History of the Jack O’Lantern and Stingy Jack



A long time ago in Celtic Ireland, witches used to use skulls with burning candles inside and leave them on roadways to lead the ways to their coven meetings. However, according to Irish legend, there used to be a miserable, stingy drunk called Jack. Jack somehow managed to trick the devil by making him climb an apple tree and then carving the sign of the cross on the tree’s trunk to stop the devil from climbing down. Jack then made the devil promise him that he would never come after Jack’s soul, and that Jack would never go to hell.

The devil agreed.


When Jack died though, he wasn’t allowed into heaven because he had been a drunk and a selfish person during his life. He was then sent to the devil, who also kept his promise and refused to let him into hell. Jack could go neither to hell nor heaven, and was instead condemned to return to earth and wander for ever. Jack was eating a turnip at the time, and the devil tossed a piece of live coal at him, which Jack placed inside the turnip, which made it look like a lantern. Jack has since been roaming the earth with his lantern to light his way and help him find a good resting place.

That’s the story of Jack-o-Lantern.

If you like this story, please share it with your friends! You can also use it as a great scary Halloween story! You can also read here about the history of Halloween.

Or click here for Jack o Lantern and Pumpkin coloring pages.