WAS HE HUMAN OR DEMONIC?
|Spring Heeled Jack Evades A Pursuer|
One of the strangest unsolved mysteries of Victorian London is the curious case of Spring Heeled Jack. Various witnesses attributed Jack with the ability to leap tremendous heights and he was described as having a terrible and frightful appearance, clawed hands and eyes of red fire, he wore an oilskin suit with a black coat and facial helmet and leaped from nowhere to confront his unfortunate victims.
The first claimed sighting of Spring Heeled Jack was by a business man in 1837 who, when returning home from work late one night was confronted by a muscular man who jumped from the high railings of a cemetery wall to land in his path, although no attack took place Jack was described as having devilish features including a pointed chin, long pointed ears and nose and glowing eyes and thus the urban legend of Spring Heeled Jack was born. Later in 1837 Jack was to appear twice more, Mary Stevens a servant girl was returning to her workplace at Lavender Hill via Clapham Common when a strange figure attacked her in an alleyway, the attacker who held her in a tight grip ripped her clothes with his sharp claws and kissed her face, the attacker fled when in a panic she screamed loudly, the very next day however Jack was to appear in front of more than one witness when he jumped down in front of a horse drawn carriage causing the coachman to lose control and crash, this led to him being seriously injured , several witnesses saw Jack escape by jumping a 9ft wall cackling with laughter as he fled.
The most notorious accounts of Spring Heeled Jack were related by two teenage girls Lucy Scales and Jane Alsop. On the night of February 19th 1838 Jane Alsop answered the door at her fathers house to a stranger who claiming to be a policeman begged her to bring a light saying they had caught Spring Heeled Jack in the lane, once she handed a candle over to the stranger she noticed he wore a large black cloak which he then threw back revealing his true hideous appearance, he vomited blue and white flames and his eyes resembled red balls of fire, Jack attacked Miss Alsop with what she described as metallic claws , ripping her gown, she managed to scramble away but Jack caught her and only fled when he was disturbed by Miss Alsops sister. Eight days later 18 year old Lucy Scales was returning with her sister from their brothers house when they spotted a person standing at an angle in a passage, as they neared the man he bounded in front of Lucy spitting blue flame in to her face, after hearing screams the brother ran from his house into the passage to find Lucy suffering a violent fit being comforted by his other sister, The Times reported this case as The Late Outrage at Old Ford.Numerous accounts of Spring Heeled Jack were reported throughout the 1800s, not just in London but throughout the length and breadth of England and even in Scotland, in one instance in 1877 Jack was seen at an army barracks in Aldershot, a sentry being alerted by a figure who bounded towards him making a metallic sound, the soldier challenged the stranger who leaped in front of him slapping him around the face several times with icy cold hands, after hearing a commotion several men rushed to the place but Jack eluded them by jumping several feet over their heads and landing behind them. In Lord Ernest Hamiltons memoirs written in 1922 he recalls that the events at Aldershot were not peculiar to there and that similar events had occurred the year previously when his regiment had been based at Colchester, Hamilton recalled how sentries were ordered to shoot on site if Jack was spotted.
|The Marquis of Waterford|
Entities similar to Jack have been reported from other parts of the world , in the Czech Republic a similar figure known as the Spring Man of Prague became a folklore hero and starred in a series of comic books fighting the Nazi SS. In Houston Texas in the USA a figure was reported as being sighted in a pecan tree by three witnesses who described a character dressed in a black cape , tight fitting pants and quarter length boots. There are similarities between Jack and some other mysterious legendary entities such as The Mothman of the USA and The Owlman of Cornwall and Jack is very similar in appearance to the Japanese thunder god Raiden, although Raiden legends claim he was a predator of men who devoured them eating them through their navels!