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Jack O'Lantern and the Mysterious Light: Mythology and Science

Updated on March 14, 2017
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Linda Crampton is a teacher who enjoys reading and creative writing. Her favourite genres are classic literature, fantasy, myth, and poetry.

A Scary Halloween Jack o' Lantern
A Scary Halloween Jack o' Lantern | Source

A Strange and Sometimes Frightening Light

A jack o'lantern is a pumpkin shell with an evil face carved on its surface and a light placed inside. It's a popular part of many Halloween celebrations. The term "jack o'lantern" once had another meaning, however. It was one name for the mysterious patch of light that people saw just above the surface of swamps, marshes, or bogs at dusk or nighttime. The light had the shape of a flame or a ball and was said to move away from a person as they approached.

The appearance of the light was both strange and frightening for many earlier people. They thought that it was actually a supernatural being who was aware of their presence and wanted to lead them into danger.

Swamp, marsh, and bog lights have been reported for at least several centuries, although they have been given different names in different cultures. Even today, people say that they have seen the lights. Not everyone agrees that the lights exist, however, and indisputable evidence for their existence is lacking. Scientists have offered tentative explanations for their appearance. Sadly, as more and more wetlands are drained, we may eventually lose any chance to see and document a light or to fully understand its nature.

A swamp in Lithuania
A swamp in Lithuania | Source

Wetlands are unique habitats. There may be something special about their biology and chemistry that enables a light to be produced under specific circumstances.

Swamps, Marshes, and Bogs

A wetland is an area of land that is saturated with water. Although swamps, marshes, and bogs are wetlands, there are important differences between them.

  • A swamp is a wetland that contains trees.
  • A marsh contains low plants such as grasses instead of trees.
  • A bog is a little different. It's a wet and spongy area containing a material called peat, which is made from dead moss. The moss is often a type known as sphagnum.

Today people report seeing lights in other areas in addition to wetlands. Collectively, the mysterious illuminations are often known as ghost lights or spook lights. In this article I'll discuss the lights that people see above wetlands.

A marsh in a valley
A marsh in a valley | Source

The Tale of Jack O'Lantern or Stingy Jack

The Irish tale of Stingy Jack was once used to explain wetland lights. Like many old stories, the tale has survived in several versions, but the main points of the story are generally as follows.

Jack was a drunkard, a liar, and a great manipulator. In some versions of the story, he worked as a blacksmith. One day he met the devil, who had come to take Jack's soul to hell. Jack persuaded Satan to fulfill a last request, which was to allow him to drink ale in the local pub. After having many drinks, Jack persuaded Satan to change into a silver coin to pay the bartender. Satan did so, but instead of giving the coin to the bartender Jack put it into his pocket, which contained a crucifix. The crucifix prevented Satan from changing back into his original form.

Jack made a deal with the devil. He would free Satan if the devil agreed to leave and not return for Jack's soul for ten years (or for one year in some versions of the story). Satan agreed to the deal and left.

A close-up view of a jack o'lantern
A close-up view of a jack o'lantern | Source

The Return of the Devil

In ten years time the devil returned. This time Jack asked Satan to allow him to climb a tree to pick an apple to eat before he went to hell (or Jack asked Satan to pick the apple). Satan agreed. Once Satan had climbed into the tree, Jack quickly carved a cross in the tree trunk, which prevented the devil from leaving. This time Satan agreed that he would never take Jack's soul to hell. Satan was then freed.

When Jack died, God wouldn't allow him into heaven because he had led such an evil life and Satan wouldn't allow him into hell because of their agreement. Satan sent him into the night to wander the world endlessly and alone. He was given a burning ember from hell inside a hollow turnip to light his way. Jack thus became Jack of the Lantern, or Jack O'Lantern.

A modern jack o'lantern made from a turnip
A modern jack o'lantern made from a turnip | Source

To some people in the past, the strange and flickering lights above wetlands seemed to match the story of Jack O'Lantern. The light was thought to be Jack's evil soul trapped between life and death. As the light moved away, it was thought that Jack was trying to lead people deeper into the swamp so that they would become lost.

What Is a Quaking Bog?

Some Other Historical Names for Swamp, Marsh, or Bog Lights

Historically, wetland lights were known by other names besides jack o'lanterns. One of these was will o'the wisp. A wisp was a bundle of sticks or paper which was lit and used as a torch. Like Jack, Will was a character who was forced to wander alone at night with just his light for company because he did something wrong. A wetland light was also known as ignis fatuus, which is Latin for foolish fire. Another old name was corpse candle. Some people thought that seeing the light meant that death was near.

According to legend, Louisiana swamps host the fifollet, also known as the feu-follet (French for foolish fire). This ghostly light is said to take the form of a glowing orb above the swamp water. Like a jack o'lantern, the orb is reportedly a supernatural being that moves away from a person as the person approaches,

Legend says that the fifollet is a soul sent back to Earth by God in order to do penance. It sometimes attack humans. In some versions of the legend the fifollet is mischievous but not harmful. In others the fifollet is more menacing and sucks human blood like a vampire. Another legend says that the orb over the swamp is the soul of an unbaptized child.

A Louisiana Swamp Tour

A Possible Scientific Explanation for Wetland Lights

Swamp lights—if they exist—are believed to be caused by the ignition of the gas made in the swamp. This gas is produced by the bacterial decomposition of organic matter. The decay bacteria are anaerobic, which means that they survive without oxygen. The organic matter came from the bodies of once living plants and animals that collected in the swamp.

Swamp gas that has been tested contains a large quantity of methane, a flammable gas. Tests have also shown that at least some swamp gas contains phosphine, a gaseous substance that is spontaneously flammable in air. Some researchers say that under the right conditions, the mixture of methane and phosphine in the air above a swamp might produce a light. This is a very tentative explanation for swamp light production, however.

The production of light in a marsh may be similar to the process in a swamp. The gas produced by a marsh is known as marsh gas instead of swamp gas. A bog is acidic and relatively sterile, however. It may produce light by a different mechanism. The process of light generation in wetlands needs to be explored in much more detail.

Mer Bleue Bog in Ontario, Canada
Mer Bleue Bog in Ontario, Canada | Source

The movement of a swamp light as someone approaches is said to occur because the air currents produced by the person's movements or breath push the glowing gases over the swamp's surface.

Other Possible Explanations for the Mystery

There have been other suggested explanations for the appearance of light over a wet area. These include the presence of bioluminescent organisms, such as fireflies or certain mushrooms, and the presence of ball lightning. Tectonic processes in the Earth have also been proposed as a source of the light. In addition, there have been suggestions that the appearance of a glowing area over a wetland is an optical illusion. Wetlands are often strange places to explore and may heighten a person's sensitivity to unusual events.

A Ghost Light Poll

Do you believe that wetland lights exist?

See results
A close-up detail of a bog containing sphagnum moss
A close-up detail of a bog containing sphagnum moss | Source

Do Wetland Lights Exist?

Although the reports of wetland lights are widespread, there don't seem to be any reliable photos or videos of them. This could be because suitable conditions for producing the lights are a rare or temporary occurrence in nature, or it could be because the lights don't actually exist.

Unfortunately, because the existence of the lights is often thought of as a legend, detailed scientific research is lacking. The lack of knowledge makes the lights seem even more mysterious to someone who has seen them or who believes that they exist.

I have never seen a light over a wetland, but then again I don't visit wetlands at night when the lights are said to be most visible. I like to keep an open mind about their existence. The mystery of wetland lights or jack o'lanterns is intriguing.

A symbolic jack o'lantern
A symbolic jack o'lantern | Source

© 2014 Linda Crampton

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Spooky, interesting, and educational. I call that a trifecta. :)

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, Bill! I appreciate your comment.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      This was as bill said spooky, but very interesting Alicia. the Australian version of these lights is the "min min light". "A guide to Australian Folklore" describes it this way:

      "Min-Min Lights. Variously located in south-west Queensland, though best known around Hughenden, the Min-Min lights are an Australian version of the british Will-o-the-wisp and similar apparently supernatural dancing lights caused by the spontaneous combustion of marshy gases. It is said the 'min-min' derives from an Aboriginal language and that the lights are regarded by Aboriginal people as evil spirits." Some inland travellers have described a light like a single headlight following them for miles on straight stretches of road, but if they stop or pull over there is no other vehicle coming.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Very interesting, Jodah! It's fascinating that different cultures in different countries report the same phenomenon. Thank you very much for the comment and for sharing the information.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      What an awesome Halloween hub! You'll never catch me in a bog during day or night, with or without a jack-o-lantern. I've lived in Louisiana and have seen those swamps and what can come out of them. Pinning to my Halloween board, voted up+++.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The Louisiana swamps sound very scary, Flourish! Thank you very much for the kind comment, the pin and vote.

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Wow, Linda-- this is an excellent hub, combining science and fantasy/myth. Creepy. Voted up, pinned and tweeted.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment, techygran! I appreciate your vote and shares, too.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Excellent hub and really spooky too just in time for Halloween! I would never want to get close to a bog, lights or not. They are just eerie on their own. However, I love Jack O'Lanterns and love carving them.

      Up +++ pinning and tweeting

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Faith. I like exploring wetlands because I like to see the scenery and the plants and animals there. I'm sure they would be scary in the dark, though! Thank you very much for the vote, pin and tweet.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks, Bill. Yes, wetlands are interesting to explore during the day. The night is a different situation! I hope you have a great day as well.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Linda. What an interesting hub and just in time for Halloween. We have some wetlands near us and like you we enjoy the wildlife and the scenery, during daylight hours. At night that would be a different story. Who knows what lurks out there in the middle of the night? Great Job, have a great day.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Spooky stuff! Thanks for entertaining and informing us. Happy Halloween!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the comment, Rebecca. Happy Halloween to you, too!

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      I never heard these legends before. Thanks for sharing them! I found them really interesting. I have heard about lights over swamps. I recently moved to a swampy area and this makes me want to explore it at night. ;-)

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Jeannieinabottle. I would certainly find exploring a swamp at night very interesting, but I would want lots of company while I explored! Thank you very much for the comment.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Fascinating stuff, m'dear. Thanks for the interesting history about Stingy Jack. What a pitchman he would have been.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, drbj. It's so nice to see you back at HubPages. Thank you for the comment. Stingy Jack would definitely have been a good pitchman!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A perfect hub for Halloween. I learned more from you on this interesting history. Voted up,useful, and interesting.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment and the votes, DDE.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Charmingly spooky, and perfect timing. Trust an Irishman to get the better of Old Nick.:)

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the funny comment, tobusiness!

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 2 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I really enjoyed reading all this about Jack O'Lanterns. Some of it was familiar to me, like the Will o' the Wisp, but other parts were not. I voted it all the way up because it's such a fun read and so interesting to learn the history of the swamp lights. Thanks for sharing!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment and the votes, Nancy! I think the jack o'lantern has a very interesting background. It's fun to write about it!

    • DawnRae64 profile image

      Dawn 2 years ago from Maryland, USA

      So interesting! I'm glad this hub is here. I love bogs... fun to learn about Quaking bogs!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you, DawnRae64. I appreciate your comment very much!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Very interesting and informative hub, was spellbound from beginning to end, great hub and voted up.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment and the vote, Vellur. I'm so glad that you found the article interesting.

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 2 years ago

      What an AWESOME hub!

      This is a fantastic mix of science, folklore, myth and message - and beautifully written. I loved this. Voted up and sharing.

      Thank you! :)

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you so much, stuff4kids! I appreciate your lovely comment, the vote and the share a great deal.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 2 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Congrats on HOTD! This was most interesting.

      I'd never before heard the legend of the Jack O'Lantern! What an interesting tale.

      Swamp gas? Possibly, and more likely than any other of the fanciful ideas, in my opinion. It would be interesting to go investigate in a flat-botttomed boat or air boat, even, to be able to follow the light without danger of sinking in the muck. Though I'd leave that to experts and area natives. I've never been to a wetland or swamp, and given their reputation for harboring alligators and crocodiles, I don't think I want to, either! ;-)

      Voted up +++

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 2 years ago

      You're welcome. And I just called back in to say congrats on a well-deserved HotD.

      :)

    • eilval profile image

      Eileen 2 years ago from Western Cape , South Africa

      I read your hub with great interest just at the right time with Halloween round the corner . Insightful mix of folklore and much fun .

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      The tale of Jack is a great one to share at a spooky Halloween party along with the most interesting explanation of bog lights. I loved the photo of the turnip lantern to go along with the story. You find some of the most incredible subjects on which to write. Congratulations on receiving Hub of the Day for this one.

    • Maria Antonia profile image

      Maria Antonia 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Congratulations on HOTD I loved learning the backstory around the Jack O' Lantern and a little more about wetlands too.

    • ajaysuri profile image

      Ajay 2 years ago from Jaipur

      Hi, See sharing and reading posts give you an idea that you don't know earlier, in India day after tomorrow is Diwali festival in which we lighten the whole house with small led lights, I will use this idea and put this type of light in front of my house. Thanks. Happy Halloween, Happy Diwali to all reading this.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the congratulations and the vote, DzyMsLizzy! I like your plan for determining the cause of the light. An investigation like the one that you describe would be very interesting!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the second visit and the congrats, stuff4kids!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the comment, eilval. It's very nice to meet you.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, Peg. I appreciate your comment and congratulations.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the comment and the congratulations, Maria Antonia. I think that wetlands are fascinating areas to study!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, ajaysuri. Thank you for the comment. On Thursday, we're having a special event to celebrate Diwali in the school where I teach. I'm looking forward to it! Happy Diwali to you.

    • mySuccess8 profile image

      mySuccess8 2 years ago

      Very interesting article. The scientific explanation given for wetland lights is quite convincing. This is because anaerobic bacterial decomposition of plant and animal matter, such as occurring under water in wetlands, has been scientifically proven to produce methane gas. Methane is a colorless, odorless gas which is extremely flammable and explosive, and this probably explains the lights, as you have stated. Congrats on Hub of the Day!

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 2 years ago from United States

      Other lights of odd origin such as ball lightning and even UFOs cause a lot of consternation at times. Very nice composition and presentation of the Jack O' Lantern my friend. whonu

    • W1totalk profile image

      W1totalk 2 years ago

      This piece hits all the major points and is an informational piece for the season. Greta hub.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, mySuccess8. Yes, the scientific explanation for the lights is definitely worth exploring further. Thanks for the comment and the congrats!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, whonunuwho. Mysterious lights are always interesting to study! Thank you very much for the visit and the comment.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you, W1totalk. I appreciate your comment.

    • listsnthings profile image

      Toya Christie 2 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Thanks for this great info

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for commenting, listsnthings.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      This was so interesting and timely! Happy Halloween to you!!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, Audrey. Happy Halloween to you, too!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Learned a whole lot with this hub! Did not know the jack o'lantern origins. Well deserved Hub of the Day! Congrats!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you so much, Heidi. I appreciate the comment and the congratulations.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      Congrats on HOTD! Very interesting info here. I always think of Jack O'Lanterns as being a lot of fun. My children and I always made them. Happy Halloween, BTW.

      Voted Up, etc. and shared.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Mary. Thanks for the comment, the votes and the share. I hope you have a very enjoyable Halloween.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      I agree with you that, "The mystery of wetland lights or jack o'lanterns is intriguing!", and I too keep an open mind about things like this. Congratulations on HOTD!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the congratulations, colorfulone. It's fun to keep an open mind about all the mysteries on Earth!

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Congrats on the HOTD Linda~ I thought this was an apt candidate for that honour when I first read it!

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Congratulations! I had no idea about marsh lights. I wonder if they are real or not.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, Cynthia. I appreciate both your comments a great deal!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, MelRootsNWrites. Thanks for the congratulations. Marsh lights are certainly an interesting topic!

    • handymanbill profile image

      Bill 2 years ago from western pennsylvania

      I have my carving knife ready. Every year the kids have to have pumpkins carved. It is a fun thing to do with kids.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Congratulations, Alicia! Well deserved!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, handymanbill. Carving pumpkins is fun. Even the older students in the school where I teach enjoy doing it! I hope you have a good Halloween.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, Rebecca!

    • klidstone1970 profile image

      இڿڰۣ-- кιмвєяℓєу 2 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

      What a crafty one was Jack! You have taught me a lesson today, Linda. Congrats on HOTD! Kim

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks, Kim! I appreciate the congratulations.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Very well written and informative piece. There are also some mysterious lights near a place called Martha, Texas that have been photographed but nobody knows what they are. The Earth still has a lot of mysteries. Great hub!

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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      I'm back to say Congratulations on HOTD! This is very well deserved!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the comment, Mel. I appreciate it. Yes, the Earth does still have a lot of fascinating mysteries to be explained!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks so much, Flourish. I appreciate your kind support!

    • zoey24 profile image

      zoey24 2 years ago from South England

      I found this fascinating, and an enjoyable read. Congratulations on receiving HOTD!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the comment and the congratulations, zoey24!

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 2 years ago from Japan

      Interesting read there, they were quite scary when I was a kid.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the visit and the comment, Hezekiah.

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 2 years ago from Essex, UK

      An interesting and comprehensive article Linda. Nice to see that you cover all the various possible scientific explanations, as well as the traditional mythologies surrounding these lights. The Stingy Jack story was well explained and quite quaint - enjoyable to read!

      Re-the scientific explanations, it's interesting that the lights appear to move away as one approaches. I wonder if - just like a rainbow - a Jack o' Lantern is at least in part an optical phenomenon which can never be reached and touched or seen from a different direction?

      These lights are best known to me as Will o' the Wisp, and I wasn't aware that the Jack 0' Lantern of Halloween fame had a similar origin. All round therefore, an informative page including the distinction between marshes, bogs and swamps. It would be nice to see these lights one day.

      Finally, congratulations on Hub of the Day Linda. I think very well deserved. Voted up and shared. Alun

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the interesting comment and the congratulations, Alun. I appreciate the vote and the share as well! I hope researchers eventually give us a complete and detailed explanation about the way or ways in which the lights are produced.

    • VioletteRose profile image

      VioletteRose 2 years ago from Chicago

      Very interesting! I wonder if that is some kind of mirage effect. In South India, we have 'makaravilakku', a light that appears thrice on the mountain top near to the temple, and this happens exactly at the time of a rising star in the sky.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The light that you have described sounds interesting, VioletteRose! Thank you for the comment and for sharing the information.

    • TravelMike profile image

      Michael Belk 2 years ago from West Memphis, AR

      I tried putting a jack-o-latern as my phone lock screen and my sister said it was scary. What a scary cat.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, TravelMike. I hope your sister gets over her fear!

    • Aquiline profile image

      Aquiline Verdad 2 years ago from Philippines

      Nice article. I love your facts about jack'o lantern.Hope you would post more of this topic..

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the comment, Aquiline. I appreciate your visit.

    • markjayharris profile image

      Mark Jay Harris 2 years ago from Smithfield, Utah

      Fascinating stuff. Good hub!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, markjayharris.

    • CarolynEmerick profile image

      Carolyn Emerick 2 years ago

      Great article Alicia! I loved the images of the marshlands that you chose. Some of these legends have more than one origin, and you chose a fascinating aspect of this tradition to explore :-) Upvoted!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you, Carolyn. I appreciate your comment and vote!

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 2 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Congratulations on Hub of the Day for this article. I really enjoyed reading the mythological history you presented. Voted up!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment, Writer Fox! I appreciate your congratulations and the vote.

    • Randall Guinn profile image

      Randall Guinn 2 years ago from Pinellas Park, Florida

      Even though it hasn't been proven to be real by science, isn't it odd that swamp gas lights have been used to explain so many UFOs. Maybe one day they will use UFOs to explain the light from swamp gas.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      That's a very interesting comment, Randall! It certainly seems that the reports of swamp lights may be true because they are so widespread. I would love their cause to be explained in more detail.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Very interesting. It reminds me of the glow worm caves in New Zealand.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      These sound like caves that I would enjoy exploring! Thank you for the comment.

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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This was most interesting to read, and kept my attention easily throughout. Great work!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the kind comment, Deb!

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      Guided Abundance 19 months ago from Mobile, AL

      Reading this makes me ready for the falls cool weather and everyone seems to be in better moods about this time. That's why its my favorite season. No pressure of the expensive holidays yet, just fun.

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      Linda Crampton 19 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, newbizmau. Yes, that's the nice thing about fall! Spring is my favourite season, but fall comes a close second.

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      andis113 3 months ago

      I have seen them twice near Coden Alabama. Sometimes we would have dinner in a restaurant there & afterwards my father would drive down this one road in a swampy area & we would look for them. The ones we saw were slow moving, fuzzy balls of light, not bright like fire. They drifted like on a gentle breeze, one crossed the road right in front of our car. We never saw just one-

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      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for sharing your interesting experiences, andis113.

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      NadineMay 2 months ago

      Thank you as always for an informative hub on subjects I know nothing about. I have never celebrated Halloween but loved reading the story of Jack.

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      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks, Nadine. Jack has an interesting history!

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