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The Spooky History of Jack o’ Lanterns

One of the best parts of Halloween is carving pumpkins into spooky jack o’ lanterns. It’s a fun tradition for any family to enjoy each and every year. But have you ever wondered where jack o’ lanterns come from? How did pumpkin carving get started? Let’s take a look at the spooky history of jack o’ lanterns this week. Don’t forget about our jack o’ lantern- and pumpkin-inspired candy from Wockenfuss, either! We hope this spine-tingling blog gets you in the Halloween spirit – and ready to eat tons of Halloween candy from Wockenfuss!

Jack o' Lanterns

Let’s take a look at the spooky history of jack o’ lanterns this week. Don’t forget about our jack o’ lantern- and pumpkin-inspired candy from Wockenfuss, either!

All About Jack o’ Lanterns

The phrase Jack o’ lantern referred to people long before they referred to pumpkins. As early as the year 1663, the term meant a night watchman or a man with a lantern. It eventually began to be used to refer to any mysterious light seen at night in swamps, created when gases from decomposing plants come in contact with electricity or heat. This causes a “ghost light”, or jack o’ lantern, to ignite. People began to tell stories to explain these lights, with the main character being a man named Stingy Jack.

When Stingy Jack died, he was allowed into neither heaven nor hell, and instead was forced to wander the earth with a burning coal inside a carved-out turnip. People began carving turnips in commemoration of this story at Halloween, the spookiest time of the year. The turnip eventually led to other vegetables being carved; pumpkins were easily accessible and easy to carve. So by the mid-1800s, Stingy Jack’s nickname began to stick to these pumpkins modeled after his own turnip lamp – and thus the jack o’ lantern got its name.

Jack o’ Lantern-Inspired Candy from Wockenfuss

Wockenfuss is a family owned business, now in its fifth generation of candy-making. As one of the oldest candy makers in Maryland, we know a thing or two about what it takes to make great candy. This Halloween, we are excited to offer a wide range of Halloween candy, including  jack o’ lantern-inspired treats. Be sure to check out our milk chocolate pumpkin pops, jelly pumpkins, and gummi pumpkins this Halloween season!

Just like all of our other delicious candies, you can find all of our Halloween candy at any of our eight convenient locations or you can place your order online. Just allow 3-6 business days for shipping.

Shop for Halloween Candy at Wockenfuss!

Are you in the Halloween spirit yet? Head to and browse our wide selection of Halloween candies. We promise you will not be disappointed. Wockenfuss Candies is one of the oldest candy makers in Baltimore. We opened our doors in 1915 and have proudly served the people of Baltimore ever since.

If you have any questions about ordering Halloween candy online, please contact Wockenfuss Candies, by calling 1-800-296-4414 or email When you’re not savoring our sweets, stay satisfied by following us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest!

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 15th, 2015 at 5:53 pm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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