Halloween Myths and Legends

Reilley Banning, Junior Editor

Halloween has amazing stories, traditions, and backgrounds, but do we really know any of these stories? The witches rituals, or why we carve pumpkins? Here at The Medinamite we wondered why children hear these wives’ tales throughout the month of October. So I went digging for those stories, chants, and background of all of those things surrounding Halloween!

Wives’ tales are fictitious stories made up generations before us, and most of them are rather unbelievable.The first tale is about those who are born on Halloween. This tale is a short, but  fun one to tell your friends. It is said that children born on Halloween are able to see, and speak to spirits, so all those kids that talk to dead people in horror movies were probably born on Halloween- freaky!

This next Halloween story is actually not a story at all, but a ritual.This ritual is said to show you the face of your future husband (so all you single people keep this in mind on Halloween!). All you need for this is a dark room, a candle, a mirror, an apple, and a hairbrush. What you need to do is go into the dark room with the mirror, when it turns midnight on Halloween night, light the candle and start brushing your hair while eating the apple at the same time. Wait a minute or two, and the face of your future spouse should pop up in the mirror.  

The last, and most in depth story, is the story behind one of America’s favorite Halloween traditions: carving pumpkins.  According to How Stuff Works, the legend is about a man named Stingy Jack. This story about Stingy Jack may be a little religious, but it is a fun myth, and a great explanation for something we love to do each year. Jack was a sly, tricky man, who had done some bad things in his life. One day, Jack and the Devil got together. Jack convinced the Devil to climb a tree to look for an apple and while he was up in the tree, Jack carved a cross in the bottom. The cross trapped the Devil! The pair struck a deal to get him out of the tree, which would benefit Jack. The deal was that if Jack let him down, he would not be sent to the Underworld when he died. They made the deal and the devil was free. Years later Jack passed away, and when he was sent to the Underworld he was sent away thanks to his deal with the Devil himself. Thus Jack went to Heaven, where he was also sent away, because he had not been good enough on Earth to get in. As a result, he was given a forever lit coal, which he put in a carved, hollowed out turnip,  to light his way through Purgatory for eternity. Over the years the story about Stingy Jack has not been as commonly told and the turnip is now a pumpkin. However, we still carve our pumpkins and call them Jack o’ lanterns all because of the legend of Stingy Jack and the deal he made with the devil. Spooky!


There are many more tales about Halloween related topics, to get you in the spooky mood. So go search some old books, or even the internet to read some scary stories, this will get you in the Halloween mood. Happy Halloween!