According to legend, the first Jack O’Lantern originated in Ireland and was named after its creator, Stingy Jack. Stingy Jack was everything his name implied and more. He was a drunk and a thief, and often liked to enjoy a joke at someone else’s expense. In fact most of Jack’s life was lived at someone else’s expense.

Never staying in one place for too long and drifting from town to town, Jack stole whatever he needed: bacon here, eggs there, a whole chicken somewhere else if he could get away with it. Jack’s favourite food, though, was turnip, and turnips were easily acquired; he just uprooted them from people’s gardens or fields.

Jack ate well, he drank well too, and, with no hard work to spoil his fun, it was an easy life.

Eventually, so the story goes, Jack’s exploits became so well known that the Devil, after hearing so much about the lad, decided to claim his soul.

When the Devil came looking for Jack, he found him in a bar. Although he was a heavy drinker, Jack still had his wits about him, and begged a last drink from his sulfurous companion. Jack himself, of course, had no money, and even less intention of spending it if he did.

Jack might have escaped the Devil, but no man can escape death, and when death came to him, some years later, Jack found himself standing before the pearly gates which, needless to say, remained firmly closed. Jack shouted, he begged and he shouted some more, but because of the way he had lived his life, it was all no use.

To read the article in full and how it all ended, go to article written by Steve Calvert: Legend

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