Hope everyone is having a lovely spooky season. 🎃 This photo is from a display at The Big E.
I remember learning about the history of Halloween in high school, and was reminded during my trip to Salem of early Jack-o'-lanterns.
I have heard different variations of the story, but Jack-o'-lanterns come from an Irish myth about a man named Stingy Jack. The one I heard recently was that Jack tricked the devil into a tree by telling him he would sell his soul if the devil could get an apple from the branch. While the devil was in the tree, Jack carved a cross in the tree, trapping him there, only letting him free when the devil promised him he wouldn't go to hell. When Jack died, he of course was not let into heaven, but also was kept his promise by the upset devil and wasn't sent to hell. So, he was left with an coal from hell to have light to guide him in the dark as he searched for a home. He put the coal in a carved out turnip to make a lantern. The Irish began to call him "Jack of the Lantern" or "Jack-o'-lantern". People began to make their own version of Jack's lantern by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes, and placed them in windows and near doors to scare off Jack and other evil spirits. This tradition was brought to the United States, where pumpkins were native, by immigrants. The people discovered that the pumpkins were larger and easier to carve, leading to the Jack-o'-lanterns we know today.
Again, I have heard a few different variations and details of the story, so pardon me if I have gotten some details wrong while trying to remember to the best of my knowledge the story I heard while visiting the museums in Salem. 😅
Have you heard of this story before? If so, what version have you heard?
As I have gotten older, history has become so intriguing to me. I really want to start exploring historical places more.
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