I was doing some on line browsing, looking for clues regarding the origins of Sweeney Todd, the Sweeney Todd myth which many, if not most, people believe to be true. Was there ever a demon barber of Fleet Street who slashed throats and provided the tasty fillings for Mrs Lovett's pies, er,yum,yum. Or was it just an urban legend which took on the trappings of historical events, repeated so many times it became the trope of penny Dreadfuls and the more outre stage presentations, saturating the London Dreaming Brain. In many ways London is such a constantly shifting and evolving entity its history, real and imagined, emerges like memories.
Anyway, I got my answer, but in looking around for the sources of the story I came across so many other great tales that had their roots in the same festering barrel of nightmares. Here are a couple of the covers of the publications such nightmares were birthed in. feast your eyes...
And be sure to check you have locked the front door before bedtime.
Spring Heeled Jack might be about.