True Tales of the Jack O'Latern
As Halloween comes every year the most notable symbol for this Holiday is the Pumpkin. Rather it be carving them up, or eating them. Seems we cant get enough pumpkins in our lives during this holiday season. So where did this pumpkin obsession originate from, and what was it’s original meaning and purpose?
The Jack O’Latern’s roots come from Ireland’s Celtic religion. It is rumored that in pre-christian Ireland that the Jack O’laterns first existed to ward off evil Spirits. Others say it resembles the small fires naturally found in boggs that help light the way through. However, the Name Jack O’latern originates form a very specific story, about a miserable old trixter of a man named Stingy Jack. The stories vary in how Jack and the devil came to know one another. Some say they met in bar when Jack was in need of coin for more drink. Other versions say they met in the woods when jack needed assistance with a tree. No matter the version, the story is all about Jack playing mean tricks on all those around him, even the devil himself. The stories are specific in that Jack used a Silver cross to trap the devil in different forms. Each time the devil is tricked, it is in the Devil trying to assist Jack in some manner.
After being tricked so many times, Jack and Devil came to an agreement. Jack agreed that he would no longer call onto the devil, nor trick him ever again, and in return the Devil will not take his soul to hell. A bargain was then made and paid on both sides. When jack passed away he first arrived at the gates of heaven, only to be turned way. Who delivered him the message is not clear, but the message remains the same, heaven is no place for people who play such miserable tricks on others.
And thus Jack made his way to the devil at the gates of Hell. The Devil met with him and reminded him of their deal that they had made. As Jack upheld his end of the bargain, the Devil too upheld his. Like at the gates of heaven, the gates of hell were also closed to Jack. Not knowing where else to go Jack was left to remain wandering on earth a lost soul. The Devil looked down on Jack with pitty and threw him an amber to help light and heat his way as he traveled through the darkness. Jack had a Turnip on him, as it was his favorite food. He quickly made out a hole and placed the ember inside. And this became the first Jack O’latern.
This story is an unusual one and will have you questioning ning things immediatly, obvisouly the first question is, but it was a Turnip? Yes, the first jack O’laterns were made from Turnips, as Pumpkins are a food of the new world, not the old. However, the Irish did not limit themselvest to lighting Jack’s way with only using turnips. They would use many other foods such as potatoes, guards , and beets. When the Irish came to the Colonies in what is now the USA, they found pumpkins and they quickly became the most ideal food to use for Jack Lantern.
Many new stories have arrived about Jack. Many say he lost his head in the insanity of the darkness, and its mutated into a pumpkin itself. Jack had become more twisted in his pranks and turned into a full blown demon, but with no home to return to, making him even more vengeful. Jackthen sought out the Devil to make a new deal to end his suffering of roaming the earth. Some even claim that a deal has already been made, and Jack is now a headless cavalry man for the devil. Causing all kinds of chaos and darkness for the devil’s amusement. Jack is stuck serving the twisted pleasures of the devil until his time is served.
So as the holiday arrives, don’t forget to light up your Jack O’Laterns in memory of the light given to help guide us and protect us all from the insanity and fears of the long dark days to come.