Spring Heeled Jack was a leaping, bounding superman with claimed recorded sightings as early as 1837 in Southwest London. He has been described as wearing a kind of helmet and a tight fitting white costume like an oilskin. It’s said he can breath blue and white flames and has hands like great claws. His hands are said to be «as cold of that as a corpse». Confirmed sightings of him occurred in 1838 by a young woman named Jane Alsop on a London backstreet and persisted for more than 60 years in the London area until around 1904.
Jack has been reported as being able to jump from cobblestones to rooftop and back with ease. In 1877 he was shot at with no apparent affect by angry townspeople. The description of Spring Heeled Jack rarely changed over the years until his last official recorded sighting. Other sights of Jack appeared in Liverpool, Sheffield, all over England to the Midlands and Scotland. There are recent recorded sightings of him as late at 1953 in Houston, Texas to 1986 on the Welch border.
With Jack clear in your mind, it’s time to slightly change the modern perception of what a vampire is and how it should look. The FVZA website gives us details about vampires that more resemble the being in the movie Nosferatu than recent modern interpretations. The FVZA, or Federal Vampire & Zombie Agency (1868-1975), was «responsible for controlling the nation’s vampire and zombie populations while overseeing research into the undead.» Officially created in 1838 by President Ulysses S. Grant it went undercover shortly after, but was eventually disbanded due to a controlled vampire and zombie population. They studied the virus that causes one to become a vampire and how it affects a human turning. What’s interesting is not only what is the same to our modern lore but also what’s different.
The FVZA informs us that vampires have pale yellow skin, eventually showing veins. Their ligaments and tendons thicken to support a stronger bone structure as well giving them extraordinary strength and quickness. Blood is also pumped through their skeletal system instead of their blood veins making their heart deteriorate from lack of use. They can handle trauma that may kill a normal human and their strength increases to about three times what the turned human’s strength originally was. Their DNA is also altered to fight off the the wear that usually affects human DNA giving them longer life expectancy.
So is Spring Heeled Jack a vampire?
He possesses some of the characteristics known to vampires. Increased strength can account for his ability to leap large fences and to the tops of buildings with no effort. His tight fitting costume may, in fact, be the skin discoloration of becoming a vampire. Some sightings at night would also account for some confusion if he was wearing some sort of suit or if the skin color was incorrectly mistaken for something worn over it. Jack’s resistance to being fired upon also supports the reworking of the vampire nervous system to survive and be unaffected by things conventionally deadly to humans. The cold touch of Jack’s hand is easily figured by the lower body temperature (60 degrees) of a vampire.
The stories of him breathing flames has no parallel to any known paranormal entity and sources never cite vampires as having that ability, however, if Jack was a vampire use of some tricks would not be unknown to him having been a human prior. He is not known to have killed, but it’s likely police forces during this time period may not have known what to make of a Spring Heeled Jack crime scene if they found one. The best examples of what a modern vampire killing would look like actually appear in the Jack the Ripper cases in London only a year or so after the last accepted sighting of him in London. Their sightings and accounts overlap in interesting areas while happening in the same location, if in seemingly different parts of town.
The modern vampire lore may need to be reworked as our understanding of DNA and viruses increases. With a more open-minded society the Spring Heeled Jack incidents may have been and open and shut case to his nature, though no one succeeded in capturing him.
Compra online la Camisetas de fútbol! En JD encontrarás las del FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, la selección de España y equipos internacionales. by Robert Kreuk