It was a dark night in Ireland, and the bitter wind whistled through the trees. The moon shone bright in the sky casting eerie shadows through the branches. Along the root-knotted path, the man called Stingy Jack made his way to the local pub. Fallen leaves rustled beneath Jack’s feet. In the deepest darkest part of the wood, Jack met the Devil and invited him to come along to the pub for a drink.
Jack and the Devil entered the pub and found a couple of seats. Living up to his nickname, Stingy Jack did not want to pay for the drinks. He convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to pay the barkeep. The Devil liked the idea of free drinks and did as Jack asked. But once he had done so, Jack decided to keep the coin and placed it in his pocket next to a silver cross.
Stingy Jack caught the Devil. Held next to a cross, the Devil was unable to change back into his original form. Jack eventually struck a bargain with the Devil. Jack freed the Devil under the condition that he would leave Jack in peace and not bother him for one year, and if Jack should die during that year, the Devil could not claim his soul.
A year went by, and Jack met the Devil again, this time in an orchard. Jack asked the Devil to climb an apple tree to pick them some fruit to eat. But again Jack’s intentions were not what they seemed. While the Devil was up the tree picking the fruit, Jack carved the sign of the cross into the tree’s bark, thereby trapping the Devil amidst the branches.
Having tricked the Devil a second time, Jack decided he had better make a larger bargain. He did not allow the Devil to come down until the Devil had promised not to bother Jack for ten more years and, as before, the Devil could not claim Jack’s soul if he should die.
However, Stingy Jack did not live ten more years; he died shortly after. As the legend goes, when Jack arrived at the Pearly Gates, God would not allow such an unsavory character entrance to Heaven. The Devil, upset and twice tricked by Jack, kept his word and did not claim Jack’s soul. He would not allow Jack into Hell. Instead, the Devil doomed Jack to wander the Earth forever looking for a place to rest and sent him out into the dark night.
The Devil, still angry, threw a burning coal from Hell at the man who dared deceive him. Jack placed the coal into a hollowed-out turnip to light his way and began his roaming. The ghostly figure with the glowing light was often seen by the Irish who began to call him, Jack of the Lantern, and then, simply, Jack O’Lantern.
The Irish people began carving their own versions of Jack’s lanterns using turnips and potatoes. They would carve scary faces in them and set them into windows and near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other evil wandering spirits.
The tradition spread to Scotland, and then to England where large beets were carved. Immigrants of these countries brought the jack o’lantern tradition to the United States, where they soon discovered that pumpkins, a native fruit to North America, made for a perfect jack o’lantern.
Do you have any favorite Halloween Tales?
Have you ever used a turnip or potato as a jack-o-lantern?
I had never before watched the show, America’s Got Talent, but this year Luke and I were absolutely enthralled. We loved it. We predicted the winner from the get-go, but the talent we saw throughout the series was just phenomenal… or, as Mel B says, “Off the Chain!”
I have put together a few of my favorite acts for your enjoyment.
[youtube=https://youtu.be/tig93VSnMoM] Kristef Brothers – Hand Balancing
[youtube=https://youtu.be/jgD0ZBd2trQ] Taylor Williamson – Awkward Comedian
[youtube=https://youtu.be/uALyCLBnv20] Jimmy Rose – “Coal Keeps the Lights On” Original Song (I love this guy!)
And the Winner Is…
[youtube=https://youtu.be/cn-NsWRtaSY] Kenichi Ebina – A “Dance-ish” Performance of the Matrix
So many talented acts performed on America’s Got Talent 2013. I encourage you to check out more acts from these performers, as well as others from the show– Chicago Boys, Collins Key, Cami Bradley, Forte, Innovative Force, Alexandr Magala, Timber Brown, and more. It really was very entertaining and a lot of fun!
I don’t know about you, but we are looking forward to the new season of the Big Bang Theory. This show is so well written and really brings it in the laughter department. There is just not a character that I don’t like–each one has its own quirky awkwardness and lovableness.
I’m so excited! The new season starts Thursday, September 26th, and I can guarantee you that Luke , Rory, and I will be planted in front of the TV waiting for this show.
Here are a few little moments from the Big Bang Theory. You can check out more of my Big Bang Theory love on my Pinterest Board!
There is no place like Huntington Beach, California, “Surf City USA”. Just look at how beautiful it is at dusk at the pier. I will be doing two Guest Blogging spots over at I Am Meg & So Can You sometime between mid September and mid October. One spot will feature my home town and Orange County in general. the other post be will birthdays in Switzerland and Germany. I am excited about these posts, and hope that you will join in reading the series Around the World with I Am Meg.
Another fun thing happened this week for Huntington Beach. Gordon Ramsay‘s show Master Chef, aired an episode this week that was filmed here back in March of 2013. The show featured a challenge on the beach where the competing chefs had to make fish tacos for 101 surfers. There is some beautiful footage of Huntington Beach. Check it out…