The original Jack O’Lantern was not a pumpkin. According to Irish folklore Jack O’Lantern legend goes back hundreds. As the story goes, A Stingy Irish man named Jack; —often described as a blacksmith—he was a miserable old drunk, well known quick temper and a reputation for cleverness loving to play tricks on anyone and everyone family, friends, his mother and even the Devil himself. One dark night exactly on Halloween Eve, Jack met the Devil outside the local public house because the Devil badly wanted his soul, Jack tricked the Devil by offering his soul in exchange for one more drink but he didn’t have the money to pay. The Devil quickly turned himself into the shape of a coin to pay the bartender, but Jack skipped out on the bill and Jack immediately snatched the coin and kept the devil-coin in his wallet that had a cross-shaped catch that he was carrying. Thus, the Devil could not shift back to his original form and Jack refused to allow the Devil to go free under one condition which is to promise not to claim Jack’s soul for one year.
The Devil accepted and a year later the Devil reappeared to Jack again while he was out walking on a country road and asked Jack to accompany him. The Devil tried collecting what he was due, but Jack told the Devil to take an apple from a tree; The Devil, thinking he had nothing to lose, when the Devil climbed up to retrieve an apple, Jack carved a cross on the trunk of the tree so that the devil couldn’t climb back down and the Devil was trapped once again. This time Jack freed the Devil again, on the condition not to take his soul when he finally died in exchange for his freedom: Seeing no way around his predicament again the Devil had to accept.
Unfortunately, When Stingy Jack eventually passed away many years later, he went to the pearly Gates of Heaven God would not allow him into heaven, he was not accepted because of his life of drinking and because he was too mean had been so tight-fisted and deceitful and had led a miserable and worthless life on earth. So, Jack was sent down to Hell , where the Devil belong to find out whether it were possible to gain entrance into the depths of Hell, but the Devil keeping his word that had been made to Jack years earlier on the earth, he refused his admission .
Jack was confused where can he go, had nowhere to go but the devil gave him this answer …Back to where you came from! The way back forever was windy and very dark between Heaven and Hell. Stingy Jack asked the Devil to at least provide him with a light to help find his way. But, because he wasn’t so bad, and as a final gesture he gave Jack single burning coal from the fires of Hell to help him to light his way in the dark of limbo to “find his own hell.” Jack put the piece of coal into an -out turnip…one of Jack’s favorite foods which he always carried around with him whenever he could steal one, he had supposedly been roaming the earth with it ever since without a resting place. So the familiar question who was Jack O Lantern? He and the lights was named after the phenomenon of strange light burning as he searches for a home flickering over peat bogs, called will-o’-the-wisp.
When The Irish immigrated to the USA, they brought their traditions of carving pumpkins into Jack O’Lantern to America with them. Pumpkins were not the first vegetable to be carved. Pumpkins did not exist in Ireland and because they couldn’t find turnips to carve in America but they found a lot of pumpkins which were suitable for carving instead turnips and lighting them with embers to make a Jack O’Lantern to ward off evil spirits, and also a way of protecting your home against the undead. Since then, pumpkins are an essential part of Halloween celebrations. This Ancient Celtic cultures in Ireland is the historical root of Halloween pumpkin carving on All Hallow’s Eve as festival lights. We know Halloween is all about fun, but that doesn’t mean you have stop here, take a look at other fun stuff and enjoy our collection, have a look at some of our past articles to help get you started, Halloween Traditions Around The World and Best Halloween Decorating Ideas for Your Holiday Home. Enjoy and happy holidays!