Long ago in a small town there lived a retired solder. He had fought for the Holy Church. He was respected and trusted about town. A good, Honest, God fearing man he soon found the town appointing him to the town counsel. Every one liked and trusted Jack. A more honest and trusted man the town did not have. Then one day the Witch Hunters came. Endorsed and empowered by the Holy Church they filled the towns dungeons with its most generous kind hearted citizens. Jack found himself very conflicted. On the one hand the Witch Hunters were working for the church, The Pope himself had appointed them to hunt down the enemies of God. Their methods tried, tested and perfected over centuries, Their manual “The Malleus Maleficarum” was the law of the land in every Christian country.
Surly if they declared someone a witch, they were a witch. On the other hand, Jack had known these people for years. They were fine, decent people. In fact, they were the best, most decent people in town. He thought to himself. How could this be. Finally on the night before they were to be put to death, some to be hanged and a few having been found guilty of the most heinous crime of Unlawfully Charnel Knowledge were to be burned at the stake. Jack used his influence to have a private audience with the condemned witches and warlocks. He was determined to find the truth. What was said that night no one will ever know. But in the morning when the Witch Hunters came to take the condemned to their deaths Jack was standing guard over their cells. As the Hunters approached Jack drew his sword “You will not kill these people, for I now know them to be fine decent folk” Jack said. The hunters drew their blades as well and fell upon Jack without another word. Jack’s sword was shattered in the first pass, some say that a blade used so long in the service of God could not stand being used to defend those pledged to his adversary, others say a blade used so long in the service of lies and hate had of course become brittle when exposed to truth, still others a bit more cynical simply say the blade had grown old and had not been well maintained since Jack had retired. Whatever the case, now with no blade the second pass relieved Jack of his head. The Hunters gathered up Jack’s body but could not find his Head. It had rolled downhill and into a pumpkin patch. Jack’s body was burned with the witches.
According to some God would not allow Jack into Heaven because he had died defending Witches, And the Devil would not allow him into hell because he had spent his whole life in service to God. So he was condemned to roam the earth. He then failing to find his head chose to carve a pumpkin into one. After some time of contemplation Jack decided that now dead he could no longer earn his way into heaven. Hell, on the other hand might be an achievable goal. He set about doing just that. Making himself into a terror to the servants of God. He took particular delight in tormenting anyone giving aid to Witch hunters. In time he took it upon himself to protect witches and those in league with Satan. All Hallows Eve became his time. During this night he rampaged across the land. Those in the Know started carving Jack-O-Lanterns to tell Jack they were his allies against the church. Still others claim upon his death The Shinning One, or Lucifer, Satan, The Devil, or even Old Scratch if you prefer, came to Jack in that pumpkin patch. He sat and talked with him offering comfort at first. they discussed how Mankind had been deceived into following the accursed Nazarene and his unnatural philosophy. The Shinning One warned Jack that Christianity was sure to dominate Europe and the New World for centuries to come. However His daughter Aradia would however some day deliver the faithful from the threat of the stake and noose. With his help that time may come even sooner. Be warned however The Shinning One told him other just as perverse religions also exist and will come to flourish. Jack agreed He became the spirit of Halloween. Avenging all the wrongs we suffered at the hands of the Christians who had used our day of mourning to torment us. As you know it has been our way since the beginning of time to remember our lost loved ones on All Hallows Eve. Many of us took to leaving a plate of pastries or cakes , some preferred cookies on our porch that night for our lost loved ones, much as people today lay flowers on their graves. Well the Christians in all their cruelty began to dress up as our deceased loved ones, some even going as far as digging up their graves and stealing the clothes we buried them in, then coming to our homes to steal our food and play vicious pranks upon us reveling in our grief. Jack took it upon himself to avenge this wrong and became their boogeyman. Our tormenters found their water poisoned crops and homes burned before being harvested, their children missing. The faithful began placing Jack-O-Lanterns on their porches in honor of Jack as well as to request his defense of their families. Still others, the more cynical amongst us say with Jacks death people began to get feed up with the inquisition. In an act of solidarity people began using Jack-O-Lanterns as a form of protest. with each passing year the Witch hunters found themselves less welcome at each town they came to. soon they could not even dismount before everyone in town began throwing rocks at them and chasing them out of town. This resistance seemed to spread at the same pace as the spreading use of Jack-O-Lanterns. As the With Hunters left town the friends and families of their victims would avenge themselves against those of their neighbors who gave aid to the Witch Hunters. Houses and barns burned cattle died children vanished and yet people insisted it was the Work of Jack and night was lit by Jack-O-Lanterns a silent message of sympathy and a reminder that helping the witch hunters came with a price. We should however remember that while the burnings ground to a halt some time back the witchcraft laws were not repealed in England until 1954 and 1956 here in the USA.
This story is oral tradition folklore that was told by a Luciferic sect back in the mid 80's