Spring-Heeled Jack, a high-jumping man-like creature first seen in the 1840's near London. Jack would attack women or cause carriages to run off the road, then run off with a high-pitched, mocking laugh. According to those who encountered him, Spring-Heeled Jack had red eyes and breathed fire.
While this may seem ridiculous to us today, sightings of him were taken very seriously, enough so that the mayor of London had to appeal for calm while the demon-like creature was investigated. Sightings of Jack would continue well into the 20th century, but no conclusive explanation has ever been offered.