A taxi ride home on Valentine's night turned into a nightmare when a family were confronted by a terrifying apparition that looked and moved like the legendary Spring Heeled Jack.
Scott Martin and his family were travelling home by taxi from Stoneleigh on Tuesday, February 14, at about 10.30pm when they saw a mysterious ‘dark figure with no features’ dart across the road in front of them before leaping 15ft over a roadside bank as they approached Nescot College on the Ewell bypass.
Spooked by their seemingly supernatural experience the couple’s four-year-old son, Sonny, was too scared to sleep on his own that night, while the petrified taxi driver admitted he didn’t want to drive back alone.
Mr Martin, 40, the manager of a building company who lives in Blue Cedars in Banstead, said: "We were driving down the Ewell bypass and saw a man on the other side of the road.
"We didn't pay much attention until he started crossing over to our side of the road, the next thing he jumped over the centre fencing in the road and ran across our two lanes.
"On the side of our road is a bank easily 15ft in height and this figure crossed our road, climbed this bank and was gone from sight all in about two seconds.
"All four of us were baffled and voiced our sighting straight away with the same detail. A dark figure with no real features, but fast in movement with an ease of hurdling obstacles I've never seen.
"My last image was of him going through the bushes at the top of the bank."
Mr Martin said the driver of the taxi shared his fears as the mysterious figure made off.
"I'm not usually one to be freaked by these sightings but the cab driver was petrified," he added.
"He didn't want to drive back alone. I am honestly baffled by this sighting and we are intrigued by it because it was so real but so strange."
His wife Sacha, 37, who is an accountant added: "It was more that someone was trying to cross the road of a dual carriageway that was weird. My little boy was really freaked out."
The family has since likened the figure to the legendary Spring Heeled Jack - a mysterious dark figure reported to be responsible for a string of attacks in the 1800s and known for his ability to leap great heights first sighted in Wandsworth in 1837.
Mary Stevens was walking home along Lavender Hill when a tall figure leapt out grabbing her and firmly kissing her before releasing her with a loud laugh, leaping high into the air and disappearing.
Sightings continued across Victorian London, others describing Jack’s red flaming eyes and claws, so much so that in 1938 the Lord Mayor of London declared him a public nuisance leading one vigilante group to attempt to capture him, albeit unsuccessfully.
However there had been no reported sightings in Epsom and Ewell, the last sighting recorded in Birmingham in 1986.
Mr Martin added: "It was something we all saw and it wasn’t imagination. I’m quite a sensible man but I have never seen anything move that quickly across the road and not been startled by the fact that we were driving toward him. It's the first time we have ever seen anything like this. If it was a burglar it is the fastest I had ever seen anyone run. That's the only other explanation. But it was just too quick."
Both Surrey Police and Nescot College confirmed they had received no reports of unusual incidents or sightings in the area that night.