The Tale of “Jack of the Lantern”

Ever wonder why it is that we crave creepy and scary faces into pumpkins for Halloween? Look no further!! I have the answer for you right here dear students and friends. Now sit around while I tell you the “Legend of Stingy Jack.” According to this Irish myth there was a man nicknamed Stingy Jack who once had a drink with the Devil. He ends up “convincing” the Devil to pay for the drinks by turning himself into money. Once the Devil did so, Jack  decided to kept the money and held it by a silver cross to stop the Devil from returning to is original form. Jack stated that he would release the Devil only if he promised not to bother Jack for one year and that if he should die, he would not claim his soul. Naturally, the Devil was released. The following year, Jack tricked the Devil into climbing a tree to pick fruit. While the Devil was in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the bark forcing the Devil to promise not to bother Jack for another 10 years. Jack died soon after and was turned away both the Devil and by God. But the Devil gave Jack a piece of burning coal to light his way through the darkness. Jack placed the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth ever since. The Irish began to refer to him as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then “Jack O’Lantern.” As the story grew people carved Jack O’Lanterns and placed them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other evil spirits. Carving pumpkins only began once the tradition took place here in America since it was easier to carve.

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