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Spring-Heeled Jack: The Jumping Fiend Who Terrorized Victorian England


A mythical figure, larger than life, capable of leaping tall buildings in a single range. No, it's not Superman but Spring-heeled Jack, a dangerous crook from Victorian London who terrorized his victims before jumping over stone walls and fences of impressive height. Was the spring-heeled jack the product of overactive imaginations? Or was there something more to the urban legend?

Victorians loved the supernatural

Ghost stories and tales of the supernatural were wildly popular in Victorian times. Literature such as A Christmas Carol, The Body Snatcher, and The Turn of the Screw flourished, and scenes like Tupperware parties were common. There are many explanations for Victorian England's obsession with death and the afterlife, including fears of a changing economic climate and a growing industrial revolution, but originally, the culture was ripe for a domestic boogeyman.

Illustration of Spring-heeled Jack from the 1867 serial "Spring-heeled Jack: The Terror of London"

Jack Attacks

The first report of a spring-heeled jack was observed in October 1837 by a young woman named Mary Stevens, who was returning to work after visiting her parents. Stevens claimed a figure jumped out of her from a dark alley, grabbed her by the hand, tried to kiss her, and tore on her clothes with claws that seemed made of sharp metal, at which point with her Before he alerted the neighbors to be he said that the attacker was tied to a long fence and disappeared.

The next day, the apparent offender jumped in front of a carriage, causing the coachman to overturn and crash. All the passengers insisted that the Boogeyman run over a nine-foot wall after missing a chilling, high-pitched beak. An urban legend was born, and as everyone chimed in for his action, the description of Spring-heeled Jack became increasingly ridiculous. He is said to wear tight bright white trousers and a black cloak or overcoat, red glowing eyes, assume the form of a bear or wolf, and shoot blue fire from his mouth.

By the following year, Jack had clearly gotten smarter. On February 19, 1838, Jane Alsop reported that a man came to her door claiming to be a police officer who had just caught a raging threat and requested a lantern to get a better look at the suspect. did. When Jane opened the door, however, she claimed that Mary Stevens threw off her cloak to reveal "a most terrifying and frightening presence" before attacking her in the same way, but her sister was forced to open the door after her scream. Brought on, the spring-heeled Jack ran away. Nine days later, 18-year-old Lucy Scales and her sister were on their way home after spending the day with their older brother when they allegedly passed a thinly dressed man leaning against a wall. As they came closer, Schell claimed that the man opened fire on him, which blinded him and confiscated. His sister cried out for help, but the spring-heeled Jack jumped out of nowhere before their brother came near them. He disappeared in the street. Hey, sometimes you get bored of the same old, same old.


Henri de la Poir Beresford, 3rd Marquess of Waterford, one of them is believed to be the true identity of the Spring-Heeled Jack.

What was Spring-heeled Jack?

Because many of the details and descriptions of the Spring-Heeled Jack attacks seemed far-fetched, many Londoners, including Mayer, turned the events into a mass frenzy. After all, how could such a flamboyant person escape from imprisonment for so long?

However, some believe that the Spring-Heeled Jack was actually the shared identity of a group of bored young aristocrats who wanted to intimidate people for the fun of it. They point out that earlier reports of spring-heeled jackals suggest impressive but not superhuman jumping skills; It was only later that witnesses began to draw pictures of the strange feat.

Others believe that Spring-heeled Jack was a supernatural entity, either a ghost, a demon, or even an alien. Proponents of the latter theory propose that their ability to jump such great heights evolved on a planet with a different level of gravity. In any case, the scene gradually diminished until the end of the 20th century, when Spring-heeled Jack either became bored with his antics, went to the afterlife, or returned to his home planet

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