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Friday, 25 August 2017

Interesting...Forgot I Had This: The Spring Jack

Franklin's Miscellany of 27th January, 1838, grabbed a hold of the readers with a story straight out of the newspapers.

Just as "The Wild Man" play later in the 19th century would create a craze (see Some More Things Strange & Sinister for the story as well as a look at many other forgotten wild men tales) with people, particularly when drunk. calling themselves by that name, Spring Heeled Jack caught the public imagination.

Who was "The Springald", "Leaping Jack" (or "Jumping Jack"/"Jumping Jack Flash"  if you prefer), "The Spring Jack" (which shows the origin of the name) or "Spring Heeled Jack"?

You probably might be disappointed if you read ~ahem~ Peter Piper's "The Spring Jack" as he was probably another wronged aristocrat robbed of his inheritance/birth right.  Peter Piper is obviously a pseudonym since a lot of these chapter stories were written by people who needed the money but didn't necessarily want anyone to know they had written this "rubbish"....shades of later comic book creators.

I found this not while going through newspaper archives looking for SHJ references but for unusual animal reports.  Turned the page and there it was and, yes, I did burst out laughing.

Found the scanned page on a flash drive while, again, looking for something else.  But it shows what can turn up scouring through old publications.

Oh...I wrote about Spring Heeled Jack you know...?

The Bizarre Legends, Crimes And Truth About Spring Heeled Jack


The Truth About Spring-Heeled Jack  
Terry Hooper-ScharfPaperback, 53 Pages  Dimensions (centimetres) 20.98 wide x 29.69 tall  (A4)fully illustrated and referenced£10.00

The terror and mystery created by “Jack The Ripper” has been the subject of countless books, magazine articles as well as movies and TV documentaries. Ask anyone if they have ever heard of Jack The Ripper and it is doubtful anyone would respond with a “no idea.”  

By that same token, ask people who “Spring-heeled Jack” was and you would be lucky to find anyone who had ever heard of him.  

Spring-heeled Jack was the subject (loosely) of a film The Curse of the Wraydons (1946) and Dominic Keating also appeared as Spring Heeled Jack in the 2010 film Sherlock Holmes by The Asylum film company. The character has also featured in both American and British comic books and a number of books, for both children and adults.  

But the fact that the Springald held the country –not just London– in a grip of terror much longer that the Ripper did is all but forgotten except for some half-truths and fanciful theories.  

Now be prepared to read the full story of Spring Heeled Jack

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