Spring-Heeled Jack…

With Spooktober  here on Destination America, it’s time to delve into the archives a bit and consider a fairly obscure but historically interesting cryptid who reportedly terrorized London in the Victorian era.  He was called Spring-Heeled Jack for his supposed ability to execute astonishing leaps, capable apparently of clearing a house in a single bound.  

Now numerous images of Jack exist, ranging from the hideous to the almost dashing figure shown here.  Most reports describe him as appearing demonic, with clawed hands and prominent red eyes.  Jack also had the described ability to spew blue flames at his victims.  He was prone to attacking women and making off with children, with surviving victims suffering claw injuries and psychological trauma.  His first attack is said to have occurred in 1837, kissing and clawing up a woman who drove him off with her screams.  Numerous attacks were said to have taken place in 1838.

Jack’s escapades became the topics of “Penny Dreadful” fiction, and parents used to keep difficult children in line by threats of his appearance.  The last recorded sighting of him dates back to 1904.  Some have speculated that Spring-Heeled Jack was one of the inspirations for Batman, as you might see suggested by the figure above.  And with his last public appearance occurring over 100 years ago, perhaps this Victorian boogeyman is due for a revival, Steampunk being “in” and all…


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5 Comments on “Spring-Heeled Jack…”

  1. carycomic Says:

    The blue flame and superhuman agility sound suspiciously similar to the weaponry used–and prowess demonstrated by–one of those extra-terrestrial Predators from 20th Century Fox. Could Spring-heel Jack have been a real-life alien operating in Victorian London?
    I mean, the time period alone precludes this from having been some kind of publicity stunt, like the much-more recent Australian hoax involving the Nullarbor Nymph.*

    *A would-be superstarlet who tried to pass herself off as a feral girl raised by kangaroos!


    • vulpesffb Says:

      Or maybe in keeping with a Steampunk theme, Spring-Heeled Jack was really some kind of clockwork assassin set loose upon an unsuspecting Victorian London by a slighted mad genius known to Scotland Yard only as, “The Toymaker!” Will the combined genius of Sherlock Holmes and H.G. Wells be enough to stop this fiend? The fate of fair England hangs in the balance!


  2. carycomic Says:

    Who knows? He might even have been the villainous great-grandfather of the much-more heroic Coil Man (of Impossibles fame).



    • vulpesffb Says:

      I always preferred “The Herculoids” myself, but that’s just my personal taste…

      Perhaps Spring-Heeled Jack was a mutant member of the Royal family who occasionally escaped, a Prince Albert no longer in the can!


      • carycomic Says:

        Except, of course, during the World Wars when they voluntarily unleashed him to serve on the battle front as—Bum-bum-BUM–Union Jack!


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