The Spirit of the Jack o’ Lantern

The first Jack o' lantern

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The Spirit of the Jack o’ Lantern

By Josh Manus, Staff Writer

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Every October yellow and orange glowing faces peer out at the street from porches and doorsteps, but why? The tradition of the Jack o’ lantern was started in Ireland where large turnips and potatoes served as a blank canvas. The name Jack o’ lantern comes from the Irish folk tale of a man named Jack. The story goes that Jack asked the devil out to drink and when it came time to pay Jack convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin so he could pay for the drinks. When the Devil agreed the man tossed the coin into his pocket next to a silver cross so the Devil could not turn back. When the Devil agreed to not claim Jack’s soul when he died Jack released him. When it came time for Jack to die God did not want an unsavory soul such as Jack’s into Heaven. In accordance to his word the Devil did not claim Jack’s soul, and now Jack roams the Earth with a lantern, never able to find his final resting place.

 

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