15. Spring Heeled Jack had a forbidding appearance. Some people even said he looked like the devil.
The descriptions of all these early appearances of Spring Heeled Jack all had the same chilling aspects in common. The women all described him as having ‘claws’ that he used to tear their clothing and rake their skin. The barmaid Polly Adams describe these claws as being cold and clammy on her skin while Jane Alsop stated she was sure the nails that scratched her clothing were of “some metallic substance.”
The women also described their assailant as heavily cloaked when they first encountered him, with his head covered by a helmet or bonnet. In fact, at first glance, Lucy Scales had though the mysterious figure in Green Dragon Alley might have been a woman from the appearance of his headgear. However, at some point in the proceedings, this cloak or helmet was removed to reveal that the mysterious attacker had a ‘devil-like” appearance. Jane Alsop described how, once he had thrown his cloak back, she noticed Spring Heeled Jack had “a most hideous and frightful appearance” and eyes like “red balls of fire.”
Lucy Alsop’s sister described Lucy’s assailant as tall and thin and looking like a ‘gentleman“. However, Spring Heeled Jack also possessed another strange, but very particular feature. Jane Alsop described her attacker as wearing a tight-fitting white oilskin garment. This garment was linked to another aspect of Spring Heeled Jack’s appearance: fire. Both Lucy Scales and Jane Alsop referred to Spring Heeled Jack either carrying a lantern or asking for some light. This need for light had nothing to do with enhancing Spring Heeled Jack’s unnerving appearance but everything to do with one of his peculiar abilities.