Encyclopaedia of the Impossible: Spring-Heeled Jack

Spring heeled JackPreviously: Mandy the Doll.

Type: PE (Preternatural Entity).

Period/location of origin: 1837, London, UK.

Appearance: Subject’s appearance varies by report; however, frequently cited characteristics include a goatee, pointed ears, horns, and glowing, red eyes. Subject is also often said to have talons, rather than fingers (talons may or may not be organic; some reports cite them as being metallic), and is sometimes described as being clad in white oilskin and/or a black cloak. Subject may or may not have the ability to breathe white and blue flames. For all intents and purposes, subject appears to be the quintessential “devil.”

Interestingly, several reports describe as tall, thin, and gentleman-like. Subject’s relationship to the PE known as “the Slender Man,” if any, remains unknown.

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Encyclopaedia of the Impossible: The Crystal Palace High Level Railway Station

Crystal Palace High LevelPreviously: The House on Ash Tree Lane.

Type: VT (Victim of Time)

Period/location of origin: 1865, London, the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

Appearance: Subject appears to be a disused railway station on the west side of Crystal Palace Parade in the south London borough of Southwark. At its height of operation, it was an outstanding example of Victorian architecture; red and terra cotta brick walls supported a glass and iron train shed roof, with square towers topped with short spires marking each corner. Brick arches divided the station’s interior, and a passenger concourse above the tracks hosted refreshment rooms, waiting areas, and a booking office.

Subject has been closed to the public since 1954 and is now securely gated on both sides. The majority of the station was demolished in 1961; its only remains are the high retaining wall on the west side of Crystal Palace Parade, the vaulted subway beneath the road, and the concourse at the east end of the subway (now roofless). Bricked up entrances to the station be seen in the wall on the west side.

Modus operandi: Subject is notable for its connection with various rumors dating back to the 1930s. A story popular with local schoolchildren claims subject was shut down due to the presence of a commuter train trapped in the tunnels by a collapse. According to the story, the train was unable to be extracted; neither was it possible to retrieve its passengers. The station is said to have been walled up upon discovery that rescue was impossible, leaving scores of souls entombed in the collapsed tunnel. They are said to have remained there ever since.

An additional story claims that a woman found the collapsed tunnel in 1978 and saw within it an old railway carriage filled with skeletons clad in decaying Victorian dress. Attempts to relocate the tunnel were unsuccessful.

Both stories have yet to be confirmed, although the persistence of the rumors is somewhat troubling.

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