* Irene's Country Corner * - Jack O' Lantern


The legend of Jack o'Lantern

 © Grace. Not for download. Please, visit Countryside Haven if you like this graphic.

Pumpkins have been associated with Halloween since the mid-eighteen hundreds. The tradition of carving a pumpkin and placing a candle inside it has its origins in Ireland.
A stingy drunkard of an Irish blacksmith named Jack was a very unpleasant fellow. One evening of October 31st, Jack found himself in a local tavern. The Devil approached and asked Jack for his soul. Jack was not ready to leave this life yet, so he managed to trick the Devil and pleaded with him to have one more drink. The Devil agreed and as Jack didn't have any money left to pay the bartender, he convinced the Devil to change into a sixpence so he could pay for the drink and then the Devil could change back. As soon as the Devil turned into the coin, Jack pocketed him into his wallet. Because Jack had a silver cross inside it, the Devil could not change himself back and was trapped inside it. The Devil was furious and demanded to be set free. Jack agreed to let him out only if the Devil promised not to claim his soul for ten years.

Ten years later Jack came across the Devil again while walking on a dark country road, but once again, Jack was not ready to go. He convinced the Devil to get him an apple from a tree as a last meal. The Devil thought he had nothing to lose, so he jumped on Jack's shoulders to get the apple. Jack immediately pulled out his knife and carved a cross in the trunk of the tree trapping the Devil once more. Jack made him promise never to seek for his soul again. As the devil had no way out, he agreed. No one knows how the Devil managed to get out of the tree.

© Grace. Not for download. Please, visit Countryside Haven if you like this graphic.

When Jack finally died some months later, he was not admitted to Heaven, because of his life of drinking. Then, Jack tried to get into Hell, but the Devil also turned him away. Jack asked the Devil where should he go and the Devil said: "Back to where you came from!". The way back was windy and dark and Jack pleaded with the Devil to at least provide him a light. The Devil threw him a live coal straight from the fire of Hell, which Jack placed into the turnip he had been eating in order to to keep it from blowing out in the wind. That is how Jack became known as Jack of the Lantern.

Ever since, Jack has been doomed to wander in darkness with his lantern until "Judgment Day." Jack of the Lantern (Jack o'Lantern) became known as a symbol of a damned soul.

© Irene. Not for download. Please, visit Graphics by Irene if you like this graphic.

On Halloween, the Irish would carve out turnips and potatoes, placing a light inside to light the way. As in America turnips were hard to find and pumpkins were in abundance they became the new Jack-o-Lantern.

© Grace. Not for download. Please, visit Countryside Haven if you like this graphic. Click below if you have clicked on Halloween Tour on the Halloween Main Page.

| Continue the Halloween tour |

© Grace. Not for download. Please, visit Countryside Haven if you like this graphic.


 Visit my Graphics site

Other graphics by Graphics by Grace and Kim's Whim.
Please, note that these two sites are not on line anymore.
Information obtained at Halloween Howl

 | Back to the Halloween Menu |

This page was created on: September 27th 2002.

[ Site Index ] [ Home ]

 Nothing in this site is Public Domain. Graphics are copyrighted by various artists and are used with permission.
Please, click on the links above to visit the websites were you can download the graphics from. Do NOT take anything from my pages, please.