I think most every adult, some children included, is aware of the story of how Ichabod Crane accepts the job of schoolmaster in drowsy Sleepy Hollow. He vies for the affections of Katrina Van Tassel who has also caught the eye of Brom Bones. The town is awash in superstition and ghostly hauntings, the most notorious of which is the galloping phantom of the Headless Horseman, a Hessian trooper who was killed during a battle of the American Revolution. During his ride home from a social gathering one night, Ichabod, unwillingly, meets with the Horseman.
In my mind, Halloween, autumn, Colonial and Early America, are all connected and it’s all thanks to this story. I cannot think of Washington Irving’s story without thinking of Halloween and vice versa. Any imaginings I have of America’s colonial days and early days as a nation, they are all composed in autumnal shades.
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” has been adapted to film, television, radio, comic books, and probably any and all other mediums invented. I was introduced to it way back in first grade by way slide show with cassette accompaniment. The slides were of the Disney cartoon adaptation which is the most faithful, entertaining visual adaptation available.
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, an undisputed classic, is the quintessential American Halloween story.