Friday, 21 March 2014

"Sleepy Hollow" | Book Review

I finished reading Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow today.

The short story, published in 1820, follows Ichabod Crane through some of his time spent in the eerie Tarry Town. In this settlement there is a place called Sleepy Hollow, a place known for its hauntings. The most infamous of the ghosts is the Hessian trooper, more commonly known as the Headless Horseman.

I enjoyed this story. Throughout, there was a sense of foreboding and creepiness, which is something I value in a horror story; if I'm reading a scary story, I want to be scared or nervous or tense constantly.

What surprised me was how little we actually see of the Headless Horseman. In the onscreen adaptations (which were my only exposure to the story before I read it), the Horseman seems ever-present, terrorizing residents of the town. There were a couple of mentions of him, but it was about two thirds of the way through before Ichabod actually encountered the spectre. It was worth the wait though - once the Headless Horseman made his appearance, I was really anxious.

If you're interested in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow's film and television counterparts, I recommend reading Irving's original story; the adaptations take a lot of liberties, so you'll still read about things you never knew before!

Have you read this story?

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