Are you one of those people who loves to sit around with friends when it is gloomy out and take turns telling stories that scare the begeezus out of you? I am! Guess what? So is Ichabod Crane. You add that with his borderline obsession with food and love of books, and we are pretty much the same person. Maybe that is why I have always loved the story of Sleepy Hollow and the Headless Horseman.
Inspired by all of the previews I have been seeing for the new show Sleepy Hollow coming to FOX in a couple weeks (which looks awesome by the way), I decided it was about time I picked Sleepy Hollow up off the shelf and gave it another read.
Sleepy Hollow is one of, if not the most, well known story by Washington Irving. Coming in at a close second would be Rip Van Winkle, which is usually paired with Sleepy Hollow in most collections anyway. Most people are familiar with the story of the headless horsemen even if you have never read Irving’s original short story.
Basically, it is about a school teacher living in the New York countryside, and his subsequent disappearance, in a small community called Tarry Town. Sleepy Hollow itself is a particularly creepy glen in Tarry Town, in which the Headless Horseman is said to reside. The story is filled with rolling descriptions of New York scenery that seem never ending, but in a good way. I could listen to Irving describe the leaves on a tree for 3 hours and still enjoy myself. Then man could paint a pretty picture, that’s for sure.
The beautiful thing about Sleepy Hollow is that it is the perfect story for adaptation. It’s your basic whodunnit, but you never find out who actually did it, or in Ichabod’s case- what actually happened. Ironically, it is one of the stories that Ichabod himself loved to hear around the fire while gossiping away with the women of Tarry Town. The kind of story that makes your pace walking home just a little bit faster than usual, perfect for those gloomy nights full of superstition and storytelling.