A Monster a Day, the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow, NY

Hold onto your heads…

The Headless Horseman visits locals in Sleepy Hollow, NY photo by Christa Thompson

The Headless Horseman visits locals in Sleepy Hollow, NY photo by Christa Thompson

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 dullahanand 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.

About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

4 Comments on this post

  1. Great article. The dullahan is a fascinating – and frightening – ghoul. Just started researching it for my next book.

    Michael Cahill / Reply
  2. […] was an eventful day. I never thought I would have seen a headless horseman, toured the notoriously haunted Lizzie Borden House, driven 6 hours, chartered the coast of […]

  3. […] to this corner of the U.S. as part of the Legendary New England Tour, to explore the legend of the Headless Horseman and find out if this was in fact a Fairytale […]

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