How Jack O' Lanterns Originated from Irish Myths

strange pumpkins on the lawn

The weather is getting a bit colder, the leaves are changing, and kitchens are heating up with our favorite Halloween treats. Now that the Autumn season is upon us, it's always fun to get in the "spooky" mood by learning more about where our favorite Halloween icons come from.

Here at Comfee', we are all about this cozy time of year! As we all gear up for Halloween 2022, let's settle in with our cozy sweaters and pumpkin-spiced lattes to learn more about the Halloween origin of the Jack O' Lantern.

The Legend of "Stingy Jack"

The idea of Jack O' Lanterns is said to have originated from the Irish Legend of "Stingy Jack." You see, the story states that Stingy Jack didn't like to spend his money. He would do all he could to avoid giving up his own coins.

One day, Stingy Jack came across the Devil and invited him to have a drink. After talking and drinking, Stingy Jack didn't want to pay for the drinks. Set in his ways, he talked the Devil into turning himself into a silver coin so he could pay for the drinks.

However, instead of paying for the drinks, he pocketed the Devil (as a coin) and kept him trapped there next to a silver cross. He eventually released the Devil after making a deal that he would not bother him for a whole year. After that year was up, Stingy Jack tricked the Devil again by luring him up a tree to pick fruit and then carving a cross into the trunk of the tree to trap him there.

Once again, the Devil agreed not to bother Stingy Jack for another extended amount of time (ten years). Once Stingy Jack finally passed away, God would not accept Stingy Jack's soul into heaven, and the Devil also refused his entrance into Hell. Stingy Jack's soul was doomed to wander aimlessly with just one glowing coal to help him see.

Knowing that this was his fate, Stingy Jack carved a lantern out of a turnip to help him better carry the coal. As it is, these lanterns have since been referred to as Jack O' Lanterns, named after Stingy Jack.

pumpkin lamp

The Original Jack O' Lantern Halloween Purpose

One of history's best Halloween ideas has been the Jack O' Lantern, which is still a tradition that is celebrated worldwide every year. As it turns out, the pumpkin wasn't the original vegetable used to make these Halloween symbols.

Turnips and other root vegetables were originally carved to ward off evil spirits. As pumpkins are easier to hollow out, they eventually became the staple for the practice. Now, people from all across the world carve Jack O' Lanterns as a bonding activity that also serves as Fall decor.

A woman is carving a Halloween pumpkin

It is also common for the insides of the pumpkin to then be repurposed for baked goods, and Halloween treats such as pumpkin pie, pumpkin scones, pumpkin bread, and even seasoned pumpkin seeds!

squash pie

Create Your Own Halloween Treats

As you carve your own Jack O' Lanterns this year, don't forget about all of the delicious Halloween treats you can make from the pumpkin insides. Enjoy a homemade pumpkin pie, efficiently baked using an Retro Air Fryer Toaster Oven.

retro  air fryer toaster oven

This time of year is perfect for hot chocolate and other quick and sweet snacks. A Retro Microwave Oven, perfectly matched to your aesthetic, is the perfect way to heat up or cook your favorite Halloween treats in style. Check out our full Comfee' collection of high-quality and visually-pleasing appliances!

red retro microwave
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