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Jack the Ripper: What You Didn't Know About the, 'Spring Heeled Jack'

Updated on April 21, 2017

Jack the RIPPER (1837-1904)

The event of appearance of Jack the Ripper or Spring Heeled Jack is maybe the most horrific and terrorizing in the history of unexplained phenomena. During the Nineteenth century, London was terrorized by this creature in human form. There are two versions of the story related to this creature. According to one there were two creatures, namely, Spring Heeled Jack and Jack the Ripper, but the other says that both the names relate to the same person. Anyway the story moves on. There were many events, in and near London which terrified the people to such an extent that they were afraid even to come out of their houses.

A rare image: The Brighton Gazette, April, 14th, 1838

It all started sometime in the year 1837. This mysterious figure attacked three women and four men all of them in London. This was the beginning of a gruesome era. The incidents increased in number as well as brutality, after these happenings. The mysterious figure carried an atmosphere of terror around it. It was a cloaked figure with razor sharp nails and pointed ears. This fanged character had sharp features which made it even more fearsome, giving it a ferocious look. It had blazing eyes and some reports say that it even had the ability to spit flames. But the weirdest of its abilities was to leap abnormally high. It could clear two to three storied buildings in one leap.

In the year 1838, it attacked two sisters, spitting flames out of its mouth onto their faces, rendering one of them unconscious. This girl’s name was Lucy Scales. Another of such incidents relates to Jane Aslop. She was an eighteen year old girl. Jane was in her house with her father and two sisters, when she heard a loop rap on the door. As she opened it, a skinny but tall figure stood in front of her asking for a candle. Jane thought that it was a policeman as according to him his colleague had captured ‘The Ripper’. As she brought a candle from inside her house she was stunned to see that there was no one at the door. She got another shock when she was gripped by a sweeping figure which came from the top of a building and engulfed her in blue flames. The attacking figure did not stop there. As Jane struggled back to her feet she was again attacked by the creature with its razor sharp claws which ripped Jane’s clothes as well as the skin underneath them. Jane was injured very badly. She was rescued by a policeman who heard her cries. By then the two sisters had also come out. The attacker, seeing the policeman, fled. The policeman ran after him but could not catch him because the attacker leaped across tall walls and buildings with such perfection that it was impossible for the officer to continue the chase.

An enquiry was started on the basis of what the policeman, the victims and the people said. All the stories contained the same creature with same characteristics; razor sharp claws, fire spitting creature, one who leaped across the buildings and brutally murdered humans. All this initiated a surge of terror among the people of London. People went into their houses early in the evening just like timid rats hiding in their burrows, afraid of being killed. Nobody except the policemen wandered out in the streets after twilight. All this could not prevent them from becoming the innocent victims of the brutal ‘Spring Heeled’. This character slowly started to change. He was a ferocious mauler in the beginning but then changed into a cold blooded murderer. This happened sometime in 1845.

In the slums of Jacob’s island was a prostitute named Maria Davis. One day as she was loitering, ‘Spring Heeled Jack’ emerged out of nowhere and attacked her. He drew her blood and then threw her into a marsh nearby. She sank slowly and died before any of the stunned people who were looking at the fateful event could do anything, to save her. Spring Heeled Jack disappeared from the scene as quickly as he had appeared, leaving people gazing and open mouthed. He leaped away into the twilight.

This event caused widespread panic and made people afraid as never before.

Spring Heeled Jack was never actually identified. The mysterious existence of this creature could never be explained in any way. His origin was never found. Another question which remained unanswered about him was how he was able to leap so high with such ease and perfection. Spitting flames from the mouth was unearthly too. Any fact which came near to explaining the reality was that Henry the Marquis of Waterford wore a ‘W’ around his neck, identical to which a ‘W’ was found dropped on the floor near a victim of Spring Heeled Jack. The ‘W’ was thought to stand for Waterford.

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This theory was also proved wrong when the activities and sightings of Spring Heeled Jack continued even after the death of Waterford. Many attempts were made by the police to capture the creature, but in vain. Now its activities had spread to the areas of Liverpool as well. He was last seen in September 1904 in Everton area of Liverpool. People were never able to explain the activities of this enigmatic creature. There were many theories of his origin and explanations offered but none could be proved.

Theories like his coming from another world or time-scape were speculated on. Another theory portrays him as the living dead. He left behind him more than seventy years of brutality and horror.

After about fifty years of his disappearance, many similar reports were recorded all over Europe. Who knows if we have seen the last of Spring Heeled Jack or not.

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    • Gaurav Oberoi profile imageAUTHOR

      gaurav oberoi 

      3 years ago

      sure!!!!

    • Brian Langston profile image

      Brian Langston 

      3 years ago from Languedoc Roussillon

      I'll drop you a line on FB Gaurav.

    • Gaurav Oberoi profile imageAUTHOR

      gaurav oberoi 

      3 years ago

      Wow! Where from?....And we do have similar interests.

    • Brian Langston profile image

      Brian Langston 

      3 years ago from Languedoc Roussillon

      Thanks Gaurav- I see we have similar interests...and my father was from India too!

    • Gaurav Oberoi profile imageAUTHOR

      gaurav oberoi 

      3 years ago

      Thank you Brian and I am following you too!

    • Brian Langston profile image

      Brian Langston 

      3 years ago from Languedoc Roussillon

      Really enjoyed your Hub Gaurav. One of our many great old English mysteries! Thanks for sharing your excellent account.

    • Gaurav Oberoi profile imageAUTHOR

      gaurav oberoi 

      3 years ago

      Actually thank you for appreciating it.

    • Kimberleyclarke profile image

      Kimberley Clarke 

      3 years ago from England

      A fantastic piece on Spring Heeled Jack - such a fascinating figure. Thank you!

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