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A Halloween Tale: Stingy Jack

A Halloween Tale: Stingy Jack

Happy Halloween from the team at Paint Plot!

We thought we’d share a scary story to mark the occasion. Please do not continue reading if you don’t wish to embark on a tale of folklore (it’s a little dark).

This our Paint Plot friends, is the story of how the infamous Jack O Lantern originated.

Stingy Jack, is an Irish myth about a man that invited the devil to have a drink with him.

Many centuries ago, in Ireland lived a manipulative and deceitful man called Stingy Jack.  He was well known to the Irish folk as a person of distrust.  Satan heard of his deceptive ways and was envious, so he sought to seek out Jack.

When Satan caught up with him, Jack knew he was he was in trouble and would soon face the fires of hell.  He asked the devil to take him to the local pub and let him quench his thirst before he departed.

Satan granted his request and took him to the local for many drinks.  When it came time to pay, he convinced the devil to turn himself into a coin so that they could pay the bill.

Surprisingly Satan went along with Jack, then he put the coin into his pocket with a crucifix and Satan was unable to escape.  Jack made a deal with him that he had to spare his soul for ten years.

Ten years later Satan was back.  Jack knew he was doomed this time, he asked Satan if he could have an apple as he was hungry.  Satan agreed and climbed a nearby tree, as he did this Jack placed more crucifixes at the bottom. (Even Satan gets tricked).

Jack demanded that he never be sent to Hell, of which Satan had no choice but to agree.

A few years on Jack’s heavy drinking days caught up with him and he died.  As he prepared to enter the pearly gates he was stopped by God.

God told him he was not allowed into Heaven because of his heathen ways.  Poor old Jack with nowhere else to go, he had to head back down to Satan and ask for forgiveness. 

Satan could or would not comply, so poor old Jack is wandering between the planes of good and evil for eternity.

Fortunately, Satan took some pity on Jack and gave him an ember to light his turnip lantern.

The Irish would then make lanterns out of turnips and other root vegetables to ward off Stingy Jack and other hostile spirits.

When the Irish migrated to the USA they started carving Jack O’ Lanterns from pumpkins as these were native and looked cool.

We know that this is not the only version of Jack O’ Lantern, so if you have one that you would like to share, or another Halloween myth please feel free to send us an email at

We also have a few paintings left in our Halloween collection, they won't last long!

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