- Origins of Jack O'Lantern
One day he tricked Satan into climbing a tree. Jack then carved the image of a Holy Cross in the trunk of the tree. This trapped the Devil up the tree.
Jack made a deal with the Devil that: he would let the Devil down the tree, if the Devil promised to never tempt him again.
After Jack died, he was not permitted into Heaven because of his evil ways. He was also denied access to Hell because he had tricked the Devil. The devil gave him a single ember to light his way through the freezing blackness. This flame was put inside a hollowed-out turnip to keep it glowing.
As Jack walked his neverending journey as punishment for his trickery, he carried a burning coal inside a turnip to help him see along the roads everywhere he traveled. Soon he was known as "Jack of the lantern" or Jack O'Lantern.
In Ireland, turnips were used as their Jack's lanterns originally. However, immigrants to America, found pumpkins more plentiful than turnips. The Jack-O-Lantern in America was a hollowed-out pumpkin, lit with an ember.
Excerpted from jackolanterns.net