Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap/Hump Day!

   It is a leap year day and a hump day! Insert whatever joke you like here. People born on this day or getting married will only have to see gifts every 4 years. I hate that for you folks. I am not very happy with this leap year as it knocks me out of a Saturday birthday in 2013!
    The concept of leap year and February 29th fascinated me when I was young. It was like some hidden room in a old haunted house or a hidden floor in a tall building. It was unfathomable that we would have a day just appear every four years, like magic. Strangely enough, I connect leap day with one of my childhood terrors. The ancient terror of England known as Spring Heeled Jack!

    As a child, my mind easily reasoned that Spring Heeled Jack MUST be associated with leap year/day. Those that are not familiar with this nightmare from my childhood, take note. Jack terrorized England from 1837 to 1904 (his last reported sighting).

   He was always described, by countless witnesses, as being a tall gaunt man, covered in what looked like a black oil suit (scuba suit?) and high boots, with hands covered in metal curved claws. He was reported to be able to vomit blue/green flames, had piercing green eyes, and very devilish look (small horns, and pointy features on his face).  He had a penchant for attacking woman, trying to kiss their faces and tear off their clothes. Those unlucky enough to be attacked would describe his hands as "unearthly cold and clammy" and describe a smell of  "burning cinders and sulphur". His most notable feature, and that which he gleaned his nickname, was his ability to jump great heights and distances. It was reported by a local police constable to have seen Spring Heeled Jack leap away from an attacked woman when perused and clear a 9 foot wall with ease.

   As a child, I was absolutely terrified by this demonic, leaping villain. There are so many documented cases and stories about this creature, you should read at least one. I guess it was not hard for my young mind to connect that Spring Heeled Jack must come around every "Leap" year. 

   Hope everybody has a great hump/leap day! Hopefully you will not run into any sinister leaping creatures. 


  1. Oooooo, I didn't know about Spring Heeled Jack! I learned something new this morning!

    Happy Jack Day!!!


    1. Glad to inform... he was the subject of many a childhood nightmare.

  2. That's really cool!!!! Thanx for sharing!

  3. Again, I know this is a late comment (I was also the person to comment on your cell phone/red eyes story) but...

    My favorite story about Spring Heeled Jack is the last time any trace of him was ever seen.
    It had snowed softly the night before so there was a light snow on the ground. When the people of the village (I can't remember the name) woke up they found hundreds of hoof-like footsteps in the snow. The strangest part was that these footsteps were found on rooftops, going up walls, and even leading into impossibly small spaces (such as pipes).

    I've always loved this story and many, many of the old England tales, which is a one of the biggest reasons why I moved there right after I graduated High School. I lived there for nearly 4 years before coming back to the states. I LOVE all the history and legends that surround England.

    Awesome job sharing this story!

    1. Late comments? are you kidding? Those are the best! I love it when somebody goes back to see what I put out months ago. Thanks for that! Spring heeled jack kept me awake many nights when I was young! One of my favorites!


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