Carve A Spooky Timmy Geek-o-lantern
Happy almost-Halloween! Here at ThinkGeek World Domination HQ, Halloween is probably our monkeys' collective favorite holiday. In addition to being dog-friendly, our office is also definitely costume-friendly (even Timmy dresses up!), and we take advantage of that each year. If you've been paying close attention over the years, you also know we love Jack-o-lanterns! We often carve some together and share our creations with you online.
History And Lore of Jack-o-lanterns
Of course, we couldn't carve Jack-o-lanterns without geeking out at least just a little bit. Do you know the history of the Jack-o-lantern? It's actually pretty interesting! The tradition of carving Jack-o-lanterns began in 19th century Ireland, and the original medium was a turnip, not a pumpkin. There is a lot of lore around the meaning of the lanterns, and much of it conflicts, but the name Jack-o-lantern is a reference to the unusual lights that flicker over Irish peat bogs, known as the will-o'-the-wisp, or, for the more technically inclined, ignis fatuus.
In Ireland and some parts of the Scottish Highlands, Halloween lines up with the festival of Samhain. It's long been believed that the souls of the dead wander the night at this time of year, and the Jack-o-lanterns people carved were meant to represent the spirits of the dead, or in some cases, to ward off the malicious ones.
Another telling of the origin of the Jack-o-lantern relates to the legend of "Stingy Jack," a man who asked the Devil to have a drink with him, and then tried to skip out on the bill. The legend follows Jack as he tricks and bargains with the devil time and again to keep himself safe throughout his life. Eventually, though, Jack died, and being barred from Heaven and exempt from hell, he roamed the Earth in spectral form with only a burning coal in a carved turnip to light his way. The legend of Stingy Jack is long enough for its own blog post, though, so you should just go read it here.
Carve Your Own
Want to carve your own Geek-o-lantern? Just download this Geek-o-lantern template, print it out, and cut out the black parts. Then, tape the stencil pattern to your pumpkin, trace on the design, and get to cutting! Just remember to be careful - knives are sharp and stuff.
Get yourself a nice, fresh pumpkin, get your tools together, and in no time at all, you'll have a great looking Geek-o-lantern to show off.
Watch Us Carve Our Pumpkin
(Not at actual speed)
Put The Finishing Touches On Your Halloween Shopping
If you're still looking for the perfect Halloween costume or accessory, there's still time! Check out our Halloween apparel or just go ahead and order the perfect outfit for carving your Jack-o-lantern.