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|Meaning:||Jack of the lantern, damned soul|
Legend of the Name
Back in Ireland lived a man called Stingy Jack. He was a drunkard and a thief who liked to cheat people out of what he owed them. One night he met the Devil in a pub. The two of them were drinking together and having a great time, but when Jack ran out of money, he told the Devil he would give his soul for one more drink. The Devil, always eager to take such an offer, agreed to turn himself into a sixpence coin so that Jack could pay the bartender. The Devil transformed himself, but Jack pocketed the coin and left the bar without his last drink. The only other object in his pocket was a silver cross, which kept the Devil at bay. Using the cross to overpower him, Jack bargained with the Devil that he could not take his soul for seven years.
Seven years passed while Jack continued his drinking and thievery. The Devil appeared to him on the road, ready to collect on Jack's part of the bargain. But Jack, clever as always, made a final request. All he wanted before he went was an apple from that tree that was too tall for him to climb. The Devil agreed to this simple request, and scaled the tree. But before he could pick the apple, Jack carved a cross into the tree trunk, trapping the Devil in the branches. He would not let him down until the Devil agreed never to take his soul.
Jack lived a long and sinful life. He finally died while stealing turnips from a farmer's garden. His ghost went to Heaven, but was turned away for living a life of sin. His ghost then went to Hell, but the Devil had agreed never to take his soul. Doomed to wander the dark world, Jack asked the Devil for a light. The Devil flung one of the coals from the fires of Hell at him and told him never to return. Jack hollowed out one of the turnips he had stolen and scooped the coal inside it as a make-shift lantern. "Jack of the lantern," abbreviated in Irish dialect as Jack O'lantern, wanders the marshes of Ireland. His lantern can be seen as strange lights that flicker over the marshes, also called will o' the wisp and ignis fatuus (foolish fire). Those who follow the lights are doomed never to return.
History of the Jack O'Lantern
The original Jack O'Lanterns were made from turnips, as the legend portrays. Jack of the Lantern was considered a symbol of all damned souls, and people painted faces on (or carved faces into) turnips, potatoes and other vegetables in order to ward off these damned souls as they wandered the night.
When Irish immigrants came to America, they found that turnips were less plentiful than in Ireland, but gourds, including pumpkins, could serve this purpose even better. Thus was an American tradition born.
- Jack O Lantern Mushroom: Omphalotus illudens, a poisonous mushroom native to the Eastern United States, and rumored to have bioluminescent properties.
- Jack O Lantern Resort: Golf resort, Woodstock, New Hampshire
- The Great Jack o'Lantern Blaze: Halloween event in Hudson Valley, New York featuring 4,000 carved pumpkins.
- Jack O'Lantern: comic book villain. He is portrayed with a burning pumpkin head and can use hallucinogenic gas as a weapon.
- Jack o'lantern
- Jack O Lantern
Author: Sarena Ulibarri
|Meaning||Jack of the lantern, damned soul +|
|Meaningnc||jack of the lantern, damned soul +|
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|Rank in 2000s||0 +|