7. Spring Heeled Jack began to appear all over the British Isles.
Whoever he was, Spring Heeled Jack did not restrict himself to London. Soon he was spreading north, passing up through the Midlands into the north of England- even Scotland. One of Jack’s most notable non-London appearances was to a group of soldiers at Aldershot Barracks in Hampshire. One night in August 1877, a sentry was on guard duty in the North Camp when he observed most peculiar figure “advancing towards him” out of the darkness.
The soldier challenged the mysterious individual and ordered them to halt and identify themselves. The person did no such thing. Instead, they audaciously approached the solider and slapped him about the face. Once he had recovered, the startled soldier fired warning shots at his assailant. Unharmed and “with astonishing bounds” the audacious prankster disappeared once again into the darkness.
Sightings of Spring Heeled Jack were especially prevalent in the Midlands of England, especially the area around the industrial Black Country between 1855 and the 1880s. One of Jack’s earliest sightings in the region was in Sandwell, near Dudley. Jack was seen leaping from the roof of the Cross Inn onto that of a neighboring butcher’s shop. However, when he was not leaping about the rooftops, Spring Heeled Jack continued to terrorize young women. In September 1886, The Birmingham Post reported how a young girl suddenly felt a hand on her shoulder. When she turned around, she was terrified to find herself face to face with “The infernal one with a glowing face,” who bid her “a good evening.”
Spring Heeled Jacks’ last reported sighting was in Everton in Liverpool in 1904. He was seen leaping up and down the streets before jumping onto the rooftops and bounding away, never to be seen again. However, it was not just the fact that the phenomenon of Spring Heeled Jack was spreading countrywide that was alarming but the time frame over which he continued to appear. For Jack materialized in various places at various times over a seventy-year period. During this time, Spring Heeled Jack never aged, continuing to manifest as a young man, agile man. There were various explanations for this.