Home > Entertainment and Activities > Holidays > Halloween > Halloween Fun and Activities > The Spooktacular History of Halloween

Slideshow Iconslideshows MORE

|

The Spooktacular History of Halloween

2 of 9
Carved pumpkin on Halloween

Jack o' Lanterns


The meaning behind Jack o' Lanterns is a rather tragic tale. As the story goes, a drunken farmer named Stingy Jack was turned away from both heaven and hell. As Jack wandered the darkness of purgatory, he made a lantern out of a carved out turnip and a lump of coal to help light the way and guide his lost soul.

The Celtics believed that placing Jack o' Lanterns outside helped guide lost souls home as they wandered the streets during Samhain. The scary carved faced on each also served to scare evil spirits away. When the potato famine forced many families to flee to America they began using pumpkins as a substitute since they were much easier to come by.

Next: Trick-or-Treating in Costumes

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Top 10 Group Halloween Costumes for Families
These store-bought and Pinterest-inspired Halloween costume ideas for groups are the perfect way to show off your creative side at your Halloween party or while trick-or-treating.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

12 Spine-Tingling Halloween Movies for Teens
Are you looking for a movie with just a little bit of spook-factor for your teen? Check out these 12 spine-tingling Halloween movies!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!