The Black Flash of Provincetown, a.k.a the Phantom Fiend or the Black Phantom, is a reported phantom or monster that plagued Provincetown, MA, in the years of 1938-1945. The reported phantom was remarkably similar to sightings of Spring Heeled Jack.
Appearance: An eight-foot tall humanoid with a deformed face, pointed ears, glowing eyes, clad in black and complete with black hooded cape which resembled bat wings. According to some witnesses, the tips of the creatures ears as well as it's eyes were silver or metallic and the creature was described as making noises similar to that of an insect.
Lore: The initial sightings were made by children who reported a black clothed-figured staring at them from behind trees and rocks around Halloween 1938. A couple of weeks later, further sightings by adults were reported, sightings that were far more personal and up-close in nature. One of these sightings involved witness Maria Costa who claimed the phantom leapt out at her from the darkness as she walked late one night near the Town Hall. As would be the case in future sightings, the phantom disappeared into the night with huge leaps and bounds. The sightings would soon escalate, with one Charles Farley who claimed to have shot the creature. Farley claimed the phantom merely laughed and leapt over the eight-foot tall fence and disappeared.
Reported Injuries: There were at least two reported cases of injuries, though none seemingly severe in nature. The first one involved one George Loboas who claimed to have had his fist crushed when he attempted to throw a punch at the phantom. The monster caught his throw and squeezed his hand with so much force that it brought him to the ground. In the second case a man identified only as Charley claimed the phantom struck him so hard that it knocked him to the ground.
Police Encounters: One November night in 1945, police received several complaints of the phantom spotted in the local schoolyard. Four to five officers responded and reported seeing the phantom. When the officers attempted to corner the monster it laughed and leapt over the ten-foot tall fence in one bound and disappeared into the night. According to one source, it was the opinion of the officers that the suspect may have been a pole-vaulter due to his reported athletic abilities!
The Black Flash Defeated?: In December 1945, four children claimed they were attacked by the phantom. The children sought safety in their house. When the phantom approached the house and began jiggling the doorknob, one Louis Janard decided to take matters into his own hands. Grabbing a pan of hot water from the stove, Janard climbed the roof and dumped the contents on the monster which Janard claimed let out a howl and disappeared. The phantom was never seen again. To read the obituary of a Louis Janard who may be the hero of this story, click HERE. (This Janard was born and raised in Provincetown and would have been around 14 years-old in 1945.)
Powers: The Black Flash was reported to have super-strength, the ability to make inhumanly large leaps and bounds, as well as to shoot a blue-colored fire from it's mouth.
The Black Flash as "Cabin Fever": To view a reprinted copy of a 1939 article from the Provincetown Advocate attributing "cabin fever" to reported sightings of the Black Flash, click HERE.
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