As a school girl, my favorite holiday is, and always will be, Halloween. While in elementary and middle school we would have Halloween parties in class and watch movies. One of the mainstay movies was Ichabod Crane and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The story was written by Washington Irving, an early American author. Irving also wrote Rip Van Winkle, the version I remember the best is here.

Irving wrote many stories chronicling folk tales of New York State. His stories are responsible for a large number of famous American and New York legends and names. Irving popularized the nickname “Gotham” for New York City, which is readily identified with Batman comic books and the Gotham Comedy Club, he also is the credited with the name Knickerbocker or it’s more shortened name of Knicks, the name of New York City’s basketball team.

The Story of Ichabod Crane is based on a Kinderhook, New York school teacher whom Washington Irving had befriended in 1809; however, there are controversies surrounding this as in 1894, The New York Times ran a story that claimed that Samuel Youngs, an American school teacher as well as a lieutenant in the American Revolutionary War.

The story follows Ichabod Crane, a lanky and superstitious schoolmaster who had settled in Tarry Town. Crane competes for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter of a wealthy farmer. The people of the town retell the story of the headless horseman, which is that of a Hessian trooper whose head had been blown off by a stray cannonball during the American Revolutionary War. The German mercenary soldier is told to ride nightly in a quest for his head.

In the 1940’s Walt Disney released a cartoon movie packaged as The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. This is the version that I remember the best and enjoy to this day. For some reason on YouTube people are under the impression that the stories have been banned; however, I have found no evidence of that. Below is the cartoon version in 4 parts and in a posting later today, the Washington Irving original story, which as far as I’m concerned is a top notch story worthy of a 5 out of 5. The story is the reason why later this month I’m travelling to Sleepy Hollow, NY and I think any story written or otherwise that can get a person to travel to some random small town just to see what it looks like, is a story that is life changing, and life changing stories get a 5 out of 5.

What did you think?

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