The Legend of Stingy Jack

The Legend of Stingy Jack is the theme behind my yard haunt this year, and aims to tell the story of Stingy Jack and the origins of the jack-o-lantern. It originates from Ireland centuries ago, and as part of the haunt I wrote a poem that I posted on a sign to retell the story. Of course, of over the 150 people that came to the door, exactly 1 read it, but hey, such as life…


Stingy Jack went to the pub with the Devil for his last drink
When time came to close the tab ol’ Jack, he didn’t blink
“Turn yourself into a coin so I can pay the man”
And when the Devil did, Jack took the coin into his hand

Into his pocket he dropped the coin, next to a crucifix
The Devil became angry for losing this battle of the wits
“Spare my soul for ten more years, and I’ll set you free”
The Devil didn’t have a choice, and accepted ol’ Jack’s plea

Ten years later, to the day, on All Hallows Eve
The Devil came a calling to take payment on his fee
“Before we go, could you fetch me an apple from this tree?
If I’m to be damned I need some food inside of me”

The Devil scrambled up the tree to fetch the man his snack
Jack carved a cross into the trunk, and again the beast was trapped
“I’ll release you if you vow to never take my soul”
“Never shall I take it!”, the angry beast bellowed

Eventually Jack died from drinking to excess
He climbed the stairs to heaven for his eternal rest
Heaven didn’t want a scoundrel or a thief
So down to hell descended Jack, to try to make his peace

Standing at the gates of hell, the Devil turned him down
“I said I’d never take your soul, and I shall keep my vow”
“What am I supposed to do?!”; Jack fell to his knees
“You are damned to walk the earth, for all eternity”

Jack carved a pumpkin lantern, and asked the Devil for a light
“A burning ember of hellfire, to see you through the night”
As he roams the earth, his Jack O’Lantern lights the way
Beware the night of Samhain, you may see his pumpkin face

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