In Irish folklore, a supreme con man named Jack, or “Jack-o,” once tricked the Devil himself.
Upon his death, his sins barred him from heaven, and because he had once fooled the Devil he couldn’t enter hell.
After a lot of begging he finally persuaded Satan to give him one burning ember.
Placed in a hollowed-out turnip it served as a lantern to light his way through the afterlife.
Later in North America, the plentiful pumpkin replaced turnips for use as “Jack-o’s lanterns.”