Halloween Monster: the Headless Horseman

From The legend of the Sleepy Hollow to the medieval world of warcraft and call of duty, zombies have always been in discussion as one of the scariest things in the monster and halloween world. The headless undead are by far one of the most popular of these genres because movies and novels have always seemed to become fascinated at the thought of seeing and hearing of headless people walking around. During halloween, the Headless Horseman makes its annual return back into our memories. It is originated from Washington Irving’s Legend of The Sleepy Hollow novel. The novel was created in 1820 and has since been reprinted more than 2,000 times with the intent for future generations to grasp the myth of the Headless Horseman. For many who are intrigued by these themes, the lines between fiction and nonfiction can be extremely hard to follow, but i am going to explain what the headless horseman is all about and what he does, how he was created, what he does, what he looks like, and the different versions of him.

The Creation of the Headless Horseman

In 1789, the English King Charles I was beheaded on his very own throne. 40 years later after the beheading, Washington Irving came out with the novel of The Sleepy Hollow. He knew that the beheading of King Charles I still haunted the English mind and that the story would be a massive hit as a horror story. Next, he needed a backstory for the mysterious Headless Horseman so he created one. During the revolutionary war in 1776 George Washington and his army had to retreat from Manhattan during the battle of the White plains. The British sent forward their Hessian horseman these men were merciless German mercenaries with a fearful reputation. During this battle, the first cannon shot took off the head of one of these mercenaries and he was carried from the battlefield to be buried in the churchyard of the town Sleepy Hollow. Ever since the Headless horseman has been said to ride out and search the battlefield for his shattered head or seek another man’s head.

How the Headless Horseman is Portrayed

The Headless horseman is seen as a headless demon riding on a black war horse. He was seen in the 1999 film Sleepy Hollow with filed down teeth and pitless black eyes. His horse has fur as black as the darkest night, green glowing eyes with a aura surrounding them, and on every curve of its body bones are seen popping out. As for the horseman he is seen with a black war uniform and red cape swinging from his shoulders. In his right arm he carries a wood chopping ax and in the left arm he carries a red glowing pumpkin that has been blessed to let the horseman see through its eyes until he has found his own head to keep. He is sometimes seen as spirit and not on a horse he attacks people on the road and drains them of their escence to keep himself alive.

The Story of Sleepy Hollow

The story of Sleepy hollow revolves around a single man named Ichabod Crane who plays the hero in the novel. Ichabod wants to win over the heart of the girl he loves until one day his love tells him to go the forest where she thought he would get lost and die. He waited there for 2 hours for her to show up until it became dark. Once it became too dark, Ichabod could no longer find his way out of the forest. He began running straight forward until he saw the fiery eyes of the Headless horseman’s stag and then when he looked up he saw the horror of a man without a head and a fiery pumpkin at his side. The young Ichabod tried to escape death, but when the headless horseman was attempting to kill him something happened to them. They became connected to each other in body and spirit so that one could not die while the other lived. Ichabod spent a lot of time trying to find a way to sever the connection but nothing could change what had happened to him. Realizing this inevitable fate, Ichabod realized that the only way to kill the horseman was for him to sacrifice his own life. So he hunted the horseman down and battled him until they both were dead. This battle ended the life of both Ichabod and the Headless horseman.

The Movie Sleepy Hollow

In the movie Sleepy hollow Ichabod is propelled from 1776 to the present day, because the horseman was riding again, but this time the horseman was connected to the apocalypse of humanity. Zombies are starting to roam the earth and the Horseman is reanimated with them. Ichabod tries to find a way to reverse what has happened until he finds a book called the book of revelation which can put all the zombies and the horseman back into the grave. After the movie came out people lots of people watched it the movie was a very big success, but just like every other movie it soon turned into something no one would talk about. That was until Johnny Dep made it big and then people began to go back and revisit the old movie. It was back into the light for about 2 years into again faded out of our memory.

Why the Headless Horseman is so Important

The headless horseman is extremely important because it is one of the very few US originated monster horror stories. It is also important because it has ties into the revolutionary war. Also the Hessian army. Also recent tv shows like Izombie and the flash have added zombie characters because the public is starting to demand it. Our culture is starting enjoy the sick idea of seeing people getting decapitated and it is giving stories and shows the idea that they can add whatever gruesome and gory things they want into their work. This story has even driven people to visit Tarrytown, New york where the story would have taken place in real life.

Disney’s Intake the Headless Horseman

Disney Animation has always been a big part of halloween it is no wonder disney they have included characters like Mickey Mouse and The Great Pumpkin. Disney tried to cash in on the story in 1946. Historically Disney has attracted viewers by giving them incredibly catchy songs but since the H.H made the song for Sleepy Hollow it was incredibly scary. The big difference between this and other movies is that Disney did not have enough resources and material to finish this movie. The only rivaling halloween movie was charlie brown and the great pumpkin and the adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Tod


In conclusion Sleepy Hollow and the tale of the Headless horseman are one of the best halloween stories to be told. The Headless horseman is historically important it is not just a story that is about a monster who was made from scratch. He has a believable story that makes sense. People have made movies, spoofs, and screen plays about him anything that can be told seen or viewed has been done for the headless horseman he is gold when it comes to halloween stories. He is also a story that needs be told to keep kids up at night it could be used to scare anyone. Instead of it being popular it has been debunked so that no one barely knows who the Headless horseman is if there could be something recen that would come out that could support The headless horseman it would be nationally known.

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Halloween monster: the headless horseman. (2021, May 30). Retrieved August 10, 2022 , from

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