The Legend of Jack o’ Lanterns and Their Evil Roots

Jack o’ lanterns … The legend of jack o’ lanterns and their evil roots! A fall decoration that you carve and put a light inside it. Plus, I share about The legend of jack-o’-lanterns and the evil dark side of these fall decorations you see around Halloween time.

The Legend of Jack o’ Lanterns and Their Evil Roots

The legend of jack-o'-lanterns and their evil roots #Jackolanterns ( jack o' lanterns )

So what is a Jack o’ lantern? According to WikiPedia, A jack o’ lantern is a carved pumpkin or turnip lantern, associated with the holiday of Halloween and named after the phenomenon of a strange light flickering over peat bogs, called will-o’-the-wisp or jack-o’-lantern. Even in Halloween Superstitions Revealed it tells us this about them. Jack-o’-lanterns light up Halloween nights. Jack o’ lanterns were originally made out of hollowed-out turnips, but pumpkins replaced the turnips when the Irish emigrated to North America. Jack-o’-lanterns were used to guide lost souls and keep evil spirits at bay.

The legend of jack o’ lanterns

The legend of jack o' lanterns #JackOLanterns #Halloween Click To Tweet

The tradition of jack o’ lanterns began in Ireland and Scotland, and pumpkins were not the first gourd of choice to use as lanterns. Turnips and rutabagas were often used because of their availability. When Irish immigrants migrated to America, they brought their jack-o’-lantern traditions with them. Turnips were not as prevalent on this side of the Atlantic, so carvers turned to pumpkins, which were larger and easier to carve. Jack-o’-lanterns get their name from Irish folklore, particularly a character named Jack.

Jack liked to drink and couldn’t pay his pub tab, making a deal with the Devil for his soul to cover the pub fee. Not to mention, Jack agreed, but he tricked the Devil to get away with his soul and captured the Devil. Jack agrees to free the Devil if he makes a new deal that the Devil can’t ever have his soul. Years pass and Jack eventually dies. Because of his poor lifestyle, he is not material for heaven, and Jack is once again reunited with the Devil. Because the Devil remembers he cannot have Jack’s soul, Jack is forced to roam the twilight world forever as a lost soul. The Devil gives Jack a few embers to burn to light the way, which Jack stores in a hollowed-out turnip. Eventually these lanterns, used to keep scary spirits at bay, were called jack-o’-lanterns.

The legend of jack-o’-lanterns compliments of MetroCreative TF14A591

A Book

A book to check out for kids, It’s Not About You, Mr. Pumpkin by Soraya Diase Coffeelt. It is a very well written children’s book about the truth of Halloween. In this book it also explains where carved pumpkins came into being. She even points out a fairy tale about a man named Jack who was not able to go to heaven or hell when he died and punished to roam the earth in darkness carrying a lantern until Judgement Day. As one example of the things she pointed out about Halloween. This book is good about pointing out about celebrating Jesus instead.


We know the truth, that id you die you either go to Heaven or Hell. (Your Final Destination). We don’t float in the middle. We also know the devil won’t be ruler over hell. Satan will be in the Lake of Fire as punishment, as well as, those who rejected Jesus Christ. So if the story was true about Jack, he simply went to hell, not anywhere in between. We also know that carved pumpkins or carved turnips won’t scare off evil spirits. The only cure we have for anything is Jesus Christ! Jesus even cast out demons out of a man and into a herd of pigs. Those pigs couldn’t handle those demonic forces and jumped off a cliff. So we know Jesus can cure anything and rid anything. He died to save us from both sin and death.

If You Must Carve!

If you must carve a pumpkin, check out this Pumpkin Prayer. It is a prayer you can do as you carve your pumpkin.

Pumpkin Related Blog Post

Pumpkin Related Blog Post

First published October 11, 2017. Last updated or republished October 11, 2021.

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About the Author

Author: Steve Patterson

A Christian Blogger that enjoys blogging about the Bible, Theology, God, Jesus Christ, Christian Music, Family, Cats, Odd Holidays, sewing and much more. I have been blogging since 2004, however, I have been blogging on Courageous Christian Father since 2012. I enjoy listening to Christian Music. I am married with 1 daughter, 2 step-sons and a step daughter.

2 thoughts on “The Legend of Jack o’ Lanterns and Their Evil Roots

  1. There are pagan origins to many things we do or celebrate here in the states.
    We must be careful as Christians not to be hauty towards those who do celebrate these things.

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