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Amazing Tale of Sightings of Spring Heeled Jack in Wirral 1887
an Exclusive Tale Brought to you by Hidden Wirral
Cheshire Observer - Saturday 29 October 1887
A GHOST IN WIRRAL. Much excitement prevails throughout Wirral owing to a report that a " Springheel Jaok " is making a tour of the peninsula. The most extraordinary stories are afloat in almost every village, and many individuals are to be found who state that they have seen the spectre taking his evening leaps in the by-lanes. Some persons describe him as a man who had undertaken to visit every village in Wirral in the character of " Springheel Jack " for a wager of £1,000 ; while others believe it to be a supernatural appearance, and speak of a strong smell of sulphur which accompanies his visit. The alarm which has been created among children and weak-minded persons in the district is quite unprecedented- dented, and many persons who have seen, or who fanoy they have seen, the ghost are suffering from the effects of tbe shook, one person at least, to the writer's know- ledge, being confined to her bed through it. At Birkenhead, it is said, numerous adventures with the spectre have taken place. The figure is reported to take different forms, but his favourite style of dress is that of a tall gaunt female or a military officer with a long cloak. It is also stated that he wears stilts, which be can lengthen and shorten at will, and that his face is smeared with phosphorous, which gives it the appearance of a ball of fire. Also that he wears a dress of in drubber smeared over with grease, so that he can slip from the grasp of anyone who is bold enough to take hold ot him. occasionally, however, he wears a pair of horns and a long tail, and at other times a clergy man's Robes. He vaults over high houses with the greatest of ease, and on Thursday last week be broke the high leaping record by springing to the clock of the Town Hall and altering the fingers. He was afterwards seen to rise into the air, a fact which leaves little doubt as to his ghostly character. Sometimes he bounds over the heads of his victims, with "a hollow sepulchral laugh," and at others he disappears with a bark like a dog. These and many other similar stories are recounted and believed by thousands of persons, and as a natural consequence the ghost has found bis way into a wide area. Every village has its own particular adventure, and a certain policeman will state upon oath that the spectre appeared to him, and that he had made no attempt to "run it in." The report has given rise to many practical jokes, and a Little Neston man is now wearing a black eye, which was given him in a Springheel Jack affray last Monday night. Tbe occurrence took place in a little hamlet outside Neston, and tbe Little Neston joker had painted his face in a very alarming manner. He afterwards donned a sheet and paid a visit to a small man in the locality who was believed to be very superstitious. The little man's courage was, however, out of all proportions to his size. On looking over his shoulder and discovering the apparition be ejaculated, "So then are Springheeled Jack." In another moment he had laid the ghost at his feet with a pair of dolly pegs and continued to pound him with the strange weapon until he yelled out for mercy. There is little doubt but that if Springheeled Jack was received in the same determined manner whenever he appeared he would soon betake himself to fresh quarters.
Have you seen Spring Heeled Jack?
Accessed 27th April 2018 an Exclusive to Hidden Wirral