Paranormal experts and monster hunters have been queuing up to give their interpretation of a mysterious "dark figure with no features" spotted in Ewell last month.
Scott Martin and his family were travelling home by taxi on Tuesday, February 14, at about 10.30pm when they saw the terrifying figure they have likened to the legendary Spring Heeled Jack dart across the road before leaping 15ft over a bank as they approached Nescot College on the Ewell bypass.
The couple, an accountant and a manager of a building company from Banstead, their four year old son and the taxi driver all reported seeing the same figure.
So spooked were the family that their son was too scared to sleep on his own that night while the taxi driver admitted he didn’t want to drive back alone.
Theories put forward to explain the apparition include the road being haunted, natural scientific phenomena and even that it was an alien life form.
Jack Bowman, 32, writer and director with the Wireless Theatre Company who produced a three part radio series on the legend of Spring Heeled Jack, said: "What absolutely intrigues me about this is that Spring Heeled Jack hasn’t been seen since 1986.
"He’s pretty much been forgotten but here in 2012 he is being talked about again. I don’t for a second doubt that the family was terrified or what they had seen.
"He’s probably a physical phenomenon. He was witnessed by two people, a child and a taxi driver so he’s something physical which rules out any ghosts.
"A scientific explanation might be that he was an extra terrestrial entity for example and possibly an alien.
"If he came from somewhere with greater gravitational pull he would be able to jump higher."
Neil Arnold, 37, a self proclaimed full time monster hunter and author who has been investigating strange phenomena for 20 years, said: "I don’t think that what they saw has got anything to do with Spring Heeled Jack.
"He began life around 1837 pretty much around Kent, London and Surrey and basically attacked people.
"He dressed in very dark garb and a black coat. They said he used to spit blue flames in people eyes. Most of the time he would attack women, rip their clothes off and then run off.
"About three of four years ago I got a report of a woman driving when a dark figure walked across the road and she crashed her car to avoid it. I spoke to her and she was absolutely terrified. So witnesses are clearly seeing something.
"The trouble is that stuff happens all the time and it never gets explained.
"I would say if this was a normal person, something which seems unlikely, then we are probably dealing with a haunted road or road apparition of some sort.
"People used to say Spring Heeled Jack was an alien or a ghost. I’m not sure but I think he could have been a prankster which got out of control."
The original story was one the most read articles on our website epsomguardian.co.uk over the past fortnight.
One reader said: "The theory was that SHJack was an alien from a heavy gravity planet. No explanation in either case of how he got here.
"Possibly the planet he is from regards him as a criminal and he's sent here because he is as insane as we are.
"With only one of his kind here it would be a kind of hell."
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