Springheel Jack 

HIS TRUE NAME will never be known,  but during his 67-year reign  of  terror,  the superstitious people  of  Victorian England called him Springheel Jack, because of his amazing super-human ability to leap over rooftops  Sack made his frightening debut one September evening  in 1837 on Barnes Common, a secluded tract of land in London  A businessman who was taking a short cut across the common was shocked when a sir-foot figure wearing a tight-fitting white suit and helmet jumped over the eight-foot-high railings of a nearby cemetery,  shrieking with laughter.  Understandably, the man turned on his heels and fled,  convinced he had encountered a demon.  On the following night,  the leaping terror attacked three girls who were making their way home via  the  common.   Two  of  the  girls  escaped,   but  the remaining one became so weak with fright,  she collapsed, and found herself at the mercy of the unearthly assailant. As he  leaned over her,  the girl saw that her attacker resembled Satan himself.  He had bright red eyes, a long prominent nose,  and strange pointed ears,  As the monster ripped the girl's clothes off with his claw-like hands, she   passed  out.   A   policemen   later  discovered   the unconscious  gir and  revived  her.   When  she  started babbling  about  the  devilish  attacker,   the  policeman thought  the girl  had  been  drinking  But  more and  more assaults were reported as the weeks went by, and when The Times  started  to  publicise  the  supernatural  prowler's attacks,  many Londoners refused to go out at night  and barricaded  themselves  indoors   When  the  old  Duke  of Wellington read of the leaping man's cowardly attacks, he patrolled the city each night on horseback with two loaded pistols,   but  Springheel  Jack  was  skilful  at  evading capture,  wherever the police approached.  he would simply bound off into the night.

Jack eventually tired of frightening the denizens of the capital,  and began a trek of terror in a northerly direction across the country. 

By the turn of the century,  Springheel Jack  had  turned   up  in  the  south  of Liverpool, where he was first seen making a 4O foot leap over the reservoir building in High  Park  Street,  Toxteth   A week  later, Jack  performed  his  Grand  Finale  when  he turned  up  early  one  Sunday  evening  at Salisbury Street,  Everton,  where be   ran screaming along the roof tops.  It is said that the members of a Bible study class at St Francis Xavier's school became hysterical,   thinking  that  Jack  was  the devil   The teacher told her pupils not to Look out the window at the leaping figure, but to close their eyes so that they could pray for the Lord to intervene.

Meanwhile,  outside,  a mob of Evertonians arrived with bottles and sticks   who had no intention  of  Letting  Jack  molest  their women  gave  chase,   and  the  leaping  man bounded up onto the steeple of St Francis Xavier's. The awe-struck crowd locked on in disbelief as Jack jumped from the steeple down onto the roofs of Haigh Street, before he bounded away in the direction of William Henry  Street.   After  that  eventful  night, the strangest figure in occult folklore was never seen again.

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