The Intriguing Origins of Halloween Traditions

From the mystical tale of Stingy Jack to the unexpected origins of candy corn, the roots of Halloween’s customs delve into the realms of legend and creativity.
Legend has it that Stingy Jack, a cunning character, outwitted the devil in a bizarre drinking escapade. The devil, turned into a coin, fell victim to Jack’s clever ploy, leading to a peculiar agreement that spared Jack’s soul from hell. Yet, Jack’s fate took an eerie turn upon his demise, banished to wander the night with only a burning coal tucked inside a carved turnip.
This haunting tale birthed the tradition of Jack-o’-lanterns, initially crafted from turnips, beets, and potatoes in Ireland and Scotland. As the tradition traversed the Atlantic with immigrants, pumpkins, native to North America, became the canvas for these spectral lanterns.
Another Halloween staple, candy corn, may not resemble chicken feed, but its inception traces back to the 1880s. George Renninger, the mastermind behind this sugary treat, named it “Chicken Feed,” aligning it with the common use of corn to feed poultry. The Goelitz Confectionery Company, now known as Jelly Belly Co., brought this confection to the masses at the turn of the century, marked by a colorful rooster on the box.