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Spring Heeled Jack - what was/is he?


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#1    The Chez

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:04 AM

Many a victorian story will tell you of a horrid 'thing' known as 'Spring Heeled Jack'. He got this title because he was known to be able to leap to hights impossible to master by even the most surefooted of people. He dived down at people in the dark and was said to attack them, leaving many wounded and some dead.

So what was/is this thing? Is it just another fabricated story from the paranoid Victorian era of walking corpses and ghouls? Or is he a prankster gone too far? What about a demon? A type of faerie?

Me, I'm not too sure what I think he is, I reckon he was probably a very nasty person who could spint and jump, so quite a fit person, and people he had attacked just imagined he was able to jump to very high hights due to the sudden shock of being attacked. However, reports of him continued a long time past this era, too long for any person to be able to live...

Who/what do YOU think Spring Heeled Jack is?


#2    Conrad Clough

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:17 AM

SHJ is always interesting to think about, the idea of him scared the heck out of me when I was a kid (I first read about him when I was eight or nine). I am not going to speculate on what SHJ might have been (if he was ever anything at all), but I will be following this thread with great interest.


#3    Arbitran

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 01:08 AM

View PostThe Chez, on 13 April 2012 - 12:04 AM, said:

Many a victorian story will tell you of a horrid 'thing' known as 'Spring Heeled Jack'. He got this title because he was known to be able to leap to hights impossible to master by even the most surefooted of people. He dived down at people in the dark and was said to attack them, leaving many wounded and some dead.

So what was/is this thing? Is it just another fabricated story from the paranoid Victorian era of walking corpses and ghouls? Or is he a prankster gone too far? What about a demon? A type of faerie?

Me, I'm not too sure what I think he is, I reckon he was probably a very nasty person who could spint and jump, so quite a fit person, and people he had attacked just imagined he was able to jump to very high hights due to the sudden shock of being attacked. However, reports of him continued a long time past this era, too long for any person to be able to live...

Who/what do YOU think Spring Heeled Jack is?

From my Hindu point of view, the legend of Spring-Heeled Jack matches quite closely to the descriptions of rakshasas. If you are interested in learning more about the rakshasas, you may strike up a conversation with me; it would take far to long to write it all out here.

Try to realize it's all within yourself / No-one else can make you change / And to see you're really only very small / And life flows on within you and without you. / We were talking about the love that's gone so cold and the people / Who gain the world and lose their soul / They don't know they can't see are you one of them? / When you've seen beyond yourself then you may find peace of mind / Is waiting there / And the time will come / when you see we're all one and life flows on within you and without you. ~ George Harrison

#4    Q-C

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 04:33 AM

View PostArbitran, on 13 April 2012 - 01:08 AM, said:

From my Hindu point of view, the legend of Spring-Heeled Jack matches quite closely to the descriptions of rakshasas. If you are interested in learning more about the rakshasas, you may strike up a conversation with me; it would take far to long to write it all out here.

There was a rakshasa in an episode of a paranormal detective show out of the 1970's in the US, Nightstalker. Very cheesy show, but we liked it. Rakshasa was my nickname, heck we were kids.


@ Conrad Clough, yes I found SHJ stories very creepy too. Maybe it is just the dark foggy ol' England that adds that extra something

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#5    Arbitran

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 04:34 AM

View PostQuiteContrary, on 13 April 2012 - 04:33 AM, said:

There was a rakshasa in an episode of a paranormal detective show out of the 1970's in the US, Nightstalker. Very cheesy show, but we liked it. Rakshasa was my nickname, heck we were kids.


@ Conrad Clough, yes I found SHJ stories very creepy too. Maybe it is just the dark foggy ol' England that adds that extra something

Ah, so you might know a little something about rakshasas?

Try to realize it's all within yourself / No-one else can make you change / And to see you're really only very small / And life flows on within you and without you. / We were talking about the love that's gone so cold and the people / Who gain the world and lose their soul / They don't know they can't see are you one of them? / When you've seen beyond yourself then you may find peace of mind / Is waiting there / And the time will come / when you see we're all one and life flows on within you and without you. ~ George Harrison

#6    Q-C

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 04:37 AM

View PostArbitran, on 13 April 2012 - 04:34 AM, said:

Ah, so you might know a little something about rakshasas?

No, this was 35+ years ago on a cheesy show. I just remember the show and my nickname. :)

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#7    DKO

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 04:46 AM

Theres already HEAPS of threads on this topic.

Use the search first.
Spring heeled jack searches

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#8    Arbitran

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 05:16 AM

View PostQuiteContrary, on 13 April 2012 - 04:37 AM, said:

No, this was 35+ years ago on a cheesy show. I just remember the show and my nickname. :)

Ah, I see.

Try to realize it's all within yourself / No-one else can make you change / And to see you're really only very small / And life flows on within you and without you. / We were talking about the love that's gone so cold and the people / Who gain the world and lose their soul / They don't know they can't see are you one of them? / When you've seen beyond yourself then you may find peace of mind / Is waiting there / And the time will come / when you see we're all one and life flows on within you and without you. ~ George Harrison

#9    Winterwind

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 08:06 AM

View PostConrad Clough, on 13 April 2012 - 12:17 AM, said:

SHJ is always interesting to think about, the idea of him scared the heck out of me when I was a kid (I first read about him when I was eight or nine). I am not going to speculate on what SHJ might have been (if he was ever anything at all), but I will be following this thread with great interest.

SHJ always fascinated me too. Even as an adult there was a creepy factor. A few years ago I was working on a writing project involving SHJ and would creep myself out, walking home at night and thinking "What if he's in the trees above me?". Nothing better than giving yourself a fright when you're all grown up. :)

As for a serious theory, I've always felt it was a hoax perpetuated by sensationalism. If SHJ had been some truly evil being, I'd have expected far more than just frightening a few people.

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#10    Arbitran

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 09:14 PM

View PostWinterwind, on 14 April 2012 - 08:06 AM, said:

SHJ always fascinated me too. Even as an adult there was a creepy factor. A few years ago I was working on a writing project involving SHJ and would creep myself out, walking home at night and thinking "What if he's in the trees above me?". Nothing better than giving yourself a fright when you're all grown up. :)

As for a serious theory, I've always felt it was a hoax perpetuated by sensationalism. If SHJ had been some truly evil being, I'd have expected far more than just frightening a few people.

That's the thing, I'm not sure Spring-Heeled Jack was truly evil. A rakshasa is not intrinsically malevolent, however has a lifestyle far different from humans--which can sometimes involve killing humans.

Try to realize it's all within yourself / No-one else can make you change / And to see you're really only very small / And life flows on within you and without you. / We were talking about the love that's gone so cold and the people / Who gain the world and lose their soul / They don't know they can't see are you one of them? / When you've seen beyond yourself then you may find peace of mind / Is waiting there / And the time will come / when you see we're all one and life flows on within you and without you. ~ George Harrison

#11    TheLastLazyGun

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 03:29 PM

Spring-Heeled Jack was an alien.  Maybe he was stranded on Earth.  The reason why he was able to bounce such huge distances is because his planet has stronger gravity than Earth has.


#12    Conrad Clough

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 03:54 PM

I find 'SHJ was a stranded space-man' solutions to be very unsatisfactory myself.


#13    TheLastLazyGun

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:09 PM

View PostConrad Clough, on 15 April 2012 - 03:54 PM, said:

I find 'SHJ was a stranded space-man' solutions to be very unsatisfactory myself.

Why?  It is just one of several theories as to who he was.  But it's what I believe.


#14    Arbitran

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:26 PM

View PostTheLastLazyGun, on 15 April 2012 - 03:29 PM, said:

Spring-Heeled Jack was an alien.  Maybe he was stranded on Earth.  The reason why he was able to bounce such huge distances is because his planet has stronger gravity than Earth has.

I can't say anything towards the "stranded" idea, but I do think that if indeed SHJ was a rakshasa, as I think, he would thus be extraterrestrial. It is not explicitly clear what sort of planet the rakshasa race hails from, but brute strength, combined with factors such as possible high gravity, may account for the noted leaping ability.

Try to realize it's all within yourself / No-one else can make you change / And to see you're really only very small / And life flows on within you and without you. / We were talking about the love that's gone so cold and the people / Who gain the world and lose their soul / They don't know they can't see are you one of them? / When you've seen beyond yourself then you may find peace of mind / Is waiting there / And the time will come / when you see we're all one and life flows on within you and without you. ~ George Harrison

#15    Arbitran

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:49 PM

View PostTheLastLazyGun, on 15 April 2012 - 03:29 PM, said:

Spring-Heeled Jack was an alien.  Maybe he was stranded on Earth.  The reason why he was able to bounce such huge distances is because his planet has stronger gravity than Earth has.

I can't say anything towards the "stranded" idea, but I do think that if indeed SHJ was a rakshasa, as I think, he would thus be extraterrestrial. It is not explicitly clear what sort of planet the rakshasa race hails from, but brute strength, combined with factors such as possible high gravity, may account for the noted leaping ability.

Try to realize it's all within yourself / No-one else can make you change / And to see you're really only very small / And life flows on within you and without you. / We were talking about the love that's gone so cold and the people / Who gain the world and lose their soul / They don't know they can't see are you one of them? / When you've seen beyond yourself then you may find peace of mind / Is waiting there / And the time will come / when you see we're all one and life flows on within you and without you. ~ George Harrison




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