The History Of Jack-O-Lanterns

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The History Of Jack-O-Lanterns

Fall is a wonderful time of year. The leaves are turning colors. The harvest is being reaped. Pumpkin spice and fresh apples are on the menu. It is also time for Halloween. While it has passed, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn something new about this spooky holiday. 

Spend some time learning about the history of the fun fall decoration that is Jack-o-lanterns. 


Jack-o-lanterns Have Spooky Irish Roots

Although the practice of carving vegetables can be traced back centuries, there is a particular tale tied to the jack-o-lantern's origin. The legend is in Ireland, where a man called Stingy Jack tricked the Devil into buying him a drink. Jack's tricks went on and on, and when Jack died, he was not allowed into heaven or hell. Therefore, Jack lit a coal in a pumpkin to keep him company as he stalked through the Irish countryside for the rest of his days. This became known as a jack-o-lantern.


Jack-o-lanterns Made the Long Trip to the New World

The tradition got a new life in America. When Washington Irving published "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" in 1820, the imagery of a jack-o-lantern played a big role. The central antagonist of the story was the Headless Horseman. This creepy figure had been decapitated, and instead of a head, he rode around with a carved pumpkin atop his shoulders. This firmly cemented jack-o-lanterns as cultural icons in America, just like Halloween costumes did. 


These Carved Pumpkins Can Be Found at a Halloween Store in Calgary

Jack-o-lanterns are still commonly used as fall decorations today. You can carve your own, or you can visit a Halloween store in Calgary to buy one. Either way, this fall tradition is clearly going to endure.


With up to 20,000 sq ft of Halloween costumes and accessories, The Halloween Store has everything you need. We have Halloween costumes in Calgary for everyone - women, men, kids, and toddlers. You can dress up as a ghost, a creepy clown, your favourite superhero, a Disney character and more. We also have an incredible line-up of props and animatronics, including black lights, creatures, spiderwebs - anything you can imagine! We are the Halloween store in Calgary that has everything you need! Call us today at (403) 452-6692