The Rampant Jekylled Whatabanker – London, 1886
One morning in 1886 a banker working at the Bank of England happened to notice an old safety deposit box had been left open. Curious as to its contents he peered in and found a strange bottle of liquid looking rather similar to a fine brandy. Knowing that any theft would be swiftly dealt with he shut the box until he heard the lock engage but not before he had briefly removed the bottle and taken a quick sip. It was not brandy.
course of the day the banker started to develop a craving for sweets, he
demolished a pennies worth of mint bulls eyes without batting an eye lid and
followed it with 2lb of boiled candy but still the craving continued. By the
afternoon small purple hairs had started to sprout on the backs of his hands.
His clothes felt tight and he started to panic, what had been in that strange
Then the convulsions started, they were violent enough to draw gasps from his colleagues as he writhed around eventually slipped groaning to the floor dragging the contents of his desk with him. By now his fellow bankers had gathered in a corner afraid to peer over his desk from where the sound of ripping fabric could be heard. Suddenly there was an almighty roar of the words ‘hungry!’ as the desk was hurled across the room and up leapt an eight foot purple furred muscle rippling giant of a beast. It pounded over to the banks main safe and ripped open its three foot steel door, grabbing several bags of money it thudded away down Threadneedle Street in the direction of the nearest sweet shop.
As the monster cleared out each sweet shop and wrought destruction it grew larger and larger as it shovelled handfuls of boiled sweets into its mouth. London cowered under the power of the beast, a simple banker was going to destroy the capital and there was nothing anybody could do about it. As it reached Bridge Street it turned and clambered up Big Ben jeering at the angry crowds gathered below whilst candy and banknotes rained down as it shook a massive fist. It was too late; London’s iconic landmark was going to fall.
The clock struck twelve like a last cry for help. Startled the beast roared with anger and tried to stop the noise, as it reached to rip open the top of the tower it lost its grip and for a few seconds looked like it was going to crash down on the Palace of Westminster. It fell heavily on Bridge Street and lay unconscious from the fall.
From out of the gathered crowds stepped a mysterious stranger carrying a Gladstone bag. Tall, well dressed with a small moustache and wild eyes. The stranger reached into his bag and pulled out a syringe, quickly injecting the beast he disappeared back into the crowds. Minutes later the creature started to writhe around, moaning and groaning as it started to shrink back to the humble frame of the errant banker.
All this is recorded faithfully in the London City records for the year of 1886. Newgate prison records reveal that the banker was jailed but was freed unconditionally after the owner of the safety deposit box made a large donation to the government. For the stranger in the crowds and the owner of the safety deposit box was one and the same person; Robert Louis Stevenson, noted author of the publishing sensation of the day, a book called "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde". The safety deposit box had contained a bottle of liquid concocted by Robert during one of his many bouts of ill health, Robert quickly noted that it had mind and body altering properties and used it to help when writing. In the safety deposit box the solution had steadily fermented becoming more and more dangerously potent each day.
This information was passed on to the Bank of England who secured box 127 for reasons of public safety. A spokesman for the bank issued a statement regarding the affair that ended with the ominous words 'We don’t want to risk a rampant set of bankers ruining it all again.'