Superman with eyes of a devil?

Spring-Heeled Jack, Leaping Away

In southwest London, mid 1830's, what was once a "rumor" for the most part had quickly became terrifyingly-confirmed in February of 1838, about the persisting reports of a leaping, bounding superman who was an alarming figure that flew through the air in great leaps across many paths. To most, naturally, it would seem like something out of one's highly-equipped imagination, but apparently this spring-heeled creature was more than that, and became something of a legendary tale.

Jane Alsop was young and pretty. She lived with her two sisters and their father on a London back street. She had heard of the bogeyman called Spring-Heeled Jack, but she was too "sensible" to heed such tales.

One night there was a violent knocking at the door. Jane went to answer it. The man standing in the shadows near the front gate swung around, blaring, "I'm a police officer!" He went on, "For God's sake, bring me a light, for we have caught Spring-Heeled Jack in the lane!" Jane thought about this for a moment: "The stories were true after all." She ran off to fetch a candle. "I'll see him being arrested," she thought, as she rushed back outside with the candle. But, as soon as she gave the man the man the candle at the gate, he grabbed her by the neck and pinned her head under his arm. Then he ripped at her dress and body. She screamed and tore herself away. He chased her, caught her by the hair, and clawed her face and neck. Her sister, hearing the screams, ran into the street and cried out for help. But before anyone could stop him, Jack soared away into the darkness.

Jane later described her inhuman attacker to police officials. "He was wearing a kind of helmet," she had told them, "and a tight-fitting white costume like an oilskin. His face was hideous, his eyes were like balls of fire. His hands had great claws, and he vomited blue and white flames."

This description that Jane had given was repeated over and over again in the following years. Always the leaps, the flames, and the eyes of hell were recounted. Lucy Scales, 18 years old, the sister of a butcher, had just left her brother's house one evening on her way home with her sister. As they walked along a lonely street, a tall, cloaked figure jumped out of the shadows. He spat blue flames at Lucy's face, blinding her.

During the 1850's and 1860's, Spring-Heeled Jack was sighted all over England, particularly in the Midlands. In the 1870's, army authorities set traps after scared "sentries" reported being terrified by a man who darted out of the darkness to slap their faces with an icy hand or sprang onto the roofs of their sentry boxes. Angry townspeople shot at him in the streets one night in 1877, but, as always, he merely laughed and melted away into the darkness.

"Where did he go so quickly?"

No one, even today, really has any idea who, or what, Spring-Heeled Jack was. For a while, suspicion had rested on the eccentric young Marquis of Waterford, but though the "mad marquis," as he was known, was one of the "wild ones" of Victorian society, he ws never vicious.

Jack's eyes of hell were last seen in 1904 in Liverpool (66 years after the first sightings). There he started a panic one night by bounding up and down the streets, leaping from the cobblestones to rooftops and back. When some of the braver ones tried to corner him, he simply vanished into darkness he came from...this time for good?

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