You Don't Know Jack....
you know Jack?
Legend has it that the Jack-o-lanterns that we fondly carve during October originated in Irish folklore with the tale of Stingy Jack, and it happened on a night the devil came for his soul.
Stingy Jack was didn’t want to go to hell just yet. He would avoid it if he could, and so when the devil came for him, Jack invited the devil to have one last drink with him before departing to the depths of hell. The only thing was; Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay the bar tab and tricked the devil into transforming himself into a coin so that he could pay. Only Stingy Jack didn’t pay and instead placed the devilish coin in his pocket right next to a silver cross and thereby trapping the devil.
Not wanting to be caught and desiring his freedom, the devil agreed not to take Stingy Jack's soul to hell for another year. But the following year, when the devil returned to collect Jack's soul as promised, Jack convinced the devil to take a piece of fruit off a tree. The fruit was much too high to reach, so the devil had to climb the tree to get it, but once he was up in the tree, Stingy Jack carved a cross into the tree's bark and trapped him once more. Once again, the devil promised Jack that he would not take his soul. He promised not to return for ten years.
But Stingy Jack didn’t have that long to live. When he did die, he made his way to the gates of heaven. But the gates wouldn’t open for him. Stingy Jack had not led a noble and honorable life. He had been selfish and had no regard for anyone else. So off Jack went to the doors of hell, but instead of allowing him entry, the devil didn’t want him either. He had had enough of Jack and his tricks and refused him entry.
As a parting gift, the devil gave Jack a piece of burning coal and waved him off into the night. To keep it from burning out, Jack placed the coal into a carved-out turnip, and to this day, the coal lights his way as he looks for a place of refuge. He traveled up and across Ireland so often and only ever seen by the light in the carved-out turnip that he had earned the nickname Jack-O-Lantern.
So if you happen across an eerie light in the darkness, beware of just who could be holding it and be sure not to make any bets with strangers.
As Halloween approaches, I thought it would be fun to share stories in the spirit of the season! I have quite the list to share! Happy Halloween!