The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving & Field Trip – Book Review

When I Allie and I planned to go up to Sleepy Hollow, New York to investigate the town famously featured in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, I knew that I would have to re-read the story.  In spite of movies and tv specials, I am much more familiar with Irving’s other famous tale, Rip Van Winkle.

After reading this again, I can see why it didn’t leave much of an impression on me when I was younger.  Scenery laden and heavily ironic, the most appealing feature to a young person would probably be the mysterious headless horseman briefly mentioned at a party attended by outwardly pleasant and inwardly cunning  schoolmaster, Ichabod Crane.  This time around it read to me as a cautionary tale against social climbing and insinuating yourself into a society where you do not belong.  After pushing his suit with Katrina Van Tassell, daughter of the richest man in town, Ichabod mysteriously disappears after dejectedly leaving his host’s party.

If Irving is heavy into descriptions of the scenery, I was clearly able to see why after my trip with Allie to her hometowns of Bedford and Pound Ridge in Upstate New York.  Winding roads filled with scenic views of horse farms, apple orchards and historic battle fields of the American Revolution are characteristic of the area.  Shortly after landing Allie and I accompanied her father on a hike of a trail located steps away from the house.

Logs along the ground indicate the trail.
On our walk we spotted the remains of the foundation of an old cabin in the woods.
Allie's father, David Greenwald, schooled us on local history and legends.

After a delicious dinner at a local restaurant, Allie and I headed to the town of Sleepy Hollow to participate in a haunted walk that the town holds in honor of their place in the tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.   The walk featured scary haunted houses and headless horsemen on both a white and a black horse.  Allie and I clung to each like frightened school girls almost the entire time, but afterwards agreed that we were never really scared. :-p

The walk is appropriately titled.

Allie had some further thoughts and observations on our trip.  Make sure you stop by and check out what she has to say.

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Harrowing Historicals: Royal Hauntings, by Amy from Passages to the Past Allie and I really enjoyed our exploration of Harrowing Historicals.  I am not sure what form it will take yet, but you will certainly see them popping up on both our blogs year round.  We’ll be announcing our winners soon!  Remember, a comment on any Harrowing Historical post enters you to win one of many prize packs.  Good luck!  I hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween!

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  1. I love the woods in fall! I haven’t read Sleepy Hollow yet; honestly I don’t think I’ve ever had a desire to. The headless horseman just never appealed to me for some reason.

  2. I didn’t realize Sleepy Hollow was an actual place! Thanks for schooling me on that. I haven’t read the story, but I have seen the Johnny Depp movie a couple of times.

  3. I haven’t read this one since High School and that was a very long time ago for me! That is really cool that you actually visited Sleepy Hollow!

  4. I had fun reading about your Sleepy Hollow Travels. Glad I didn’t miss it. You and Allie must have experienced a memorable time. I can’t imagine hiking that trail. I have never been to upstate New York. Always imagined it as very beautiful territory. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I should note that Bedford and Pound Ridge are not actually considered “Upstate NY” – they’re both towns in Westchester county, which is technically part of the New York metropolitan area, although it is mainly suburban and rural in landscape.

      So if you’re ever in NYC and want to take a day trip visit up to this area, it’s only a quick train ride away! The towns where my mom and my dad live in (Bedford and Pound Ridge) are only a 45 minute drive from Manhattan. And, hey, contact Nicole and me while you’re at it! 🙂

      (I should seriously consider soliciting the town board to hire me for tourism advertisements for my hometown.)

  5. I believe I read the actual story of Sleepy Hallow last year for Halloween. After looking at pictures of the town I also want to visit the area. Fall seems like the best and most beautiful time to visit after looking at your pictures. (Thanks for sharing btw!) I still have Disney’s version of the story in my head because of childhood, but I much prefer the actual story of course. 😀 What a fun trip!

  6. Wow! This is amazing. You know after reading many books I have wondered how it would be to walk the roads and see the views, the author was talking about… and you guys did it. Some day I am going to do this as well 🙂
    I haven’t read Sleepy Hollow, but well I think I will 🙂

  7. That sounds like a fun trip! I always love it when I can visit places that have been featured in various books. I loved it when I got to drive through upper-state NY in the fall – gorgeous country!

    I am in agreement with you as to this book not making a big impact on me when I read it as a kid or young adult. I almost didn’t see the movie because I wasn’t overly thrilled with the story. I didn’t really scare me or make that much of an impression.

    Thanks for the post,