Happy Halloween! Instead of a trick or treat, we’d rather give you the double treat of a spooky story and a bullion giveaway. Following the launch of Provident’s exclusive Black Horse of Famine round, let’s stick with the equine theme and share a little bit about “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a short fictional story by Washington Irving. With so many modern iterations of this old tale, we’re going to dig back into the roots of the original story that was first published in 1820.
The story is set in the fictional town of Sleepy Hollow, a quiet little town that was said to have been bewitched due to the mysterious sights and sounds that surrounded the area. Talk around town tells of a Headless Horsemen spectre, thought to be the ghost of a Hessian soldier who lost his head by a cannonball during the Revolutionary War. The story tells that he “rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head.”
Within this eerie little town, we meet a meek, superstitious schoolteacher named Ichabod Crane. He courts young Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter of a wealthy farmer. But Abraham “Brom Bones” Van Brunt also competes for her hand, and he and Ichabod find themselves in competition.
One night, Ichabod attends a harvest festival at the Van Tassel’s home, where he plans to propose to Katrina. However, he fails to secure her hand and rides home with a heavy heart. Along the way, his mind plays through the ghost stories told at the party by Abraham. Just as his imagination begins to swell in the moonlit woods, a cloaked horsemen appears at an intersection in a swamp. His head is not atop his shoulders, but instead resting on his saddle. Ichabod races across a bridge to escape the ghostly figure, but the Headless Horsemen throws his severed head directly at the man.
The next morning, Ichabod seems to have mysteriously disappeared. His horse, his hat, and a smashed pumpkin are the only remnants left behind. Katrina is left to marry Abraham in Ichabod’s absence. Though the ending is left open to interpretation, the story’s narrator tells us that the old Dutch wives believe that Ichabod was “spirited away by supernatural means,” leading to yet another legend of a lost spirit—that, perhaps, of Ichabod—wandering the woods.
Spooky stories and fun costumes are a staple during October, for adults as well as children. What is your Halloween costume this year? Commenting below will serve as your entry for our October giveaway. But remember to keep it classy; inappropriate comments will be deleted and disqualified. Submit your comment (one comment only please) by October 23, 2017. One winner will be randomly selected on October 24, 2017 to receive a Black Horse of Famine 1 oz silver round AND 1 oz copper round from our Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse series.
Good luck and don’t lose your head!