Carving pumpkins is a favorite pastime around Halloween, but the origins of the tradition are more sinister than you might think.
Jack-o’-lanterns come from Ireland, specifically the Irish legend of a man named “Stingy Jack,” according to History.com.
According to the legend, Stingy Jack tricked and trapped the Devil twice and made the Devil promise not to take his soul.
When Jack eventually died, God didn’t allow Jack – an “unsavory figure,” according to History.com – into heaven. The Devil, who was upset with Jack for tricking him, also kept his word and didn’t allow Jack into hell.
Carving pumpkins is a favorite pastime around Halloween, but the origins of the tradition are more sinister than you might think. (iStock)
Rather, the Devil gave Stingy Jack a piece of burning coal and sent him away, according to History.com. Jack decided to put the coal in a carved-out turnip, which he used as a lantern as he roamed the Earth.
The Irish referred to Jack’s ghost as “Jack of the Lantern,” which was eventually shortened to “Jack O’Lantern,” according to History.com.
The website reported that people in Ireland and Scotland started carving faces onto turnips and potatoes to scare Stingy Jack and other spirits away from their homes.
The tradition of jack-o’-lanterns comes from the Irish legend of a man named “Stingy Jack,” who tricked the Devil. (iStock)
When Irish immigrants came to the U.S., they brought their tradition with them, but quickly switched to pumpkins.
According to the website, people have been carving jack-o’-lanterns for centuries. And this Halloween, 44% of Americans plan to carve a pumpkin, according to WalletHub.
If you’re looking for how to carve an amazing jack-o’-lantern this year, Marc Evan, the co-founder of Maniac Pumpkin Carvers, gave Fox News tips for pumpkin carving.