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Jack O Lantern
Jack O Lantern

If you travel in search of the history of Halloween then you'll inevitably encounter the name Jack O'Lantern. But who was this mysterious Jack O'Lantern and what does he have in common with Halloween? A story best presents this "Jack O'Lantern".

On the night of Halloween, Jack O'Lantern went into a small bar, which was located in his small hometown, in Ireland. After Jack, who, as a blacksmith of his funds, had already taken a few drinks himself, appeared the devil. This devil wanted to take Jack to his kingdom, but Jack did not like this idea at all. Jack then gave the devil an offer. Jack gave him his soul for only a wonderful tasting drink in the bar, the devil agreed, and he transformed himself into a sixpence coin. One might imagine that the drunken Jack around these Sixpence coin immediately ordered a drink, but this was not the case. Jack put the coin, in which the devil resides, in his wallet. Normally, the devil would soon return to his normal form, but a silver cross in Jack's wallet firmly prevented this. Thus, there was no option for the devil to enter into a new deal with Jack. After long and arduous negotiations, Jack and the Devil agreed, that the devil can be free and, at the same time, Jack's soul could be free for 10 years.

Years went by and by, and after 10 years had elapsed, the devil reminded him of the agreed upon deal. He wanted to finally pick up the fruits of his "work". So the devil went in search of Jack, and found him after just a brief search. After Jack found the devil and they stood before each other, Jack asked the devil for an apple. This apple should be Jack's last desired meal. The devil wanted to fulfill Jack's last wish, so, using a ladder, the devil climbed up the closest apple tree. While the devil was looking for the one last apple for Jack, Jack pulled out his knife without hesitation, and carved a cross into the bark of the apple tree. So it came back to a situation similar to the one from 10 years earlier. The devil was caught on the tree, and could not free himself without Jack's help. Again, there were negotiations between the devil and Jack, and Jack was clearly the better negotiator. Thus, the Devil and Jack came to an agreement. In exchange for removing the cross from the tree, the Devil would leave Jack's soul alone for ever and ever.

After Jack had saved his soul for ever, he could enjoy a long-term care-free life. He drank, ate and had an exuberant lifestyle, as there is no end. But each sweet life comes to an end, and so it was that Jack died one day. As Jack was standing at the gates of heaven, his stay was denied. When Jack asked why he could not cross over, he was told that his past life was clearly too niggardly, false and deceitful. Thus, Jack was left with no other choice but to make his way to the gates of hell. Upon arriving at the gates of hell, there was another surprise for Jack. The devil had sealed a lifetime pact with Jack, in which he promised to leave Jack's soul for ever and ever in peace, and could not even let Jack into this "kingdom". The Devil was not able to break the agreement easily.

The now totally confused Jack was neither in heaven nor in hell. The devil, however, said that Jack should once again make his way to the gates of heaven, and make a final attempt. Due to the creepy, cold, dark and windy conditions, the devil, as good-natured as he partly was, gave Jack a piece of coal from the fires of hell for the journey. Jack thanked the devil and put his burning hot coal in his hollowed-Rube, to prevent it from going out. With the Rube with him, Jack was once again on the way to heaven. Since that day, Jack's soul is still to this day on the way through the eternal darkness...

Today, in America, a Jack O'Lantern ("Jack with the Lantern") is understood as a carved pumpkin with a candle in the middle. The Jack O'Lantern tradition, however, was originally practiced in Ireland. According to the story, the custom was slowly brought to America, and then refined. Gradually, the pumpkin lantern, a cult figure of Halloween, shall never missing at any Halloween Party.
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