Did You Know The Origin Of The Jack-O-Lantern?

      It is a story about a man named: "Stingy Jack" He was an old Irish drunkard that invited the Devil to have a drink with him one Halloween night.

  "If you pay for it" the Devil replied.

          "But you can change yourself into anything you want to" Jack protested. "Change yourself into a sixpence. After I've paid for the drink, you can change yourself back." The Devil agreed. He mumbled a spell, disappeared, and there on the counter was a shiny new sixpence. But Stingy Jack quickly put the coin into his pocket, where a silver cross prevented the Devil from getting out. "If you leave me alone for a year, I'll let you out," Jack promised. The Devil agreed and was released. Jack intended to repent, take his pay home to his wife, and go to church and give to the poor. But as soon as he was out of danger, Jack soon returned to his old ways.

          The next Halloween Jack met up with the Devil on a lonely road. "He's come to take my soul now" thought Jack. But this time he tricked the Devil into sparing his soul for ten years. But before the ten years were up, Jack died. He was turned away at the gates of heaven, Jack made his way to the gates of hell.

          "Go away," shouted the Devil.

          "Where can I go ?" said Jack. "Go back to where you've come" ordered the Devil. "You tricked me, and made me promise not to claim your soul." snapped the Devil.

           Jack began his long trek back through wind and darkness. As Jack trudged on, eating a turnip as he went, the Devil threw him a live coal out of the fires of hell. In desperation to find his way, Jack put the live coal inside the turnip. Ever since that time, Jack is said to be roaming the face of the earth with his "Jack O' Lantern", searching for a place to rest.

          When the Druids went door to door, requiring the human sacrifice and it was given over, the Druids would leave a turnip carved out to resemble that of an evil spirit. The turnip would be lit up with a candle usually made from human fat. This they would put at the doorposts of the homes that gave the "Treats". The evil spirits would then "pass over" the house they thought.

          The customs from Great Britain and Ireland, are now in modern-day America. The only difference now is that the "globe-faced" pumpkins that sit on the porches, fenceposts and in the windows of American homes at Halloween are a reminder of the turnips of old. Even today we continue the same tradition of carving out the face of the pumpkin to resemble the evil faces of the spirits.

Black Cats

Happy Halloween !