ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

History of the Jack O' Lantern

Updated on October 1, 2016
Zodiacimmortal profile image

Previously a writer on Squidoo 2008- folded. I write about entertainment, crafts, writing, beauty and anything else that inspires me

Jack * O * Lantern

a pumpkin carved to look like a face and lit from within (with a candle, glow stick, flash light or other form of light) and in association with Halloween (Samhain).

I've recently come to learn that the term Jack O'Lantern was originally used to describe the 'foolish fire' phenomena known as the Will O' the wisps

The History of my Friend Jack O'Lantern

The story of the Jack O'Lantern hails from Ireland, where the character is at a pub is partaking in some spirits of the wet variety. So while at the bar Jack comes face to face with the Devil , who is there to claim his soul.

Ol' Jack was a con artist and was able to trick the devil into climbing a tree. Once Satan was at the top branch, Jack carved a crucifix into the tree trunk trapping the devil.

Jack was able to escape with his soul that night, and lived his trickster lifestyle to a ripe old age. When he got to the pearly gates he was turned away for his dishonest life and after he then arrived at Satan's underworld. The Devil glared evilly at Jack and refused his entry, this stranded him in the blackness of purgatory. Jake begged the devil for a candle to light his way and was granted a burning coal by Satan who then turned his back on Jack.

Stingy Jack found a turnip (how the heck is there a turnip in purgatory?) and carved it out, then placed the glowing ember inside using it as a lantern. (wait how did he even carry it to this point)

The Jack O'Lantern became an Irish symbol for the damned soul, and was placed in windows to ward off evil spirits. When the Irish came to America, the custom continued however finding turnips hard to come by, they started using pumpkins as they were easier to find as well as easier to carve.

Here's a short video from History Channel on the Jack O Lantern

(actually Halloween Originally known as Samhain was a pagan holiday, then when the Christians killed anyone that would not convert those who did still kept their old traditions and therefore many if not all Christian holidays are originally Pagan and have both Pagan and christian traditions (but a christian name)

The Story of the Jack O'Lantern for children

The Story of the Jack O'Lantern
The Story of the Jack O'Lantern

Honestly I do not have this book, but my neighbor across the street has it and I think he's 6 or 7. I thought to include this being as I have what I think is at least is a summary of the story here but I don't remember to what length, as I typed up the summary of the story from what I could remember.

It a nice little story or fable if you will, but it's just one part of Halloween history (per say)


How to pick a pumpkin - for carving

I know this would be munch better with a video, but for now a text description will have to do until I get somewhere I like the look of the pumpkins.

(if I'm able to get a pumpkin this year)

  1. Of course first go to grocery or BEST go to a farmers' market. (That's where I got the one in the intro picture)
  2. look among the pumpkins till you find one that catches your eye
  3. This should be smooth at least on one side with hopefully NO scarring (unless there's a way you can use it as part of the carving, say a Frankenstein theme) as well as a nice medium to dark orange color. I prefer medium to large sizes that are vertical in length (those stout ones seem to be a bit harder to work with) this is because I do not have precision cutting tools or one of those Dremels either.
  4. once you find one to your liking go pay for it.
  5. by now you should be home Pencil a circle around the stem, just an inch or 2 wider then your fist and that there's about a 1/2 inch to full inch in from the edge. (while doing this you can also pencil the face on as well.
  6. Now use a Permanent (sharpie) marker (the medium to chisel point) to go over the pencil outline so you can see the line better.
  7. Cut around the circle you drew around the Pumpkin stem.
  8. Gut the pumpkin & SAVE those seeds! make your own roasted pumpkin seeds (they taste SO much better than the store ones! especially being you can season them however you like) put the pumpkin innards in a separate bowl if you or family plan to do some kind of pumpkin cooking or baking..
  9. Now carve out those eyes, nose, mouth or whatever design you made

Jack Who?

So what's your preference to decorate a pumpkin?

We all have our preferences.


Carve,& put a candle or flashlight or glow stick in it.

use those things you just stick in

or just leave it whole as a centerpiece

or maybe you do all of them in one?

I want to know what as far as designing goes, is your favorite way to make it

What's your favorite way to decorate a Pumpkin?

See results

Screaming Hallows

OMG I want to get those fangs!

I am trying to find some of the NON carving Pumpkin kits Like the one I have that You can make A Cat, Bat or something else. (Haven't used it in a few years) But i'll add it when I come across it (as I'm not sure what it's called to find it)

Sources & Recommended Reading


The Little Big Book of Chills and Thrills

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

Origins of the Jack o lantern

You can Find some Pumpkin carving tools here

Happy Carving - Guest & Ghouls book

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Zodiacimmortal profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      @TanoCalvenoa: Oh My Thank you for all the kind words! Wish I could get at least a Lens of the Day honor if not for this than one of my other lenses.

      Thank you again!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      My kids are small (four of them, nine and younger), and I let them decide each year what type of face I'm going to carve. I buy one huge pumpkin for our family.

      This is a truly great Halloween lens! Deserving of accolades, awards, medals, and various other celebratory actions.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)