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Written by MJ Reporter Willow LaMunyon
Photo by MJ Photographer Christy Moyer
Halloween is almost here. It is time to decorate with autumn leaves and Pumpkins but not just any pumpkins. October pumpkins are carved or painted to scare. Have you ever wondered why? Maybe you know the very start of pumpkin/ turnip carving. Perhaps you don't, but either way, it is a story worth repeating.
There once was a terrible villain named Jack who committed every crime imaginable and was hated by everyone. Even the devil himself. As Jack grew old, he started to think of what would happen after he died. Jack knew he was headed to hell. Jack had no plans to repent, but he did have a plan to keep out of hell.
One midnight, Jack crumpled beneath a tree, pretending to be dead, knowing the devil would come for him. Jack didn't know that he had become so mean even the devil didn't want him. The devil climbed high into the tree, trying to think of what to do.
Jack had expected the devil to do that very thing, and he was ready. As soon as the devil settled among the branches, Jack uncovered religious items he had hidden around the tree, and in that way, he trapped Mr. devil in the tree.
It was then Jack put his plan into action. If the devil ever wanted out of the tree, he was to agree that Jack would never have to enter hell no matter how evil he was in the past, present, or future. The devil was quick to agree to Jack's little surprise, but he marked it up to his own brilliant plan.
Soon after the agreement, Jack died peacefully, knowing that he wouldn't go to hell, but heaven wouldn't let him in either. Jack had to dwell alone and in darkness, until he begged the devil to let him into hell since the darkness and lack of anyone to torment felt worse to Jack than even hell.
Jack begged the devil to let him into hell, but the devil laughed and laughed then tossed Jack a burning coal in a turnip with his face carved in it to give Jack a little bit of light so Jack could see the shadows of people he could no longer torment.
The people Jack had tormented thought a carved turnip would keep the man who was even worse than the devil away, but turnips were hard to sculpt, so pumpkins were carved instead.
Today we still carve pumpkins. Some are indeed frightening, but others have silly faces or even elaborate Halloween symbols, and the burning coal has been replaced with battery-operated safety candles.