Have you ever wondered why people carve pumpkins at Hallowe'en or who was 'Jack'?
Jack o lanterns are said to have originated through an Irish myth about a horrible man nicknamed “Stingy Jack" who invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn into a coin so Jack could use it to buy their drinks but - Jack kept the coin instead and put it in his pocket next to a silver cross, preventing the Devil from changing back into his original form.
Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul.
As the legend goes, Jack tricked the devil a few more times and when Jack eventually died, he was too unsavoury to get into heaven.
The Devil, upset by the tricks Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, wouldn't allow Jack into hell.
Instead, the Devil sent Jack off into the dark night with only an eternal burning ember from the depths of hell to light his way. Jack put the ember into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth ever since. The Irish referred to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack O’Lantern.”
People began to make their own versions of Jack’s lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. Irish emigrants brought the jack-o’-lantern tradition with them when they went to the United States. As turnips were not so easily available, they soon found that pumpkins made perfect - and slightly less terrifying - jack o lanterns.