I modeled this pumpkin after the Jack Skellington character from The Nightmare Before Christmas, one of my favorite films.
The jack o’ lantern was believed to scare away evil spirits. It may have originated from the Irish myth about Stingy Jack.
Jack was a drunk who was known to play mischievous tricks on everyone in town. One night at the bar, he ran into the devil himself who came there to collect his soul. Jack came up with a clever trick. He asked the devil for one last drink. The devil transformed himself to a coin in order to pay for the drink. Instead, Jack put him in his pocket next to a cross so the devil couldn’t transform back. Jack only let the devil free when he agreed to give him ten more years to live on Earth.
A decade later, in the middle of a dark road, the devil came for Jack. Again thinking of a clever trick, he asked the devil to give him an apple from a tree. Jack then surrounded the tree with crosses, keeping the devil hostage until he agreed to never take his soul to hell.
Stingy Jack died years later, but he was refused entrance to Heaven because of his immoral life. Jack went to Hell to see the Devil and find how to get into Heaven, but the Devil kept the promise and would not let him enter.
Jack asked, “Then where can I go?” “Go back where you came from!” the Devil replied. But the way back was very dark. Stingy Jack begged the Devil to at least give him a light to help him find his way. So he gave Jack an candy lit from the fires of Hell. Jack placed the candle in a hollowed-out turnip. From that day forward, Stingy Jack was doomed to roam the earth forever with his lit turnip to light the way.