Light and Dark

There are two forces at work when the sun sets on Halloween, one dark, the other light. They are often at war with each other whenever they meet, but their first priority, is the children who are out trick-or-treating. One tries to keep them safe and happy, the other,wants them frightened out of their minds. Both are pretty well known, but in name only; as of now, very few know who they really are and what they do for Halloween. Who are these individuals? Well, you’ll see what I mean when I said they’re known by name only, as they are Jack O’Lantern and the Headless Horseman.

Of the two, Jack O’Lantern is the lesser known individual as his name is mainly associated with the lit pumpkins we see decorating lawns everywhere, or mostly everywhere, on Halloween. Beyond that, very little is known about him. Some legends state he was too good for hell and too bad for heaven and thus is made to wander the earth with his lantern, sometimes a pumpkin, sometimes a turnip. Others state that he tricked the devil, and the devil cursed him with wandering the lands. But the more likely story is that he was a fun-loving lad with a penchant for mischief who sacrificed his life for those he loved. In some ways, he has a lot in common with Jack Frost, yet in others, he’s very much like Rip Van Wrinkle. How he died is still a mystery, but one thing is certain, the Man in the Moon chose the lad to become Jack O’Lantern, and for good reason. He is a staunch fighter against the forces of fear as he enjoys bringing laughter and light into the lives of the trick-or-treaters, time after time managing to keep their fears at bay. But by doing so, pits him against perhaps the most feared being next to Pitch Black.

Who the Headless Horseman was or how he died is just as mysterious as the circumstances of Jack’s death, if not more so. He is known now as the being wrapped in darkness carrying his pumpkin head around as he rides a Nightmare. Though the two haven’t met, the Headless Horseman could be easily called Pitch Black’s right hand man for he spreads fear just as ruthlessly as Pitch does, except that he doesn’t spread it in people’s dreams, he spreads it in the deepening shadows of twilight when they are still wide awake. Those scary sounds you hear at night, the breathing without a face, the breaking of a twig by unseen feet, that is the Headless Horseman sending fear into your heart. That’s usually when Jack O’Lantern intervenes and provokes some laughter. You can just imagine how furious the Headless Horseman gets when Jack destroys his fearsome work. But for some reason, the two have never openly battled, it’s been mainly guerilla warfare for them. Perhaps an open battle will happen one day, maybe it never will, but that is not the only question that remains. The other question is, could Jack O’Lantern be Jack Frost’s son, and that the Headless Horseman is Pitch Black’s son? Or could they be, in fact, a variation of Jack Frost and Pitch Black?

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