I’ll be using this post as a handy reference to track all the Sleepy Hollow celebration posts all month long.
My thoughts: One of my earliest introductions to horror was the Headless Horseman scene included every year in the Disney Halloween special. Those scenes of Ichabod and his poor horse travelling down that lonely road are some of the most haunting scenes Disney has ever dared to show. Recently, it occurred to me that “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, the story from which Disney drew inspiration, is urban fantasy. Washington Irving wrote this tale based on a German folktale about a headless horseman, in the modern setting of the Dutch settlement Tarry Town. The story also includes a love triangle. The ending is not clearly a “happily ever after” and the identity of the Headless Horseman is open to interpretation. Yup. All the makings of an urban fantasy. (Remember, urban fantasy doesn’t have to be set in a city. The “urban” is a reference to “urban legend” or “urban myth”, not the locale.)
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and its cast of characters has long inspired many creative minds. With all this in mind, I begged asked authors to share their memories and inspirations from Irving’s work. I hope you enjoy.
Feel free to join in and post comments!
Note: The image used in this post is from “The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane” by John Quidor. The full image from the painting is in the public domain. The oil on canvas painting is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.