My childhood memories of Halloween are vivid and spooky. But, it was also my favorite time for gathering around the TV with a bowl of popcorn and watching a scary movie. Ghost stories were great on TV, and my favorite was the Walt Disney movie “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” narrated by Bing Crosby. It was a short story by Washington Irving published in 1820. Set in the 1790s in a small Dutch village of Tarrytown, New York, Sleepy Hollow was a special glen that was secluded from the village and had a certain haunting feel to it. It was known for its ghosts – the most terrifying was the Headless Horseman – a Hessian warrior (a German solder that had fought on the side of the British during the Revolutionary War), who had his head shot off by a cannonball and rode at night, looking for it. The living characters include the lean and lanky Ichabod Crane, Brom Bones, the local town rowdy, and Katrina Van Tassel, the beautiful only-child of the richest planter in the area. Vying for Katrina’s hand, Ichabod is a charming man lacking in looks, and Brom Bones is just the opposite. The rivalry comes to a head at a Halloween party. Brom Bones, knowing that Ichabod was very superstitious, played on that fear and told him the legend of the Headless Horseman. As Ichabod rode his plow horse home from the party, the Horseman appeared. Ichabod knew he had to get over the bridge to be safe because the Horseman could not follow. Once on the bridge, he feels relief until the Horseman hurls his head (in reality, it is a flaming Jack-o-lantern). Suddenly, the Jack-o-lantern comes right at the TV screen – a scene embedded in my mind’s eye! The next day there is no trace of Ichabod – only a smashed Jack-o-lantern and his hat at the bridge. There are many explanations as to what has happened, but in the end, you are left to your own conclusions. As with all ghost stories, it is better to let your imagination fill in the blanks. Happy Halloween!
SharLeigh has an inquisitive nature – she is interested in current events, history, science and many more subjects, including things that go bump in the night! Since 1997, SharLeigh has scoured the internet, looking for interesting, fun and timely topics covering all sorts of human-interest subjects for her articles from her home in Fontana, CA.