The Story of Stingy Jack


Stingy Jack was a miserable old drunk who played tricks on people of any shape or size.One night, he invited the devil to have a drink but he did not want to pay for it, so he convinced the devil to turn into a coin to pay for their drinks. In doing so, Jack decided to keep the money and placed it near a cross of silver thus preventing the devil from coming back to its original form.

Eventually Jack released the devil and the agreement between the two was that he did not bother Jack for a year and that when Jack died he did not claim his soul.


A year later Stingy Jack tricked Satan once again, this time he told Satan to climb a tree to grab an apple. While Satan was up on the tree Jack carved the image of a cross on the trunk of the tree and Satan was trapped up on the tree between the leaves and branches.

The Devil could not come down until he promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.

Jack was a good man for a while and one day began to sin again. After Jacks death his soul had no where to go. God would not allow a sinner like Jack into heaven. The devil would not let him into hell because he had tricked him and he had to keep his word to not claim Jack’s soul.


To guide Jack back to Earth, the Devil replaced Jack’s head with a hollowed out turnip, eternally lit with an ember from hell. Jack was forced to wander as a lost soul forevermore, by the light of the turnip. The Irish people began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, just “Jack O’Lantern.”


Click to read more about the origins of the pumpkin