Llama Llama Trick or Treat Board book, by Anna Dewdney:
Happy Halloween Daniel Tiger:
Room on the Broom:
Peppa Pig: Peppa’s Pumpkin Party:
Pepp’s Giant Pumpkin:
Llama Llama Trick or Treat Board book, by Anna Dewdney:
Happy Halloween Daniel Tiger:
Room on the Broom:
Peppa Pig: Peppa’s Pumpkin Party:
Pepp’s Giant Pumpkin:
For people with a medical condition requiring them to use a walker, finding a good Halloween Costume can be a challenge. We’ve put together a few ideas below to help you or someone you love out. The costumes range from quite simple to very elaborate depending upon your inclination and time. We also have pages for more handicapped costume ideas, ideas for costumes for people using walkersand costume ideas for people using wheelchairs. The Halloween.com Forums also have sections to discuss these type of costume ideas.
If you have more ideas or want to talk more about it, come and see the Halloween.com Forums costume section.
Some other great inspiration is shown below:
Photos of costumes from the Bridge School: from a fireman in a fire truck (the wheel chair) to an ice cream stand to a flower in a garden to Alladin on his magic carpet to a biker and babe! These are some wonderful costume ideas.The MDA also has some pictures of more costume ideas.And finally, there are more great ideas are on this page.
Whenever the word vintage or retro is spoken, it evokes memories of the past that are most often, very pleasant. Baby-boomers especially remember parties at Halloween with old fashioned games that didn’t need blood and gore to give the kids a thrill, and costumes weren’t composed of intestines and worms and zombies and flashing red lights and green eyes. Sure, there was a bit of that but a lot was left to the imagination, and that’s why vintage Halloween is so popular. Think The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock and you’ll get the idea.
An easy fix to your vintage cravings for costumes, at least, is a trip to the local thrift or vintage store. If you live in the country then the Internet is also a vast resource to partake of. Here are a few ideas to stir the pot.
Prom & Wedding Dresses or Old Formals
Use these for the Bride of Frankenstein (with gray streak in hair of course), Prom or Beauty Queen (dead, half-dead, or alive), and “ex” wife, or a princess. The latter can be good or evil or just plain Halloween-style. This look is good for an ex-silent film star who’s seen better days. For zombies, don’t get carried away because, after all, this is retro and not Zombieland.
Farmer’s Coveralls or Overalls
These work great for the vintage Halloween look. The more faded and ragged they are, the better. You can put these on and be a scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz, or a real hill dweller or country person, even a serial killer from those 70s and 80s cult favorites. Other characters and real people who would be great dressed in overalls, are farmers, plumbers, Super Mario Brothers, Rosie the Riveter (don’t forget a curly wig and bandanna), and Bob the Builder (use some safe and oversized tools in a belt).
These may cost a bit more but other than some suitable accessories, they are worth looking after because the look is usually perfect. Try for any military, nurses, cheerleaders, sports team members, and flight attendants. They can be sexy or slightly starchy, but don’t get carried away with either look.
With the 1920s we had flappers and gangsters. Flappers wore a drop-waisted dress and a headband or cloche hat, and cut their hair short and swingy. Gangsters need a pin-striped regular suit, a fedora, and a fake machine gun or violin case for pretend. In the 1930s there were swing kids and jazzmen and they often wore a hat and cane and sported a long pocket watch with chain and a zoot suit. Bonnie and Clyde wore high trousers, a suit jacket and a fedora (for Clyde) and a depression era dress, beret, and trench coat (for Bonnie).
In the 1940s there was Carmen Miranda with her tropical sarong, swimsuit, halter top and sandals. Add lots of fake fruit, fringe, pompoms and ruffles to this outfit. The 1950s produced a lot of icons, such as James Dean and Elvis, and a Greaser girl or Doris Day look. The basic look for men is easy — dark jeans with rolled cuffs, boots, leather jacket and a white T-shirt with rolled sleeves. Girls wore tight pants, a scarf and high heels, a leather jacket and a boatneck (curved) shirt. Doris Day and Sandra Dee loved a cardigan, saddle shoes, circle skirt and petticoat. You can add appliques to a plain circle skirt if it doesn’t have any.
The 1960s produced Go Go girls such as twiggy (opaque tights, shift dress, heavy eye makeup and patent leather belts etc.), and Hippies (dig through your old stuff) had bellbottoms, loose and flowery shirts, fringe and headbands). They still make tie-dye T-shirts and you can purchase these online. The 1970s meant disco and think of John Travolta dancing… Anything in glittery lame or platform boots or polyester and big wigs would work. The 1980s had leather, acid washed denim, studded belts, and on the other end of the spectrum — preppy.
Vintage Halloween Games
You can often find these in antique stores and sometimes thrift stores. Fortune telling and predicting the future were popular. Halloween was a time when spirits could communicate with the living. Harry Houdini followers hold a séance every year per his wishes when he passed on. Bobbing for apples (either in water or hanging from a string) has been popular for many years and anyone can participate. It’s cheap to set up as well.
Victorians used to predict when they’d get married by blowing out a candle (they were blindfolded). The number of puffs it took meant that the time was lengthened and if 3 or more it meant forget about it for the rest of the year! Another rather quaint game was to put a bunch of colored ribbons in a pile, blindfold a girl, and the ribbons she chose meant her future husband’s college would have that color. Of course, this works both ways nowadays.
Many countries recognize this as a traditional activity on Halloween. Some cultures offer candy, while a few offer money. A lot of children also utter the phrase “trick or treat” as they knock on doors. The trick isn’t performed very often so it’s sort of a ritual. In North America,
trick-or-treating has been around since the 1950s. If a homeowner decorates their front door with Halloween accessories, and leaves the porch light on, then that’s usually an indication that they have candy to give out.
Trick-or-treating started in Ireland and Britain with something called souling. The poor and children would say prayers for the deceased and sing, and in return people would give out cakes. Costume wearing started with guising (disguising?), and the young ones went door to door in Scotland around 1895. In disguises, they would visit homes and carry lanterns carved from turnips and receive money, fruit and cakes. Actually saying trick or treat is a mainly North American tradition.
Ireland, Canada, the UK and the US, and Puerto Rico celebrate Halloween this way. Central and Northwestern Mexico also have it. People there call it Little Skull and kids ask: Can you give me my little skull? They will receive a small skull-shaped candy in sugar or chocolate. Prior to 1940, the term trick or treat was used mostly in Canada and the US. The term was introduced to the UK in the 1980s, but often it’s not welcome. In Ireland and Scotland dressing up and being given sweets is considered normal on Halloween.
Dressing up and going door to door in Scotland started around 1895 and costumed children and adults would take lanterns made from turnips to each house and after knocking on the door, receive fruit, cakes, and money. Boys used to visit some of the wealthier homes in the 1920s, where the benefits were no doubt more generous. Dressing up and going door to door on Halloween is still popular with the Irish and the Scots. In the US, churches may sponsor Trunk or Treat which is done in a parking lot. Parents feel this is safer as kids visit different car trunks and receive candy and decorations.
Treats received when trick or treating have changed throughout the years because of changing society. It used to be in the fifties, that children enjoyed homemade candy apples or homemade brownies or cookies Everything now is made safer by pre-wrapped and manufactured candy being doled out to the trick-or-treaters. If a homeowner wants to show a bit of individualism on Halloween, they can purchase treat bags and insert four of five pieces of candy into them, then seal with a little Halloween sticker.
Individual bags can be made by purchasing brown bags from a craft store and then decorating them. This would work if they’re aren’t a hundred children stopping by. It’s a wonderful idea for a home thrown party and these hand decorated bags and homemade candy will be enjoyed as party favors by children, for as long as it takes them to eat the treats. Most estimates put that around an hour after the kids get home.
If children go out into a neighborhood trick or treating, the youngest ones should be trailed closely by a parent. If older children or teens go in a group then all candy should still be checked at home. This can be why a party and candy treats are perhaps best enjoyed at home, where everyone knows each other. Children enjoy designing and making treat bags. They also enjoy choosing the candy to go in them. A little age-appropriate toy is also nice, plus perhaps a gold chocolate coin to celebrate those more ancient traditions of giving money.
A Halloween tradition for children in many countries around the globe, trick-or-treating has seen some changes over the years but continues on in some form or fashion. The event takes place on Halloween night and, generally involves costumed children walking through the neighborhood knocking on their neighbors’ doors. Upon answering the door, the homeowner is posed with a decision, not just a question.
“Trick or treat?” the child asks. The adult then usually doles out candy, cookies, other sweets, apples or even money to the youngster. This offering is, in one way, a contractual agreement that the kid will not play a trick on the home owner. Though tricks are not commonly actually carried out, the tricks were usually played on those who refused to answer the door.
Getting Ready for Trick-or-Treating
This has become quite an event, with stores putting up Halloween displays around Thanksgiving and sometimes earlier. There are a wide variety of Halloween costumes to choose from, and they change each year depending what’s trendy that season. The traditional looks include anything spooky or frightening. Some popular costumes that have lasted through the years are ghosts, vampires and other types of monsters. Some of the less macabre costume choices include princesses and superheroes. Each year whatever trends have recently popped up often make their way into the Halloween costume department—from comic book action heroes or villains, to video game figures or even popular singing or acting celebrities.
Some costumes are elaborate and some are more of a made at home, thrown together at the last minute look. Other options involve using make up to create a painted face or fake, bleeding injuries. Whatever the final outcome, the costume is the foundation for the candy hunt.
Taking It to the Streets
Since at least the 1950’s, in the United States, the tradition of trick-or-treating has been a part of Halloween festivities. Individual homes and entire neighborhoods would prepare for the holiday by decorating. A decorated home was usually a sign that trick-or-treaters were welcomed. Some home owners, though, choose to either be away for the night, or hide away inside with the lights off. This only makes them prime targets for getting a trick later as punishment. Tricks are less common now, but once consisted of activities like soaping windows, or redecorating a home with eggs or toilet paper.
A single child and parent or larger groups of disguised children go to each door and ask for treats to prevent the person from getting a trick. At the end of the night parents and children return home to take stock of the goodies collected in their pillow case, bag or plastic pumpkin.
Safety for Trick-or-Treating
Anytime there are children running around in costumes at night asking strangers for candy, there is reason for concern. Safety precautions must be made. Some of these start before leaving the house to begin trick-or-treating. Choosing a costume that doesn’t obstruct a child’s eyesight or could cause him or her to trip is the first priority. Some parents also opt to include some type of reflective material or device to make the youngster easier to spot. Parent and child should each have a flashlight, as well.
Once wild on the street, it is advisable to keep the child close by and not allow them to run. Watching for traffic is another concern, and drivers on Halloween night should also be alert to potential hazards. When going into homes, the parent should accompany the youngster. And any poorly lit areas should be illuminated by flashlight.
At the end of the night, as eager at the child may be to tear into their stash, parents must first inspect all the gathered goodies. Candy wrappers must not appear tampered with, baked goods should be checked for odd odors and apples should but sliced before serving. While not common, there have been cases of poisoned candy or apples with razor blades inside. It isn’t about being paranoid, it’s about being safe.
How It Has Changed
In more recent years, the methods used for trick-or-treating have changed in some areas. In order to avoid being on the streets, some parents have chosen different ways of celebrating Halloween. This is especially true in more rural areas where going house to house isn’t feasible. Some parents host Halloween parties on that night. Some places, like malls, often participate in giving out candies so children can still go door to door, but in a safer, well lit area.
However one chooses to do their trick-or-treating, the idea is to be safe and have fun. Giving kids the chance once a year to dress up in costumes and collect candy is a fun part of growing up.
Halloween stories may be based on ancient legends or come from a contemporary writer’s imagination. Several basic premises are the favorite of moviemakers since movies were made, and first and foremost is things that go bump in the night. This can be ghosts, aliens, haunted houses, witches or demons knocking on the door — anything that starts out as unknown and often, scary. Edgar Allan Poe was the avowed master of the scary horror story. Alfred Hitchcock was the master moviemaker using dark psychology to scare us.
Black and white movies were popular for horror in the 1950s but then came the chance to scare people even more with lots of blood and gore in full color. And boy, did moviemakers start to get into all of the blood and gore of Halloween and other sub-genre films. Every year filmmakers think up additional ways to scare people, whether it’s scarecrows that come to life and then kill everyone who visits the creepy, old farmhouse stuck in a lonely field — to people who enter a haunted house at their own risk and end up in the morning scared to death. You’d think they’d get a clue when the dark and discordant music was cued up.
Vampire movies are still a favorite and the old silent film , Nosferatu, is still around. Storytellers are constantly coming up with new ways to figure our who’s a vampire or not, and various ways to kill them. Usually the undead win in the end and isn’t it always the case that the beautiful young woman, perhaps a boyfriend or two, and the old sheriff are the only ones to survive? Sometimes a virus causes everyone to turn into vampires, or zombies. They’re another favorite for Halloween movies and also costumes.
Reanimated people are scary and that’s why zombies and vampires always do well on Halloween. Wizards and witches are associated with Halloween because of all of the spells and magic and both good and evil happening then. People can be even more scared when the horror of it all is created within their own imaginations, as in reading a book. Humans are capable of making everything seem real, or indeed, become real, within themselves and as seeded by a great storyteller. Stephen King excels at this, As does Dean Koontz and others. If someone wishes to read a Halloween story, then there are many in local libraries, on the Internet for download, or even borrowed from a friend.
An old tradition with stories is passed on in a circle around campfires or when a parent reads to a child. This is how the history of ancient peoples came down through the generations, both before writing was invented, as well as to our modern day. Campfires (or fire pits in a contemporary backyard) are wonderful places to tell scary stories about Halloween on a cool autumn night, round about October 31st. Kids may be listening as they lay down in a pup tent, shadows dancing on the walls of the canvas or nylon, and making the story even scarier.
Halloween stories may be told to and be suitable for even young children, along with any age including older kids, adults, teenagers and even grandpa and grandma. The latter may have a few good stories to tell the grandkids themselves, and these could have been in the family for generations. If you are outside telling Halloween stories or inside watching Halloween movies, then don’t forget those snacks. Popcorn is always good, and marshmallow/graham cracker/chocolate combos melted over the flames are even better. Watch out for marshmallows, as they can get very hot inside.
Pumpkin carving has long been a Halloween tradition. Jack-o’-lanterns are seen in many homes as the holiday draws near. In fact, even making a trip to the pumpkin patch to select the biggest and best pumpkin has become a family tradition in many homes. Few people ever even wonder how or why it started or realize that this type of squash wasn’t even the original candle holder.
The Origin of the Jack-o’-Lantern
Legend has it, pumpkin carving and the whole business of jack-o’-lanterns originated, not surprisingly, with a bloke named Jack. This Irish tale of lore varies a bit after that, but the running theme seems to be Jack and the Devil had a run in. Most versions of the story say Jack convinced the Devil to perch himself in a tree after which, Jack whittled the sign of the cross into the bark forcing the Devil to remain in the branches. Jack bargained with the Devil, agreeing to let him down only if he promised not to snatch Jack’s soul following his demise. The Devil, reluctantly agreed.
When Jack did finally kick the bucket, he quickly found out he wasn’t welcome in Heaven. Because of the “restraining order” of sorts against the Devil, Hell couldn’t take him, either. Jack was forced to wander into the dark night with only a hot coal to see his path. Jack located a turnip, carved it and used this as his lantern. His apparition was given the original name Jack the Lantern, or the other version more commonly known.
As for the turnip, or beet in some version, it later became a gourd or pumpkin as people keeping with the tradition found it much easier to work with. The reason for the Halloween tradition was to carve scary faces into the lantern to keep Jack away from homes. Often, the jack-o’-lantern was set out on the night before Halloween to ward off any evil spirits.
Some tales seem to claim illuminated pumpkins, gourds, beets, turnips or other types of carved fruits or vegetables were originally placed in homes to help welcome friends of family members who had passed on to the spirit world. Either way, the jack-o’-lantern and pumpkin carving have become a large part of the Halloween tradition. For some people, this is the only decoration they use.
The activity itself is often carried out by the entire family, for a messy but bonding holiday experience. A circle surrounding the stem at the top of the pumpkin, and the top is pulled away and set aside. Next, the inside of the pumpkin is hollowed out by removing the seeds. For extra fun, the seeds can be rinsed off and baked in the oven for a seasonal treat.
Once the pumpkin is cleaned out, the pumpkin carving begins. Usually, a design is first drawn on to the front, or face, of the squash. It may be a simple face design or a more intricate design using a pattern. Though a scary face is the most common look, some people opt for either a more friendly face or a Halloween scene with witches and cats, for example. Once the pattern is actually cut, a candle is placed inside and the top put back.
Some homes choose to have a display of multiple jack-o’-lanterns for optimal décor. This can also be so each member of the family has their very own carved pumpkin.
Alternatives to Carved Pumpkins
The tradition continues to evolve as some homes opt for illuminated devices other than the pumpkin. Aside from other types of carved gourds, some people choose to use decorative jars or punched tins to create and eerie yet decorative holiday look.
A more popular alternative to carved pumpkins in recent years in the electrical jack-o’-lantern, a fake pumpkin that plugs into the wall can still give a hauntingly good look to homes that choose to decorate. There are a couple of reasons some people have made the switch from au natural to electric. One reason is safety. The traditional candle lit jack-o’-lanterns were more of a risk of a fire hazard. The other reason to choose a plug in pumpkin is that it can simply be put away and reused the next year. Not to mention, these types of gourds don’t get targeted for the mischief night tradition of pumpkin smashing.
Whether you choose a pumpkin that runs on candle or electric current, the look of carved pumpkins is sure to be a long time tradition of the Halloween festivities.
These pumpkin facts are commonly known: they look good carved up as jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween and taste delicious served up as pie for Thanksgiving. But what else do people really know about pumpkins? Ask someone if the almighty orange one is a fruit or a vegetable, and even that may be beyond their basic collection of pumpkin facts.
Pumpkin Facts 101
In case you were wondering yourself whether a pumpkin is a fruit or a vegetable, the answer is a fruit. Pumpkins are in the squash family and a Cucurbita family member. The cucumber is also within this family, which is ironic since there is often much debate about whether this is a fruit or vegetable as well. The name started with the Greeks with the word Pepon, which translates to mean large melon, was altered by the French, then the British and finally by American colonists to the name we now know and love.
For a little more trivia type information about pumpkins, it might be interesting to know even Alaska grows these fruits. Antarctica is the only continent that does not, because it cannot, grow these fruits. That brings us to the origin of the “large melon” within Native America. These fruits have been cultivated in the States for 5,000 years. It was a Native American Indian crop, picked up and renamed by the colonists. The first pumpkin pie was actually a slightly different version, which consisted of baking a pumpkin that had been filled with honey, spices and milk.
Pumpkins provide fiber, Vitamin A and Vitamin B, iron, protein and potassium. Not to mention, they are also low fat. Pumpkin seeds are also edible. In fact, a popular thing to do with seeds scooped from a pumpkin during carving at Halloween is to give them a good scrub down and pop them in the oven until slightly golden for a tasty treat. That leads into another batch of fun facts about pumpkins—the jack-o’-lantern.
Carving of the Pumpkin
Jack-o’-lanterns in the United States started from Irish immigrants who had previously been using turnips. Once these Irish immigrants saw how much easier it would be to carve a pumpkin as opposed to a turnip, they made the conversion. Of course, you may be wondering why the Irish had been carving turnips in the first place, which leads directly to the history of the jack-o’-lantern.
Irish tales go on about a fellow by the name of Jack who struck up a deal with the Devil while drinking. Being a miser, the man somehow talked the demon into transforming into a coin to be used to pay their bar tab. Then, clever Jack decided to put that coin in his pocket next to a cross, which would keep the Devil from returning to his natural state. Later, the demon and man made another agreement. In this agreement, if Mr. Stingy would free the Devil from his current state, as currency, the Devil would steer clear of soul snatching this fellow for a decade.
At the end of the decade though, Jack happened to run into the Devil while strolling along a rural road. For good reason, the demon felt he should be able to cash in on grabbing that soul of Mr. Stingy, who agreed but not before a quick fruit snack. Jack again tricked the Devil to climb a tree for an apple, and kept the Devil stuck by carving a cross into the trunk. This time the bargaining went better for Jack who made the demon agree to never touch the man’s soul. Again, the Devil agreed.
Following the stingy man’s death though, it turned out Heaven wasn’t interested in his soul and Hell couldn’t take it. The Devil cast Jack back to Earth giving him a burning coal to light the way. Jack, using the first thing he could find, carved up a turnip and created what became the first jack-o’-lantern.
The Irish kept the turnip tradition going until moving to America an finding a much more sensible thing to use, the pumpkin.
Other Pumpkin Facts
If you think you feel full after a dessert of pumpkin pie, imagine downing the largest pumpkin pie in history. This “large melon” fruit pie weighed in at 2,020 pounds. It wasn’t even made from the largest pumpkin ever grown. That honor goes to a Wisconsin resident by the name of Chris Stevens, and the prize winning, world record setting pumpkin was a massive 1,810 pounds.
So the next time pumpkin trivia comes up on Jeopardy, you’ll be full of all the pumpkin facts you need.
Anything goes with today’s Jack O’Lanterns. You can download carving designs off the internet, order tools for carving, take lessons on how to carve, grow your own or pick your own pumpkins, or buy different-sized ones in the supermarket. There are pumpkin growing contests and pumpkin launching and dropping ones, too. A family can choose unique groupings of carved pumpkins or simply create a couple of the classic design for the front porch. If small children are involved then care needs to be taken as pumpkins get slippery — especially their insides!
A simple way to start and then carve a design is to tape your pattern onto the front of a pumpkin then punch through the lines every quarter inch or so. This gives the carver an outline which is visible once the pattern is removed. When a pumpkin is bought, the carver may study it before they begin so that any character points are noticed. And — pumpkins don’t have to be carved upright, either. A stem that looks interesting can always be a witch’s nose, for instance. Remove as much of the pulp beforehand and this may prevent the onset of mold. If the Jack O’Lantern still molds — have a replacement handy.
Accessories can be used on any carved pumpkin and this just depends on what the design is. Some pumpkins are much bigger than a person’s head but if they’re about the sane size then a few pieces of old clothing can do the trick. Thrift stores are also great places to shop for pumpkin accessories. A few people don’t like carving so un-carved but decorated pumpkins are a viable alternative. This is safer for young children, too. Pumpkins vary in color and you may find gourds or pumpkins with greenish areas, or dark orange or very pale orange. Sometimes the pumpkin will have warts and this could be a good one to make a witch from.
There are elaborate pumpkin carving contests on TV and carvers often get inspired after watching these. Even the pros have bad days and their pumpkins could turn out to be real “lemons”! Pumpkins are not usually available other than in the Autumn. If a carver needs to practice then they should purchase several pumpkins in season and then try a design every now and then. Un-carved pumpkins keep for months, although it’s not good to cook them after a long period of time. Be careful if the carved pumpkins (or whole ones) have been around your house for a while. Sometimes they can rot and then you’re left with a pumpkin mess when it’s picked up.
Pumpkin flesh can be used in soups and pies but it is hard to prepare and much easier to buy plain pureed pumpkin at the store. If a carver wants to try something new, the carving should be done outside because there may be an implosion and that gets messy. Practice on an average sized pumpkin first and then design options may be expanded as the pumpkins get bigger. Some of the designs by real artists are so elaborate, that unless a carver can see them being carved, they would never be able to figure out how to recreate the pattern.
Lighting pumpkins is pretty easy and those flameless candles are the best. The kind you can either recharge or plug into an outlet are the most economical, then there are small light bulbs, as well as candles. The latter are safe if the pumpkin is isolated or not near vegetation, cloth or trick or treaters. Ones on fence posts look good, if watched from your window. Don’t be scared — they only come alive in those creepy Halloween movies..
Halloween would not be complete without including the traditional carved pumpkin, more commonly known as the jack-o’-lantern. Many families make this part of their own home decorating around Halloween. In fact, it has even become part of the tradition for families to venture out to the pumpkin patch and make their selection together. Sometimes this means deciding on one monstrous fruit to slice and dice, or each member getting their own pumpkin for decorating. Though the carving and display of the pumpkin has been an annual part of people’s lives, possibly all the way back to the arrival of the first Irish Immigrants, few know the history of the jack-o’-lantern.
How the History of the Jack-o’-Lantern Came to Be
An old Irish tale of folklore tells the tale of “Stingy Jack” and the Devil and how trickery led the man to become forever famous. There are variations of the story, as tends to happen with any story passed down through the generations, but the general idea remains fairly consistent. It starts with Jack having a pint at the pub with the Devil himself. Having the nickname “Stingy Jack” obviously meant the man was always looking for a way out of paying, and so on this particular occasion he saw the Devil as a way free and clear of paying for his drink.
He asked the Devil if he would consider shifting himself into the form of a coin that could be used to square away the bill. Old Stingy offered up his soul in exchange for this deal. The Devil of course agreed and turned himself into a sixpence. Of course, once the Devil had done so, Jack got to rethinking this deal they’d made and was tempted by the feel of money in his hand, so he slipped that Devil coin into his pocket, keeping it near a silver cross so that there was no chance of a change back transformation.
After some time, Jack thought of a better deal he could strike with the Devil. He agreed to set the Devil free, as long as this demon assured Jack he would not try to steal the mortal’s soul for ten full years. Of course, the Devil obliged but was enraged with Jack for his cunning trickery, and waited for those years to pass.
At the end of the ten year spell, Jack was meandering down a lonely, road deep in the countryside, having long forgotten about his contract with the Devil. Suddenly, the Devil appeared before Jack having come to claim the soul he felt he was owed. Jack tried to delay and distract the Devil, but finally reluctantly caved in. First though, Jack requested that the Devil climb a nearby tree to snatch an apple for Jack to eat as his last meal.
Once the Devil had made his way far into the limbs, Jack quickly etched the sign of the cross into the bark of the tree trunk, capturing the Devil in the branches high above. Jack had fooled the demon, once again. He made the Devil another offer. If the Devil assured Jack his soul would remain intact and never been the Devil’s to take, Jack would set him free from the tree. Angry at being fooled again but having no other choice, the Devil went along with the deal.
When Jack finally did die and tried to enter Heaven, God wanted no part of allowing entry to this man who had demonstrated such terrible behavior while living. The Devil could not allow Jack’s soul to enter Hell and, therefore, sent Jack back to where he came from. The way was dark and Jack, unable to see his way out from Hell requested something to light his path. The Devil then tossed a hot, burning coal ember for Jack to carry. This ember would never burn out since it was from the flames of Hell.
Since the coal burnt his hands, Jack looked for a vessel to use to carry this coal and eventually came across a turnip which he carved to create a lantern. This created the legend of Jack the Lantern, also known as Jack O’Lantern.
At Halloween, the Irish continued to believe the story of Jack and other wandering evil spirits and began to set out their own jack-o’-lantern turnips to ward away these apparitions. Hence the tradition was born, as was the history of the jack-o’-lantern.