This classic tale has been on my radar for a while but I never really got into it even though it is very short it is very iconic.
Ichabod Crane is the new schoolteacher of the small and quiet village of Sleepy Hollow. This village though is a bit different than most. In his own words:
“Certain it is, the place still continues under the sway of some witching power, that holds a spell over the minds of the good people, causing them to walk in a continual reverie. They are given to all kinds of marvelous beliefs, are subject to trances and visions, and frequently see strange sights, and hear music and voices in the air. The whole neighborhood abounds with local tales, haunted spots, and twilight superstitions; stars shoot and meteors glare oftener across the valley than in any other part of the country, and the nightmare, with her whole ninefold, seems to make it the favorite scene of her gambols. The dominant spirit, however, that haunts this enchanted region, and seems to be commander-in-chief of all the powers of the air, is the apparition of a figure on horseback, without a head.”
The town is believed to be haunted, owing to a witch’s curse in the early days of the Dutch Settlement, or potentially the sorcery of an old Native American chief.
Once there Ichabod starts falling for the fair Katrina Van Tassel, the 18 year old daughter of the richest man in the village and is determined to win her over. However he has one huge obstacle – Brom Bones. A huge man known trough the village for his immense strength. They both quickly become rivals. The rivalry reaches it’s climax at the party in the Van Tessel house. Ichabod fails to win over the heart of Katrina and saddened he goes off in the woods. There he meets the infamous horseman and is chased by him. After that Ichabod is never seen again and we are left with a laughing Brom Bones who seems to know something about his disappearance?
This was an enjoyable read definitely. But it just did not grip me in the way that I thought it would. It was written so well.Washington Irving is a fantastic writer and this book is a prime example of it. It’s just that I did not really feel the horror in it. I’m used to books like these being written differently but this one fell short. It just did not pack a punch. Maybe it was because I already knew the story and had a lot of expectations. It’s not like I did not enjoy it, I really did and it is understandable why it’s so influential and iconic but it did not feel like a horror story.
Final verdict: 7/10