This is my jackolantern this year. It's not strictly kosher to carve something other than a face, but there you are. Anyway, there's a little face at the bottom being carried by the bat.
The Jack of tradition was a no-good thief who managed to trap the Devil with a cross, sometimes in an apple tree and sometimes in his wallet. Jack agreed to let the Devil go only if he promised never to take Jack's soul. Jack was not eligible for Heaven, either, so when he died he was forced to wander the Earth with a never-dying ember that the Devil provided him from Hell. He carved a turnip into a lantern to carry the ember in, thus becoming Jack of the Lantern.
Here in South Texas you can't carve your pumpkin ahead of time and leave it outside for more than a day or so, or by Halloween it will have collapsed into goo. This one is staying in the AC, where it will entertain our dinner guests tomorrow night. We're cooking up a feast of Indian food for some restaurateurs we've met in town, so the pressure is on to produce spectacular food and clean the house up into a more respectable state. My husband, usually Mr. Bah Humbug about holiday preparations, surprised me by specially requesting a jackolantern for a centerpiece. Next he'll be openly admitting he likes my Christmas tree and proposing Easter Egg hunts. Well, maybe not that last one. He did enter a local contest last week, though, and took home a trophy for his alligator jambalaya. That's getting pretty sociable.