Jack-o-Lanterns in Halloween History

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Jack o lanterns have their role in Halloween history, get expert tips and advice on the history of Halloween in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Understanding the History of Halloween
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Video Transcript

Come, travel back in time with me as we explore the brief history of Halloween. One of the biggest symbols of Halloween, the jack-o-lantern, is associated with Irish tradition. This comes from the Irish belief, a long ago time, there was a rascal of a fellow named Jack who had the audacity to trick the very devil himself. It is said that Jack played a trick on the devil by enticing him up into a tree, then carving the sign of the cross in the tree so that the devil could not get down. In exchange for removing the sign the devil had to promise not to come after Jack's soul. Well, the devil kept his promise, but it did not prevent Jack from eventually dying. Because Jack had been a stingy miserly drunkard in his life he was not admitted into heaven. Desperate for a place to rest his soul, Jack appealed to the devil to let him reside in Hell. But, because Jack had tricked the devil, the devil would not let Jack into Hell. Instead, Jack was condemned to run the earth forever, searching for an eternal resting place. The devil gave Jack a candle, which Jack put into the turnip he was eating. From that day on he has roamed the earth, with his lantern, looking for that place to rest. And, that is how we got the modern day Jack-O-Lantern. Stay tuned for History of Halloween, Chapter 11.


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