The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

A Short Story by Washington Irving.

The story is set in 1790 in the countryside around the Dutch settlement of Tarry Town (historical Tarrytown, New York), in a secluded glen called Sleepy Hollow. Sleepy Hollow is renowned for its ghosts and the haunting atmosphere that pervades the imaginations of its inhabitants and visitors. Some residents say this town was bewitched during the early days of the Dutch settlement. Other residents say an old Native American chief, the wizard of his tribe, held his powwows here before the country was discovered by Master Hendrick Hudson. The most infamous spectre in the Hollow is the Headless Horseman, said to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper who had his head shot off by a stray cannonball during “some nameless battle” of the American Revolutionary War, and who “rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head”.


Written in 1820, the language is far more prosaic than literature today. It is also a straight narrative with no dialogue. This audiobook, read by Tom Mison who plays Ichabod Crane in the TV show of the same name, was well read and captured the essence of the haunting tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman.

Having only ever seen an old cartoon based on the work and Tim Burton’s piece featuring Johnny Depp, I wasn’t expecting the relatively short and relatively unexpected ending, though would say that Burton’s film did stay close to the subject matter. However, as a short ghost story with its necessary epilogue to ease (and further mystify) the fate of our lead, it works well and was an hour well spent listening to the audiobook.