SRU offers University-themed jack-o’-lantern stencils

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SRU themed pumpkin carvings

Oct. 11, 2019

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Here's a real "treat" for all those Halloween fanatics across campus: Slippery Rock University-themed jack-o'-lantern stencils.

The designs, which include "Dawn of SRU," "Batty about The Rock," "Rock Raven," "SRU Diablo" and "The Walking SRU," are sure to make your pumpkin carving party a "howling" success.

SRU 'Bat" stencil

Batty about The Rock

Ready to get to it? Don't worry, downloading the stencils isn't "trick"-y at all. Click on the links above and you'll be "brewing" up some fun in no time.

What's that, you say? You wonder how carved pumpkins came to be known as jack-o'-lanterns in the first place? Wonder no more my friends, as we share with you the legend of Stingy Jack.

According to legend, Stingy Jack - also known as Jack the Smith, Drunk Jack, Flaky Jack and his most appropriate alias which we will reveal shortly - invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn't want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks.

SRU of the Dead stencil

The Walking SRU

Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul.

The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree's bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for 10 more years.

Soon after, Jack died.

SRU devil horns stencil

SRU Diablo

As the story goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip to light his way and has been roaming the Earth with it ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as, you guessed it, "Jack of the Lantern" which became "Jack O'Lantern" and finally jack-o'-lantern.

Dawn of SRU

In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack's lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets were used.

SRU "The Raven" stencil

Rock Raven

Immigrants from these countries brought the jack-o'-lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make for an even more perfect makeshift lantern and jack-o'-lanterns were born.

Happy Halloween.

MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 | robb.king@sru.edu