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keithisco

Spring-Heeled Jack

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Posted (edited)

I was researching into the history of the East End of London, and came upon this article which tells of an horrific series of assaults by "someone" with "glowing red eyes" and claws for hands. There appears to be a close corollary with the Mothman legend / Myth in the U.S. Glowing red - eyes, A cape (or enclosing membraneous wings), claws for hands. The Duke of Wellington's involvement adds more spice to the accounts.

What other info does anyone have? I would be interested in parallel accounts.

"One February night, in 1838, sisters Lucy and Margaret Scales were walking home from their brother’s house in Limehouse. At 8.30pm it was already dark as they passed Green Dragon Alley. Suddenly, a cloaked silhouette leapt from the darkness and breathed blue flame into Lucy’s face. The laughing figure jumped high over his victim and her sister and landed on the roof of a house. From there he bounded off into the night.

If the attack was shocking it wasn’t without precedent. The previous September, 1837, a businessman had taken a short cut across Barnes Common in west London a known-haunt for the muggers of the day. A figure vaulted the railings of the cemetery as if from a springboard and landed in front of him. The figure had pointed ears, glowing eyes, and a pointed nose. The following night, the strange figure assailed three girls on the common. This time he grabbed at one of them, trying to tear her clothes off. More strange attacks had followed, in Lavender Hill and Clapham.

And by the early weeks of 1838, reports of attacks were mounting. In January, the Lord Mayor himself, Sir John Cowan, made public a letter he had received from a Peckham dweller, giving details of an attack. By now the assailant even had a name – Spring-Heeled Jack.

Now Jack had crossed the river to the East End, the next assault wasn’t long in coming. Two days after Green Dragon Alley, 18-year-old Jane Alsop answered a ring at the door of her father’s house in Bearhind Lane, Bow. Jane saw a caped man in the shadows. ‘I’m a policeman,’ he said. ‘Bring a light! We’ve caught Spring-Heeled Jack in the lane!’

Jane fetched the candle, but on offering it to the ‘constable’ saw a horrific sight. The candelight illuminated glowing red eyes and a hooked nose. And before Jane could escape he pursed his lips and a jet of phosphorescent gas; he then grabbed the girl and started to tear at her clothes. Her screams drew her sisters from the house; they snatched Jane and slammed the door in Jack's face.

Though shocked, she gave a detailed description. ‘He wore a large helmet, and a sort of tight-fitting costume that felt like oilskin. But the cape was like the ones worn by policemen. His hands were cold as ice, and like powerful claws. But the most frightening thing about him was his eyes. They shone like balls of fire.’

A week later, a servant answered his master’s front door in Turner Street, off Commercial Road. A cloaked figure asked, from the shadows, if he could talk to the master of the house, a Mr Ashworth. As the boy turned, the visitor moved into the light. The boy recoiled when he saw that the caller had bright orange eyes and claws for hands. He also noticed, beneath the cloak, a coat of arms with ‘W’ was picked out in gold. So notorious by now was Jack and his ‘eyes of Hell’ that the servant knew immediately who he was. His screams seemed to throw the intruder; Jack shook his fist at the boy, then bounded away across the roofs of Commercial Road.

While many Londoners decided the safest thing to do was stay indoors, others became vigilantes. The 70-year-old Duke of Wellington read of Jack’s attacks in The Times. He grabbed his pistols, leapt out of retirement and onto his horse, and prowled London’s streets at night, searching for the leaping fiend. But even if the veteran of Waterloo could be in the right place at the right time (he never was) it was questionable if he could have laid gunshot on Jack. For by now he was assuming apparently immortal powers. Apart from the ability to jump onto roofs he could repel bullets. There are stories of men firing at Jack – rounds that ‘richocheted off with a metallic sound’.

But there were pointers to more earthly devices too. At the scene of one of Jack’s early escapes – on Clapham Common – police found footprints. They were human, and deeply embedded into the damp earth, as if a man had hit the ground with force. But there was another imprint within them – not anything so supernatural as a cloven hoof, but the mark of some device; observers began to speculate that Jack might be using tightly-packed springs to effect his springing onto rooftops. Some wondered if the embroidered 'W' was the initial of the Marquis of Waterford – a cruel practical joker and prankster who had gone to enormous lengths to bankroll previous, infamous hoaxes.

And then the trail went dead … for a while. In August 1877, Jack popped up at Aldershot barracks. A month later he scared a gang of yokels in Lincolnshire, and the sightings went on, through the years and over the decades, moving steadily west and north through England – possibly less an indication of an immortal on the move than the spread of an urban myth, by word of mouth, in the days before radio and TV.

The myth appears again over the decades, in the 1940s in Wales, in the 1970s in Sheffield. And doesn’t caped crusader Batman – pointed ears, piercing eyes, hood, cape and the ability to scale and leap buildings – bear a strange resemblance to Jack?"

Courtesy WWW.EASTLONDONHISTORY.COM

Edited by keithisco

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Most of that is in line with what I found in a book - I never read that book much- always freaked me out >_>

Never read it in the evenings- ever.

But, just for this, I'll have a look. (BTW, might have been wearing powerisers :P )

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Thats a bit like MR.hyde

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Posted (edited)

Wasn't Jack supossed to rape women? At least that's what I had heard of the legend. Either way, I think it would have been fun to hunt him. Nothing tops a good English supper like a most dangerous game.

EDIT: Illistration of Jack

linked-image

And here is the wikipedia.org article on this man.

Edited by rosenrot

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Yeah, what rosenrot said about him raping women is what I heard. But, I also hear he killed people too.

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^Hmm, I never heard that Jack killed people...

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^Hmm, I never heard that Jack killed people...

I THINK that the article I read had him raping women and MAYBE killing others who got in his way. I'll try to provide a link. Maybe I need to reread that. ^_^

Springheel Jack

Ok, I just reread it. Nothing about killing people, but it also didn't say much about him raping women. Unless you consider tearing clothing as rape.

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The only similarities are the red eyes. Spring heeled jack was a human.

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Posted (edited)

I personally think that springheeled jack was a very smart man who used his intelligence for other readons.. he probably made a spring device thatt would allow him to jump very high, as for him having red eyes maybe he was albino or high on drugs here is and example of the the thing he was able to make

http://superdairyboy.com/poweriser.html

Edited by BoxHead

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I think there were sightings of a reature similar to Springheel Jack in 2005 in Argentina.

Rooftop Madman

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Posted (edited)

I think there were sightings of a reature similar to Springheel Jack in 2005 in Argentina.

Rooftop Madman

linked-image

Spring Heeled Jack, mostly witnessed in the dark, disease-ridden, gaslit streets of Victorian Britain, was able jump and leap great distances, even bounding from rooftops to other rooftops across the other side of the road

Spring Heeled Jack was reported throughout Britain, not just London, between 1837 and 1986.

Many theories have been proposed to ascertain the nature and identity of Spring Heeled Jack, none of which has completely explained the phenomenon.

By the end of the 19th century, the reported sightings of Spring Heeled Jack were moving towards western England. In September 1904, in Everton, in north Liverpool, Spring Heeled Jack allegedly appeared on the rooftop of Saint Francis Xavier's Church, in Salisbury Street. Witnesses reported that he suddenly jumped and fell to the ground, landing behind a nearby house.

When they rushed to the point, so the story goes, they faced there a tall and muscular man, fully dressed in white and wearing an "egg shaped" helmet, standing there waiting. He laughed hysterically at the crowd and rushed towards them, making several women gasp in dismay. Clearing them all with a gigantic leap, he disappeared behind the neighbouring houses.

In South Herefordshire, not far from the Welsh border, a travelling salesman named Marshall claimed at some unspecified time until as late as 1997 to have had an encounter with a Spring Heeled Jack–like entity in 1986. The man leaped in enormous, inhuman bounds, passed Marshall on the road, and slapped his cheek. He wore what the salesman described as a black ski-suit, and Marshall noted that he had an elongated chin.

A variety of paranormal explanations have been proposed to explain the origin of Spring Heeled Jack. Such explanations include:

An extraterrestrial entity with a non-human appearance and features, (e.g., retro-reflective red eyes, or phosphorous breath) and a super-human agility deriving from life on a high gravity world, jumping ability. strange behaviour.

A visitor from another dimension, who could have entered into this plane through a wormhole or dimensional gate.

A demon, accidentally or purposefully summoned into this world by practitioners of the occult or who made himself manifest simply to create spiritual turmoil.

Also around at the same time as Spring Heeled Jack was another famous Jack - Jack the Ripper (1888). Both Spring Heeled Jack and Jack the Ripper are still figures whose idenitities are unknown. Eerily, many people have said that they could have been the SAME person. Also, both Spring Heeled Jack and Jack the Ripper only targeted women. And Spring Heeled Jack is known to have have killed one person - a prostitute.

Edited by Blackwhite

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Posted (edited)

The Mystery of Spring Heel Jack - Jack the Ripper?

linked-image

Prostitute Elizabeth Stride, the third victim of Jack the Ripper (photographed 1888). Does that mean she was also the victim of Spring Heeled Jack, whose only known murder is of a prostitute?

One of his first victims was Polly Adams. He ripped off the top of her dress and scratched her stomach. His fingers felt like steel.

On the night of February 20th, a stranger appeared at a gate of a house in London and yelled for someone to bring a light. They had caught Springheel Jack in a lane. Jane Alsop, 18, brought out a lit candle. The London Times recorded what happened in its February 22nd edition. What she saw was a figure wearing a big cloak. He threw it off and pressed the lit candle to his breast. He was scary and grotesque. He spewed forth blue and white flames from his mouth. He lunged at her. His hands were like claws and ripped at her dress. Jane's sister rescued her by pulling her into the house and slamming the door.

Jack knocked on the door several times. He finally left when the family looked out of an upstairs window and yelled for the police. The monstrosity ran across a field and dropped his cloak. The garment was picked up by someone else and the Alsops and the police concluded that Jack had an accomplice.

Most of Jack's victims were females.

The attacks were sporadic and happened throughout 1839, 1843 and 1845. He was brazen and attacked in the daylight hours and in front of many witnesses. In 1845, during the day and in front of witnesses, he leapt toward a young prostitute who was crossing a bridge in a London slum. He seized her by the shoulders and spewed forth fire from his mouth into her face. He threw her into an open sewer and watched her drown. This was the only murder he committed.

He was bizarre, but the authorities assumed he was a real person. It was rumored that he was Henry the Marquis of Waterford, a young Irish member of the nobility. He was rowdy and had a cruel sense of humor. There were two major flaws with this theory.

It is impossible to leap with springs concealed in the heels of boots. During World War Two, German soldiers tried this. It is said that 85% of them broke their ankles. Henry died in 1859. In 1877, Jack was seen happily jumping from rooftop to rooftop in Caistor, Norfolk. Almost all of the residents witnessed his antics. They reported that he had large ears and wore a garment that resembled sheepskin. That August, Jack appeared to soldiers at Aldershot's North Camp. He wore an oilskin suit and a shining helmet. One of the soldiers shot Jack. Although the bullet went through his body, he was not affected.

The last known England sighting was in Liverpool in September 1904.

Jack was seen in 1938 during the summer, by young people. The location was Silver City, New Mexico. None of the witnesses had heard of Jack. He was seen in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. All of the witnesses said blue flames spewed forth out of his mouth and he jumped so high in the air that he appeared to have springs in his boots.

June 18th, 1953 at 2 AM, Jack was seen by three Houston residents. They were sitting in front of their apartment building and saw a large shadow cross the lawn, then jump up into a pecan tree. It was a tall man wearing a black cape, tight fitting grey or black clothes and quarter length boots. One witness thought she saw wings, but it could have been the cape. A few minutes later, the man melted away. After he disappeared, there was a loud swooshing sound across the street followed by a fast ascent of a rocket shaped object.

The police investigated and found the witnesses sincere and very frightened. If what they saw was Jack, it was the only time he was seen accompanied by a UFO.

Jack has been seen in other parts of the U. S. Usually once a decade, there have been newspaper reports of the sightings. The reports are similar to those in Victorian England.

Theories about what Jack is range from an alien with incredible powers to a ghost.

Could Springheel Jack be Jack the Ripper? Jack the Ripper is probably the most well known of the serial killers. It is one of the most intriguing because it has not been solved. There are theories about his identity, yet none are proven. Jack the Ripper terrorized and killed prostitutes in the Whitechapel district of London from August to November 1888. Springheel's reign of terror and attacks began in England in 1837 and ended in 1904. One of Springheel's stomping grounds was London. The only known murder victim of Springheel was a prostitute.

Makes as much sense to me as the other theories.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Clark, Jerome. Unexplained! ISBN: 0-8103-9436-7.

Stapleton, KC. Phantom Attackers. www.whatwasthen.com/phantom_attackers.html

http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/parano..._realm/117631/2

Edited by Blackwhite

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The possibility of Spring-Heeled Jack and Jack the Ripper being the same entity is interesting to say the least. It does raise interesting questions seeing as both only targeted women.

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The possibility of Spring-Heeled Jack and Jack the Ripper being the same entity is interesting to say the least. It does raise interesting questions seeing as both only targeted women.

I agree. Have read about Springheeled Jack myself but the one thing that seperates them is the fact that Jack the Ripper actuallykilled his victims. Though the idea that Springheeled Jack having scratched his victims and "it felt like steel" gives a reason for comparison. Or maybe he was a older version of Freddy Krueger?

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well infact there are more that just one thing in common between the two.

The fact that both of them launch into the air the mothman not flapping his wings but apparently just launching himself up. Also the only evidence either have left behind are deep footprints SHJ's where interpreted as a jumping mechanism wheras they interpretted mothman as wiegh 2000 pounds from memory the fact the mothman was using a spring mechanism to me seems much more likely.

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Jack be nimble

Jack be quick

Jack jump over

the candlestick

:P

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Wasn't Jack supossed to rape women? At least that's what I had heard of the legend. Either way, I think it would have been fun to hunt him. Nothing tops a good English supper like a most dangerous game.

EDIT: Illistration of Jack

linked-image

And here is the wikipedia.org article on this man.

Yes,He raped and killed women,

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Yes,He raped and killed women,

Names please. I never heard that he killed women.

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Jack be nimble

Jack be quick

Jack jump over

the candlestick

:P

And the street

and the roofs

and the beat

and the proof.

I never heard of him killing or raping women though. Trying to rob and scare them, yes

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He sounds like Jack the Ripper coz Jack the ripper was said to have red eyes and breath blue flames or somthing and he killer 5 women or is it the same guy

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^There have been people who have drawn a connection between Spring-Heeled Jack and Jack the Ripper. But no conclusive evidence can be found that they were the same man.

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^There have been people who have drawn a connection between Spring-Heeled Jack and Jack the Ripper. But no conclusive evidence can be found that they were the same man.

Exactly. And considering that Jack the Ripper only worked in the latter half of 1888, whereas Spring-heeled Jack has been sighted for many years afterwards begs the question, why change the m.o.?

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spring heeled jack was able to jump 30 feet easly breath blue flames and asultted women hes supposed very very ugly

and killed a women by drowning her in a sewer

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Great posts with interesting links from Nestor and The PuppetMaster. The British Spring Heeled Jack was described as tall and thin or tall and muscular, while the Argentinian Rooftop Madman stands two metres tall. This tall physique may be related to the Powerisers, as The Puppetmaster suggested. A person wearing this device or similar would probably be about two metres tall. Maybe the nineteenth century character who was Spring Heeled Jack was in possession of a similar contraption. This may account for the sighting at Aldershot's Barracks in August 1877 when a sentry described Jack as "bounding across the road towards him, making a metallic noise." (emphasis added). Another similarity between Jack and the Madman is that shots fired at each character seemed to have no effect.

I also agree with The Puppetmaster's suggestion that Jack may have been under the influence of some kind of drug, which would account for his red eyes. The same applies to the Madman, and may also explain each character's above average strength.

I don't feel there is a connection between Jack and the Mothman, apart from the red eyes and black cape/wings. Someone drew a comparison between Jack and Batman. I think this is more apt.

Avs

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Ahhh yes. Spring-Heeled Jack - my favourite of all the UL. And all this 'Jack Be Nimble' stuff makes me wana listen to American Pie.

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