Springheel Jack

Springheel Jack

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4 Responses

  1. Urisk says:

    Springheel Jack
    I seem to recall Jack killing a prostitute at Jacob’s Island by hurling her off a bridge and into Folly Ditch, where she drowned. There is also a similar case regarding ringing doorbells, only he was greeted at the door by a girl called Jane Alsop- where he spewed "a quantity of blue and white flame from his mouth, and his eyes resembled red balls of fire" (the Times, possibly 22nd Feb, 1838) into her face and subsequently began attacking her with fingers that supposedly resembled metal talons.

    It appears in a book called The Unexplained by Karl Shuker. It’s a great book, if you can find it: Mine is very worn and very used. Smile

  2. Agricola says:

    Springheel Jack
    I seem to recall something in a recent (possibly
    the most recent) edition of Fortean Times re-evaluating the evidence
    for SHJ. From memory (the FTs are on a shelf next door and I’m on the
    couch and far too far away), it indicated that a lot of it may have
    been media hype, and noted the huge date differences between sightings,
    and an earlier case. It also covered the lesser known sightings, such
    as those in Liverpool!

  3. OldTimeRadio says:

    Re: Springheel Jack
    [quote=Urisk]I seem to recall Jack killing a prostitute at Jacob’s Island by hurling her off a bridge and into Folly Ditch, where she drowned. [/quote]

         But that was approximately 35 years after the 1837-1838 attacks so might not even have involved the same perpetrator. 

  4. Mauro says:

    Re: Springheel Jack
    There are a number of explanations about Springheel Jack.

    It has been said the members of a gentlemen’s club had a wager among themselves to see if any of them could walk the London slums. At night. And dressed as a devil. This is sometimes cited as the inspiration for the legend itself.
    There are also a series of penny dreadfuls by an author whose last name was Shea, if memory serves me right, in which Springheel Jack is a nobleman cheated out of his inheritance who dons a "most fantastic garb" to take his vengeance on the persons who defrauded him. These dreadfuls were printed in 1840 so they may have actually been inspired by the facts instead the other way around.
    The US episode is very curious. While Jack has been spotted all over England (for example in 1879 he was shot at by sentries at Aldershot), this marks his only foreign venture. Also it involved a murder. "London" Jack would dazzle people by spouting flames in their faces, fondle women and scare the living daylight out of others but while in England he never seriously hurt anybody. Could this be one of those elaborate hoaxes so common in XIX century America, perhaps imagined by someone who had visited London at the height of the first "flap"?