Soon the day when they are out to get you will be here again: especially in the US Halloween is near – so get ready!
Crazy Halloween Pumpkins have a long tradition in America, but just like Halloween, they originate in Irish folklore.
Irish peasant "Stingy Jack" was widely known for his cunning ways and once even invited the devil for a drink. As he was way too stingy to pay up, Jack convinced his guest to take on the form of a coin so he could trick the innkeeper. After the devil had transformed into the money, Jack had better plans than to stick to their agreement. He kept the coin and put it in his pocket with a silver cross to prevent the devil from changeing back.
After he had fixed a deal to his advantage he released Mr. Devil, but cheated the poor guy several more times. When he finally died, God would not let him enter heaven for he thought a trickster like Jack was not suitable to enjoy the bliss of heavenly realms. As the devil was too offended to be intrested in his soul as well, – he probably feared even more tricks – Jack was doomed to walk the earth eternally.
Jack lights his way by means of a glowing piece of coal which he carries around in a hollowed out parsnik.
Needles to say that he has been spotted countless times in Ireland ever since, and soon got his name "Jack of the Lantern" or "Jack O'Lantern".
To keep Jack's spirit away from their homes, the Irish started to hollow out beets and sometimes carved in scary faces, too. Placed in windows and in front of doors they were meant to keep away all kinds of evil spirits like ghosts, vampires and the undead who are usually roaming the streets on the night of All Hallows Eve – or Halloween.
Irish immigrants imported many of their tradition to America and so "Jack O'Lantern" came along. They however soon found a more suitable vegetable to carve out scary faces: the American pumpkin! In this form "Jack O'Lantern" entered American pop culture, and of course also the Marvel Comic's Universe, where he tends to put a strain on the life of Spiderman ever since. Still noone made him as charming as Schultz, who invented "The Great Pumpkin" in his 1966 Peanuts Cartoons.
Carving crazy patterns and faces on pumpkins has become one of Americas funniest obsessions!