Hold onto your heads…
Most everyone has heard of the Headless Horseman, the dark, ominous and speechless specter from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow“. He is known in American Folklore to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper killed by American fire.
It is said that he visits the site of his death, where an American cannonball decapitated him, in search of his disembodied head. He has been known to show himself to people walking the village at night, chasing and tormenting them upon his battle horse, trying to cut off their heads.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is one of the most well known folktales in American culture. It was originally introduced into American literature in 1820 as a short story from, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent, by American author, Washington Irving (also known for the legendary American folktale, “Rip Van Winkle”). After spending a great deal of time in Europe, Irving was greatly influenced by the stories of the Celtic Headless Horseman, the dullahan, and Germanic folklore as told by the Brothers Grimm.
*Most of this info was researched via wikipedia and from one-on-one interviews with tour guides from my recent visit to Sleepy Hollow. Check back soon for the destination story on Sleepy Hollow.