Sunday 13 February 2011

Newspaper Cutting 6th January 1838

SPRING HEELED JACK. - Few occurrences in this neighbourhood have created so much general excitement as the fooleries said to have been committed by a person who has obtained for himself the above distinguished cognomen. Some of his vagaries were related, as taken from a London paper, in our last week's number. Some old women will have it that he has been seen dashing across Blackheath at 12 o'clock at night, on a milk white steed, covered in blood and dust - others have seen him at all hours in the day and night, at the corner of every lane, street and road, in Greenwich, Woolwich, and Deptford, and the surrounding neighbourhood. Little children can't go to bed by themselves, for the thought of his bouncing down the chimney or in at the window the moment they are asleep. Mothers make quite an "old bogee" of him to compel their sons and daughters to "be good", while there are some sober old gentlemen who positively declare that they don't believe there is any Jack or Gill of the kind. For our own parts we can only observe if there is a man whose mind is so utterly destitute of common-sense, that he can take a delight in making an ass of himself, in the way described - we pity him. We had almost forgotten to mention that rumour has "taken him up" about a score of times.
SpringHeeled Jack. During the 1830's, this 'demon' terrorized England. Described as tall, thin, powerful, wearing a black cloak, the man could jump 20 to 30 feet vertical. It was reported that he had large pointed ears and nose, with red eyes, and capable of spitting a white and blue flame from his mouth. Evidently he was roaming Deptford and surrounding areas?

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