This time of year conjures up old ghost stories and folklore. One of the scariest of all Halloween stories comes from a small town about one hundred thirty miles south of Albany. It is a tale passed down through generations and its central character is The Headless Horseman. The town is in Westchester County and it is the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Sleepy Hollow is a small town of about ten thousand people located in Westchester County along the Hudson River. It is the setting for an iconic tale written by legendary historian and writer Washington Irving. He is actually buried in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery which is a stop along the town's Halloween Tour.

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The central character in Washington Irving's tale, the Headless Horseman is said to haunt the town of Sleepy Hollow. He was a soldier and decapitated during the Battle of White Plains by an American cannonball. His fellow soldiers carried his body away and left his head on the battlefield. Each night, as the story goes, he searches high and low for his head on horseback with a Jack o'Lantern in hand. The story takes place in 1776 in Sleepy Hollow and is about a school teacher named Icabod Crane who comes to the small town from Connecticut. He finds himself at odds with a local man named Abraham "Brom Bones" Van Brunt over a woman named Katrina. After a party one night Icabod sees the Headless Horseman and then he is never seen again. If you are inclined, you can head to Sleepy Hollow on Halloween to catch a glimpse.

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Also, when I was younger, Icabod Crane School's mascot was The Headless Horseman. They used to have a huge mural on their gym wall of him. Over time, they changed their mascot to the Riders. Chances are this article scared them into closing today. JK

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