The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Everyone knows the story of Ichabod Crane and the headless horseman but what do you know about the author Washington Irving. Irving wrote this story as part of a collection of essays in 1820. This story is an example of early American fiction. The story of the headless horseman is based on real life events that happened in Tarrytown, New York.
Our story takes place in Sleepy Hollow which is near Tarrytown. Irving drew his story from German folklore from the Dutch who were the major inhabitants of this part of New York in the 1700’s. The tales of a headless horseman have been passed down as legend. As legend has it, there was a headless horseman AKA “The Wild Huntsman” who chased people down who committed very bad crimes at top speeds through the woods. This story is what legends are made of.
The reality of the story is that near the end of the Revolutionary War, this area of New York was some what a wild west area. During this time there was a group of German mercenaries who were contracted by the British and were known for their sharpshooting skills and horsemanship. These ruthless people were not liked by the Dutch who were settled in that area. So the story of the headless horseman comes from the Dutch who found a headless body of one of these mercenaries and buried it in an unmarked grave in an old Dutch graveyard.