Later on, Jack would bother the devil again and convince him to climb a tree to get some fruit. But while he was up there, Jack would carve a cross in the trunk so the devil couldn’t get back down. Jack would free him, but again make him promise not to take revenge and not to claim his soul.

When Swampy Jack did die, God wouldn’t allow him into heaven, and the devil wouldn’t let him into hell – keeping his word. Instead, the devil gave Jack a burning coal to light his way and sent him off into the night to find his own hell. Jack put the coal in a turnip and has been roaming the earth ever since according to legend. In Ireland, when ghost lights are seen in swamps, they are thought to be Jacks improvised lantern moving about. These lights were named “Jack of the Lantern,” turning eventually into “Jack O’Lantern.”

And that’s the legend.

Jack O’Lanterns stayed persistent across all the years, moving from a scary story into seasonal decorations in the late 19th century.