Jack-o-Lantern Legend and Pumpkins
Jack-o-Lantern Legend and Pumpkins
No Halloween would be complete without making a Jack-o-Lantern. If you haven't got a pumpkin, then a turnip will do. In the old days we lit them with candles, but I see the youngsters of today using electric bulbs.
It is unlikely that pumpkins grew in the Celtic heartlands, so our ancestors probably made lanterns by hollowing out turnips and placing a candle inside. There is an enduring Irish story based on the Jack-o-Lantern character. In the story, Jack tricks the Devil into climbing up an apple tree with a promise of cider. Then mischievously, Jack carved the sign of the cross into the apple tree's trunk, this infuriates the Devil as he dare not climb down and touch the cross.
Years later Jack dies, but because of his life of mischief, drunkenness and worse, there is no chance of him going to heaven. Reluctantly, Jack heads for Hell, but the devil remembers his prank with the cross on the apple tree, and consequently refuses Jack entry to hell. Thus Jack is left to roam the netherworld, and the only time of the year when he can become visible is at Halloween, hence Jack-o-Lantern.
Jack Pumpkinhead first appeared in 'The Marvelous Land of Oz' by Frank Baum (circa 1904). Jack's body is made from pieces of wood or tree branches, and he is topped off with a pumpkin head.
Guy thinks Pumpkinhead looks like a Halloween Pinocchio, especially when Pumpkinhead is made with jointed limbs. Will wonders if Jack-o-Lantern gave Frank the idea for his creation.
Once upon a very long time ago, there lived a great big pumpkin. I can remember walking down that old country road and seeing that poor old pumpkin just sitting in the pumpkin patch. Nobody else wanted him because he was just too big and it would have been too much work to clean and carve him. Ah, old Jack. He sure was a handsome pumpkin.
I decided right then and there, that I just had to have that pumpkin. I picked up that pumpkin and I carried him all the way home, all by myself. He was a very heavy pumpkin and I just about broke my back getting him home but, I made it safely.
I lived in an old log cabin all by myself. I was a lonely old fellow, way back then. It was just me and my old black cat, Bumpkins.
Me and Bumpkins go way back. He was just a tiny kitten when he showed up at my doorstep one Halloween night, many years ago. And, do you want to know something? Bumpkins was the only one that has turned up at my doorstep since.
Over the years, I bought bags and bags of candy. No-one came. I was sad to see all that candy go to waste, but more than anything else, I had wanted to see some happy faces around here. I had all but given up on Halloween this one year. I had decided that I wasn't going to carve a pumpkin that year! I had also decided that I wasn't going to shell out any candy. I was bound and determined that I wasn't going to celebrate Halloween that year. That was until I had spotted Old Jack in that pumpkin patch.
I couldn't believe no one had picked that huge pumpkin from the patch. As soon as I had spotted Old Jack, I knew that this Halloween was going to be the best ever.
Bumpkins and I tenderly carved Old Jack out with care. He turned out perfectly. His teethy smile radiated a special glow when I set him outside on my front porch and lit his candle. I had no sooner lit the candle and there, right on my front doorstep were all kinds of happy faces around me. I was so happy myself that I had tears coming out of my eyes as I shelled out the candy to them.
Old Jack saved my Halloween that year. I kept the seeds from that there pumpkin and the following spring I planted them in my garden. Every year now, all my jack-o-lanterns are a part of Old Jack and I've never had a lonely Halloween since.
How to Make a Jack-o-Lantern for Halloween or Bonfire Night
If you like this page then please share it with your friends
See more funny Halloween pumpkin carvings and Jack-o-lantern pictures