Perak: The Spring Man of Prague
The Spring Man of Prague or "Perak" is some sort of man or creature who reportedly appeared in Czechoslovakia between 1939 and 1945. This being was very similar in both appearance and behavior to Spring-Heeled Jack of British legend. The reason for both of their names was their ability to jump over tall structures and the assumption that they did so with the help of springs or some other device.
Perak would supposedly jump out at people and scare them. This is decidedly less sinister than the cutting and terrorizing done by Jack, but there was a man reportedly attacking people with razors in Prague around the same time they say Perak was active, so the two legends may have merged. Either way, there seem to be no police records whatsoever of the Spring Man of Prague.
Interestingly, unlike with Spring-Heeled Jack, Perak was later portrayed as a hero in fiction. He was initially a figure who teased the SS who were occupying Prague at the time. Later, he went on to have other adventures, but his first appearance in fiction might give a clue as to why the Spring Man of Prague came about to begin with. Prague was then occupied by the Nazis, and its people were likely living in fear. It is not unusual that an urban legend spring, pun intended, from such circumstances.
Posted by Michelle Barclay