“From the listless repose of the place, and the peculiar character of its inhabitants, who are descendants from the original Dutch settlers, this sequestered glen has long been known by the name of SLEEPY HOLLOW. . . ” Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
One of Icabod Crane’s sources of fearful pleasure was to pass long winter evenings with the old Dutch wives, as they sat spinning by the fire, and listen to their marvelous tales of ghosts and goblins, and haunted fields, and haunted brooks, and haunted bridges, and haunted houses, and particularly of the headless horseman, or Galloping Hessian of the Hollow, as they sometimes called him. All the while trying to win the affections of the Lady Abigail Van Tassel. The old Dutch Church was one of the favorite haunts of the Headless Horseman, and the place where he was most frequently encountered. Not far from the church, along the Hudson River was a wooden bridge; the road that led to it, and the bridge itself, were thickly shaded by overhanging trees, which cast a gloom about it, even in the daytime; but occasioned a fearful darkness at night. As one strolls past the Old Dutch Church on a dark Halloween night, it is easy to imagine the shadow of the horseman rising up from behind the gravestones, armed with a jack-o-lantern as he gallops along in search of his head; wherein lies the history of the Headless Horseman of Sleep Hollow which began over 200 years ago, and his spirit has lived here ever since.