Friday, October 2, 2009

Prepare to Be Scared

Magnet # 52:  Headless Horseman

Material:  Rubber

Purchased By:  Me

Well, the Halloween season is upon us again.  I love this time of year, especially when Travel Channel and other networks begin airing stories about haunted places around the globe.  To celebrate, I've decided to post some scary places magnets and share a few Halloween related memories during the month whenever I have a day that has no special event planned.  So I've started figuring out which ones to include and keeping a list and I'm a little scared myself.  I have so many appropriate magnets that I can post them all month and not even take a break!  I guess we'll see how I do.

Is there any story that better captures the terrifying spirit of the American Halloween tradition than that of Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow?"  I certainly can't think of any.  This classic tale of schoolmaster Ichabod Crane's midnight flight from the sinister Headless Horseman has worked its way into our national consciousness.  Walt Disney Production's 1949 animated version has been shown to children for decades.  I remember watching it when I was growing up and being a bit terrified of the Headless Horseman.  There have been numerous other adaptations of the story.  Actors ranging from Will Rogers to Jeff Goldblum to Johnny Depp have all portrayed the hapless Ichabod.  And one element that varies is the identity of the Horseman himself.  Some lead audiences to believe, as Irving originally did, that it was Brom Bones, Ichabod's rival for the lovely Katrina Van Tassel, in disguise.  But the scarier accounts hold that the Headless Horseman is indeed a supernatural incarnation of a dead Hessian trooper killed during the American Revolution.  Whether you've seen it countless times or are new to the tale, I recommend viewing at least one version to get in the mood for the season - or perhaps even reading the original text.

While I've never been to the New York village of Sleepy Hollow that inspired Irving's tale, I realized it would be a pretty spooky place to spend Halloween.  I looked it up and, sure enough, they are host to an annual Legend Weekend, which features family-oriented daytime activities and nights in the village's historic Phillipsburg Manor, which has been transformed into a haunted gathering area for the festivities.  Light is provided by candles alone.  Actors in spooky costumes skulk the grounds while a professional storyteller regails visitors with Irving's classic tale and other supernatural classics.  And yes, the Haunted Horseman himself puts in an appearance on his terrifying steed.  But be warned - the city also has zero tolerance for any teenagers wanting to cause trouble with shaving cream and eggs.  Police will be on watch for them.  So if you're looking for some spooky, clean fun on All Hallows Eve and are in the area, this sounds like an excellent event to attend.  Even if you're unable, you can shop for some great Spooky Hollow merchandise at  They've got some nice magnets.  But not this one - I came across it during a visit to Books-A-Million and thought it would be a great kickoff for my month of magnet-related horrors.  Let the thrills begin!


  1. I understand your travel bug now. You're making me want to travel now too! I'll have to save up so we can go adventuring!