Irish children used potatoes, turnips and rutebagas instead of pumpkins as Jack-o'-Lanterns to light Halloween gatherings.
Legend has it that a stringy Irishman named Jack, tricked the devil into climbing an apple tree. Quickly Jack carved a cross in the tree trunk and the devil was trapped.
The devil was forced to swear that for no reason would he come for Jack's soul.
When old Jack died, his miserly ways kept him from entering heaven so he went to the devil. Grinning, the devil reminded him of their deal. Jack was turned away.
The way back was dark. As a final gesture, the devil tossed Jack a coal straight from the fires of hell.
Jack had been eating a turnip. He placed the coal inside it and has been searching for a final resting place ever since.
Cut an opening in the bottom of a pumpkin. Clean out the pulp, using a spoon, knife or kitchen scissors, as needed. With a felt-tip marker, draw a face on the outside, or try a moon and stars. Leave little bridges to keep eye pupils and other inner parts attached. Cut out the shapes with a sharp knife. Place a votive candle in a holder and place pumpkin on top.