Halloween Folklore 2020
Jack-o’-Lanterns are a Celtic tradition dating back to pre-Christian times, certainly far longer than they have been carved from pumpkins. Usually made from turnips, although any autumn vegetable will do, they are used to ward off evil spirits at Samhain.
The modern name comes from relatively recent stories of Stingy Jack, who cheated the Devil and wasn’t allowed into heaven, and is the namesake of the modern version of the lantern. The lit Jack-o’-Lantern (turnip) was used in Ireland to drive away evil spirits. The influx of Irish immigrants to the Americas in the 1800s brought the tradition over, and the American gourd was found to make bigger and better Jack-o’-Lanterns with less effort to become a Halloween staple. This bit of fun around the spooky holidays doubles up as protection for homes and families when the world of the spirits is closest to that of the living.
Written by lukegreensmithscarybits
Art by Wanda Fraser , THOU in partnership with The Ghost Story Guys Podcast
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