Spring-heeled Jack was a general Victorian nickname for a street robber who relied on speed in running to escape. And Lewes had one of its own.
This character, with spring-loaded boots, used to hang out behind hedges at the bottom of Keere Street.
He wasn’t so much of a robber, as a very scary person. He favourite trick was to leap out before courting lovers, bounce about on his springs and then take off into the darkness.
Not for the faint-hearted.
He was also a figure - real or imaginary - who could also be exploited as a bogey to control children.
In Lewes in the 1890s some children were told that, if they were not good, he would leap up and peer in at them through their bedroom windows. They imagined him as a weirdly tall figure in white, whose springs rattled as he leapt.
Whether or not Spring-Heel Jack was a folklore figure before appearing in popular print, he certainly rapidly became one.
Rouser seems to recall that a movie was even recently made about him ... in Lewes.