How Hallowe'en Originated in Mississauga


Hallowe'en has fast become one of autumn's spookiest holidays, but did you know it was invented right here in Mississauga? In fact, its origins can be traced directly back to that one time John Lennon crashed on Ronnie Hawkins's couch for two weeks.


It was 1969. NASA was putting people on the moon. UCLA was birthing the misshapen travesty we now call "the internet." And Ronnie Hawkins had a problem.

Every October, gangs of neighbourhood children invaded poor Ronnie's Mississauga Road farm to feast upon his bountiful crop of bumbleberries. Ronnie tried to reason with them. That didn't work. He tried to threaten them. That didn't work. He even released a flock of man-eating birds to carry off random children. But that only resulted in more lawsuits.

Local celebrity Ronnie Hawkins was at his wits' end... and it looked like the story of Hallowe'en was over before it even began.   



Enter bespectacled peace enthusiast and former member of The Quarrymen, John Lennon. 1969 was a tumultuous time for "the third most handsome Beatle." Wherever he went, he was mobbed by young people trying to get at the hard candies that he carried in his pockets. He didn't want to carry all those candies around. It wasn't his idea. But Yoko insisted. 

It was a good thing she did! Because John had discovered an interesting fact about children: they loved hard candies! And if they approached him furtively, and wore ghoulish costumes, and at the last moment screamed "TRICK OR TREAT!" they would frighten him so badly that he ran away and dropped all the candies safely behind him.

John knew he had a job to do. So he packed up his candies and hopped on the earliest flight to Mississauga.


Ronnie wasn't so sure about John's plan. Would kids really prefer hard candies over delicious, nutritious bumbleberries? But he figured it was worth a shot. And guess what? It worked. Child after child came to his door, clad in ghastly attire, and demanded either tricks or treats -- sometimes, both. Ronnie's crop was saved! 

From Ronnie Hawkins's humble farm, the tradition spread across North America and the world. Inspired by his success, John Lennon returned to England and quit music to open up the first Spirit Hallowe'en franchise.

And that's how Mississauga broke up the Beatles.