LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, my study of SPRING HEELED JACK, a 65 page endeavour into Victorian folklore, is complete - and is now up for FREE download right this moment in .PDF format. This is my magnum opus, a huge undertaking into everything that Jack was and has influenced. It was originally planned to be over one hundred pages, but alas, I ran out of material to write about - making me quite certain this may well be one of the most in depth and complex studies into his existence you’ll read.
This is free, only 1.1MB and will introduce you to one of the most fascinating aspects of Victorian culture. You have no reason to deny it a download - so give it a look, and enjoy!
The first claimed sighting of Spring-heeled Jack was in 1837. Later sightings were reported all over Great Britain and were especially prevalent in suburban London, the Midlands and Scotland. Spring-heeled Jack was described by people who claimed to have seen him as having a terrifying and frightful appearance, with diabolical physiognomy, clawed hands, and eyes that “resembled red balls of fire”. One report claimed that, beneath a black cloak, he wore a helmet and a tight-fitting white garment like an oilskin. Many stories also mention a “Devil-like” aspect. Others said he was tall and thin, with the appearance of a gentleman. Several reports mention that he could breathe out blue and white flames and that he wore sharp metallic claws at his fingertips. At least two people claimed that he was able to speak comprehensible English. In the early 19th century, there were reports of ghosts that stalked the streets of London. These human-like figures were described as pale; it was believed that they stalked and preyed on lone pedestrians. The stories told of these figures formed part of a distinct ghost tradition in London which, some writers have argued, formed the foundation of the later legend of Spring-heeled Jack. X
In a Liverpool backstreet in the autumn of 1904 a baying mob of over one hundred people rounded a corner to be confronted with one of the most terrifying paranormal figures in England’s history.
The figure was instantly recognisable as it became illuminated by torchlight, as the townspeople chased it leapt from roof to roof through the centre of Liverpool. From beneath the folds of its black cloaks were skeletal claws where hands should be, the eyes of the creature flared burning red from beneath a broad outlandish hat. Its grinning mouth stood open and blue flames licked outwards.
The dead-end alleyway in which the creature stood was surrounded by 30 ft walls on all sides. Such a demonic vision instantly stopped and silenced the crowd who then stood and watched as the creature flung its body skywards with unnatural force and leapt the 30 foot wall in one clean spring. The dumbstruck mob had encountered an apparition that terrified the cities of England for more than sixty years; Spring Heeled Jack.
The first documented sighting was by a young girl on her way home one evening in 1837 in Clapham, London. Her name was Polly Adams. Miss Adams claimed that a dark figure had launched over a high wall as she cut through Clapham churchyard.
The girl reported that the figure had looked like a man but had bird claw hands and burning, glowing eyes. The creature leered over her and groped at her body before hearing the shouts of approaching witnesses and turning to leap over another impossibly high wall to make its escape.
The next year another girl was attacked in the same churchyard and witnesses began to report an escalating number of sightings around the area. The beast was even seen scaling the church tower with unerring precision and speed.
One witness sent a letter to the Mayor of London who had it published in the press. This prompted many more witnesses to come forward. It seemed that the creature had been around for some time and witnesses were not prepared to put themselves forward for ridicule at the hands of a disbelieving public. London was starting to believe that the devil himself was walking the streets.
In Victorian London, a strange, deranged force exists on the dark streets - ‘tis no murderer, some claim it is indeed the devil himself! Whom is this strange cloak-clad eccentric? Why…he goes by only one name…
Who is this fellow! The gentlemen jumping around with a bellow? Garbled screaming and madness, oh so deranged! Jumping and laughing as if he’s insane!
Victorian London does not understand He jumps over horses, rails and twine! Is this a crime or a jolly young man? Is he a danger or is he benign?
Springheeled Jack! Springheeled Jack! What a lark! What a hoot! Springheeled Jack! Springheeled Jack! Not a mark! What a brute!
There’s a mystery in London, Blokes in blue so confused! There’s a mystery in London! Leaving ladies all bruised!
Springheeled Jack! Springheeled Jack! Four calls of his name! Springheeled Jack! Springheeled Jack! Silver Mask, Silver Mask! Spitting out flame!
Big beaks, black clothing, springs in his shoes! Huge leaps, Quiet droning, Hissing of fuse!
Is this fiction or fact, What I hear of this thing! Jurisdiction doth lack Information on him!
Springheeled Jack! Springheeled Jack! Fairer sex is left sore! Springheeled Jack! Springheeled Jack! Stripping ladies with claw!
Springheeled Jack! Springheeled Jack! What a lark, what a hoot! Springheeled Jack! Springheeled Jack! What a strong, dark repute!
Springheeled Jack! Springheeled Jack! Legend or myth? Springheeled Jack! Springheeled Jack! We must find him forthwith!
Springheeled Jack! Springheeled Jack! What a sneaky old bugger! Springheeled Jack! Springheeled Jack! The peels are such suckers..!
‘This is 1888, isn’t it? I knew I was Jack. Hat’s off. I said Jack. I’m Jack, cunning Jack, quiet Jack. Jack’s my name. Jack whose sword never sleeps. Hat’s off I’m Jack, not the Good Shepherd, not the Prince of Peace. I’m Red Jack, Springheeled Jack, Saucy Jack, Jack from Hell, trade-name Jack the Ripper!’
Wilhelm Scream:I was almost killed. The plan was you wait for us to disembark and then shoot at everyone but me.
Billy-Ray Sanguine:That was the plan, but then I found the rocket launcher. Wilhelm, how many times in civilian life do you get the opportunity to fire a rocket launcher at a plane? Three? Four? I had to take that opportunity, Wilhelm. Had to.
Wilhelm Scream:You nearly killed me.
Tanith Low:And that was very inconsiderate of Billy-Ray, but I hope you realise his actions do not reflect the opinions of the rest of the group. We're all very happy you're here.
Springheeled Jack:I'm not.
Black Annis:I'm not, either.
Tanith Low:But Sabine is happy, and so is Dusk. Aren't you Dusk?
I know you may see this and think “Wow, this guy can’t draw legs for shit!”, and while you may be right, this one is done on purpose. I tried to give him grasshopper legs, given that he is Springheeled Jack.