You Don’t Know Jack (o’-Lantern)
The history of Halloween’s symbol
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Click on the video above to hear about the story behind Halloween’s quintessential icon.
Some trick-or-treaters are terrified by them. Others carry them on their quest for goodies. But whatever you happen to be doing this Halloween, chances are you, too, will be met by the devilish grin of a jack-o’-lantern.
But for all of the pumpkin carving, candle lighting, and doorstep adorning of All Hallows’ Eve, did you ever wonder about the Jack behind the lantern? Who was this creepy character and how did we come to adopt him?
BU Today asked Adam Sweeting, a College of General Studies associate professor of humanities, to share the tale of Jack and the Devil and how pumpkins came to replace turnips as Halloween’s candle-bearing symbol.
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