab, and, throwing off a cloak, appears in these frightful forms’23.) They would also had the time and the motivation to make many appearances, in many different guises. A party of aristocrats might also be assumed to have access to the coat of mail and the bearskin Jack was rumoured to appear in, which any poorer imitators probably would not. Furthermore there are a couple of reports which suggest that Jack did not act alone, and was able to call on the assistance of some like-minded colleagues to carry out his assaults24, which ties in neatly enough with the notion of a group of wild young men out to settle a wager. The disappearance of the original ‘Jack’ in February 1838 might be explained either by the fulfilment of the terms of the bet, or by its abandonment in the face of increased police activity.
Mike Dash - SHJ (part 4)

Of course, the fact is we'll never know for sure and Dash is working on probability derived from all his research. He makes it clear that there is no evidence of a 'Gentleman's Club' doing all of this and yet neither is there any evidence that it was a freakish, supernatural being accosting woman. On balance of likelihood, it's more likely to have been a human perpetrator.

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 04:07 PM
reply to post by Frankinpillow

Book marking this for now. I think this is a great topic, but I don't think Spring Heel Jack is anymore a "Cryptid" then Jack the Ripper is.

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 04:51 PM
Lionel Fanthorpe, a fantastic storyteller who appears from time to time on late night radio, tells this tale in a most entertaining manner. However, I have to admit that I've not heard him speak of any appearance of "Jack" in the modern era as his tales are from the Victorian era and earlier.

posted on Jan, 20 2014 @ 10:53 AM
I once had an interesting discussion with Laura Leuters, one of the founders of the New Jersey Devil Hunters group.
They are a group of researchers, dedicated to investigating the truth about the NJDevil (a cryptid from around the NJ Pine Barrens).

Our discussion basically circled around the fact that there were so many striking similarities between various different entities or cryptids, e.g. Mothman, NJD, and Spring Heeled Jack.

I always felt that the original eye witness descriptions of SHJ from the streets of victorian London may have been tainted or biased by the mentality of that place & time.
If you are accosted by an unknown entity... and decide to report it... you have 2 clear choices;

1. Tell the absolute truth, no matter how crazy it might make you look, or
2. Tell a more acceptable version of the truth that won't make you look crazy.

If, in victorian London, you reported being accosted by some supernatural winged, fire-breathing, red-eyed, sharp-clawed, cloven-footed beast / creature... you might well find yourself being carted off to the "nut-house"
But, if you bend it a little, and say that it was an oily-caped figure with steel bladed gloves... you are not suspected of anything and the authorities are still on the alert.

The commonest features that were attributed to SHJ were:
Red glowing eyes.
Ability to breathe out a blue flame.
Razor sharp talons / claws.
A dark oily (oilskin?) cloak.
The ability to leap huge distances (even over a 10 foot wall or from rooftop to rooftop across a street).
Cloven hoofed feet (or tracks).

Well, guess what the most common attributes of the NJD are??
Red glowing eyes, the ability to breathe out a blue flame, razor sharp claws, dark oily WINGS, the ability to leap (or fly) huge distances (up into tall trees etc) and cloven hoofed feet!

There are some differences too... SHJ was sometimes described as having a helmet on? and sometimes a tight-fitting costume? and having "sharp" features, where NJD tends to be described as more animal... horse (or kangaroo)-like head and no clothing, but I always felt that the similarities outweighed the differences?

Even Mothman shares many of the commonalities too - red glowing eyes, dark wings, claws, leaping/flying etc

Wonder if they are all related in some way??

Anyway, great topic!

posted on Jan, 20 2014 @ 05:00 PM
One of my favorites. For a similar modern day citing, look up the O'DONNEL HEIGHTS PHANTOM.

posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 04:50 PM
He is quite obviously a Warhammer 40,000 Eldar Harlequin.

He's got bright clownlike clothes that sparkles(?).

He's jumping all over fences like a madman - a flip belt, an anti-gravity device.

He's got some kind of death mask or otherwise bizarre mask.

He seemingly pops in and out of dimensions.

He seems to have a penchant for drama.

posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 08:50 PM
A more recent account from 2012

"On the side of our road is a bank easily 15ft in height and this figure crossed our road, climbed this bank and was gone from sight all in about two seconds.

"All four of us were baffled and voiced our sighting straight away with the same detail. A dark figure with no real features, but fast in movement with an ease of hurdling obstacles I've never seen."

It seems alive and well.

posted on Jan, 28 2014 @ 12:47 AM
reply to post by boymonkey74

"Glowing red eyes"

I've never read that about him before... intriguing.

He was one of the subjects in a book I read as a kid, I think I still have it somewhere, called True Monster Stories.

If I remember rightly, the first recorded case of his fire-breathing trick was on a woman's doorstep. She answered when someone knocked, someone who commanded that she bring him a lantern as he was a police officer (He might have mentioned that Spring-heeled Jack had been spotted in the area... I forget) When she brought him the lantern, it lit up his face to reveal "bulging eyes." He then breathed across the flame, blowing fire into the woman's face.

I'll have to go find the book, but I'm sure it was something like that...


posted on Jan, 28 2014 @ 04:06 AM
This is one of those anomalies that's so weird, it's hard to know where to start.

Some of the aspects are so stylized, it reeks of affectation: the blue fire-breathing and metal claws, for example.

If not stylized, it becomes even more unbelievable as one must posit an additional spectrum of fearsome, fire-breathing, flying, armored creatures with intelligence... although admittedly, dragon is a word we use for such things in broad form.

posted on Jan, 28 2014 @ 08:45 PM
reply to post by Gordi The Drummer

What is the big deal if something good is repeated? Use your energy on the political crap that gets put on here.

I get on here everyday yet I don't remember seeing Spring heel Jack.

posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 10:56 AM

reply to post by Gordi The Drummer

What is the big deal if something good is repeated? Use your energy on the political crap that gets put on here.

I get on here everyday yet I don't remember seeing Spring heel Jack.

Hi max,

It's not a big deal. I Never said it was, but... I did say that it was an interesting topic!
I thought that since the OP seems interested in SHJ, that he might want to know that it's been discussed on ATS already.
(There could be some really good info in there that he's missed? and I don't see any problem with pointing that out.
Am sorry if you or anyone else was annoyed at me for pointing that out... but why would you be??

"Use your energy on the political crap..." ?????? Where's that coming from? Completely uncalled for IMHO.

You say that you're here everyday but have never heard of SHJ?
Well, now you have, and thanks to me - you now have 5 more great threads to look at!

btw - I also contributed to the thread with a later post which ADDED something to the discussion.



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 09:26 PM
reply to post by Gordi The Drummer

Sorry, about that.

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