Skeered to Death! The Headless Horseman Rides Again!

Headless_Horseman_Pursuing_Ichabod_Crane     It never fails, every October, in advance of Halloween, I think of this nightmarish freak featured so prominently in Washington Irving‘s timeless tale THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW.

What a rip roaring hair-raising tale for kids of all ages (me included)!  With fall in the air, dead leaves doing creepy whispery things in the wind at night, owls hooting, birds darting for cover, any half-wit would sense something is “afoot”–especially someone as susceptible to frights as the incomparable buffoon Ichabod Crane.

If you haven’t read it, give yourself a treat.  Today I find it amusing and so very clever, but when I was a kid it gave me a serious case of the creeps.  The story is so American, as told by Irving, and yet (God forefend!) this preternatural monster and its image has stalked cultures all over the world, so our particularly delicious Yankee dementia at the very mention of its name is not unique or confined to Sleepy Hollow.

It is a hoot and will ramp you and your kids up for Trick or Treating like nothing else and turbo charge your imaginations re: “things that go bump in the night!”

Accept no substitutes, a la TV or movies, for the original just can’t be beat 😉

About Margaret Jean Langstaff

A lifelong critical reader with literary tastes, a novelist, short story writer, essayist, book critic, and professional book editor for many years. A consultant to publishers and authors, providing manuscript critiques and a full range of editorial services. A friend and supporter of all other readers and writers. A collector of signed modern first editions. Animal lover and tree hugger. Follow me on Twitter @LangstaffEditor
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10 Responses to Skeered to Death! The Headless Horseman Rides Again!

  1. I loooove the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Amercian classic!

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  2. Stuff Jeff Reads says:

    Ha Ha! Just blogged about that one myself the other day. Agreed, way better than any film version. Cheers!

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  3. 😉 The ideal circumstances for reading it aloud to the under 12 set, myself included: On a chilly night by candle light in an otherwise dark house, with the wind howling ghoulishly outside as clumps of something hit the door and fly away and the windows rattle and shake in fright. Delicious hahahaha

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  4. So funny, for some reason, maybe because they’re scared senseless (of course not really) by Ichabod’s encounter with the Headless Horseman, kids always seem to miss the broad implications in the denouement that the clodhopper Brom is behind it all–

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  5. Anonymous says:

    The story of Rip Van Winkle was also written by Washington Irving and lasts for ever more .

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  6. Anonymous says:

    I have been an Icabod Crane to my Katrina Van Tassel for years and never get tired of the story..

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  7. Pingback: The War On Trees And The War On Terror Collide | I Hate Trees

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