The Story of Jack-O-Lanterns

With Halloween season upon us and the tricks and treats coming your way, most children carve pumpkins and put them outside to show off and celebrate the season. There is nothing more interesting than to know where things came from, so here is a journey through time of where jack-o-lanterns came to be.

According to http://www.history.com, it started in Sweden somewhere up north where the legends say there was a man by the name of Stingy Jack. Stingy Jack was a curious man who loved Halloween. Jack liked to talk to the spirits of the dead while eating with them as a symbol of friendship. On the day of Halloween, Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him as he did every year.

True to his name, Stingy Jack did not want to pay for his drink, so he persuaded the Devil to turn himself into a coin that he could use to buy their drinks and food. Once the Devil transformed himself, Jack decided to keep the coin and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross. The cross prevented the Devil from changing back into his original human form. Jack finally decided to free the Devil but under the condition that the Devil would not bother Jack for one year, and when Jack died, the Devil would not forsake his soul.

The preceding Halloween year, Jack again bamboozled the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While the Devil was high up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the silver cross into the tree’s roots which grew tiny pumpkins. The Devil could not come down until he promised Jack not to bother him for the next ten years. After this, the tree grew huge pumpkins which the children of Sweden carved for their parents. Jack sold these pumpkins with lights in them, so the faces would glow and bring light into the darkness. This is a story of how Jack- O- Lanterns came to be.          

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