"/fs_img Story of Jack

Halloween Witch

Story of Jack

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The Story of Jack
What would Halloween be without The Jack-o-lantern pumpkin? It would be like Christmas with no tree, or Easter without eggs, or Yule without the Log or, well you get the idea. There have been many myths of the lantern, but most all agree that it was named after a man named Jack.
It seems that Jack was a bit of a mischief maker and a bit stingy. One day Jack was traveling on an old deserted road with a big black dog, the dog chased what seemed to be an old man up a tree. When Jack approached he saw that it was'nt an old man at all, but a demon( it seemed that demons were afraid of big black dogs). Jack being a prankster started teasing the demon, saying that he would get a long stick and knock the demon out of the tree so that the dog could have him. The demon being terrified that this would happen, struck a deal with Jack, that if he would let him down without harm from the dog that Jack could be secure in the knowledge that for ten years time no creature of the underworld would do Jack any harm. Jack being a bit stingy as I said before, made a further condition, that he might also be safe from the angels of the other realms a well, knowing that sometime these creatures took revenge on humans that made deals with demons. So the bargain was made, unfortuneately Jack died before the ten years was up. Having made the deal, no creature would have anything to do with Jack in either realm, forcing Jack to remain on earth in a semi-ghostly state. It seems that in this state of being that it is very dark and hard to see. So jack begged both realms for at least a little light. The angels gave Jack a pumpkin(some say turnip) and the demons gave Jack an eternal burning piece of coal to go into the lantern. All this having happened on All Hallows' eve or Halloween it was therefore decreed that Jack could have this one night to light the way for all the denizens of the underworld as well as the souls of the humans that had departed back to the earth to have a yearly celebration. Jack could also make a bit of mischief of his own on deserving selfish people.

The idea of the Jack-o-lantern seemed to first be used in Ireland, as did the original story of Jack. Turnips being large and plentiful at that time was the original lantern. However when imigrants came to America the turnips were too small, so seeing that pumpkins were plentiful and easy to carve hence we have the american Jack-o-Lantern of today.This is just another example of how the Halloween myth melded with new lands and people to evolve.
The traditional face on the pumpkin is to represent Jack with his impish smile beaming out light so that the souls and other creatures will know that the inhabitants of the house are honoring them and so will not be bothered by hauntings or frightening visitations. Today it is used to let children know that the house is ready with candy so as not to be tricked with pranks.

In celtic(also from Irish descent) pagan and witch tradition, samhain(pronounced sowen) was the last harvest festival of the year on October 31. Big bonfires were lit and tables were set with delectables, divinations and magic were done, and also this was the time of year that the ancestors and honored dead was revered. Also those spririts of the unknown realms were said to have free reign on the earth for this one night.
Samhain later from some unknown sources became known as a celtic god of the underworld. There has at this time been any records to prove such a claim, however as with all things the emergence of peoples energies and traditions come together perhaps to form such an entity.After all at one time Hades was the greek god of the underworld and then became so associated with the underworld his name became the place.

Jack Samhain -the spirit of Halloween
So you have seen some of the older myths of Halloween, now it is time to see a newer myth that is a part of my family traditional Halloween.The gentleman you see in the picture above is a part of my home and museum. He is Jack Samhain, I believe him to be the protective spirit of Halloween. He is a conglomeration of all the old legends plus some of more modern conception.
Every Halloween Jack Samhain makes his yearly ride from Halloweentown to watch over all creatures on this night. Jack does not deliver toys or such but makes the magic that is so much needed to allow us all to dress up and be something else for one night in safety. But beware all you stingy people who have forgotten what it was like being a child and do not wish to waste money on candy or toy treats,to you he may just blow up a wind filled with toilet paper or to knock over trashcans just as a reminder.But nothing more harmful than that will you get from Jack. Jack is said to ride the back of a great gargoyle high in the sky. Oh and in case you were wondering, Jack also makes sure that none of the more meaner creatures makes harmful mischief as well.