Washington Irving's Horseman's Hollow

November 1, 2010 in American literature, Classic Writers, Dark New England, Halloween, Historic Hudson Valley, Washington Irving

Courtesy of Historic Hudson ValleyI thought to myself, when was the last time I’ve been to a haunted house?  Not since I was a kid, for sure.  So I jumped at the chance to go to Horseman’s Hollow, a literary haunted event run by the Historic Hudson Valley.

Horseman’s Hollow follows the story of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow on the lawn of the historic Philipsburg Manor in none other than the village of Sleepy Hollow, New York.

The event began with a candlelight walk down a dark path on the Manor grounds, which put me in the Halloween, haunted house mood, especially when I heard the screams of terrified guests from afar.

At the event, ghostly specters and bloody corpses interacted with guests.  Terrifying statues jumped out at unsuspecting visitors, startling even the bravest and eliciting screams.  A cannon erupted.  An ax-wielding Headless Horseman galloped by on his white horse–the first of three Headless Horseman that night (my favorite spectacle).

I met Ichabod Crane, who eerily welcomed visitors into his house.  I pushed through bean bag sacks, struggling to make my way through a haunted barn.  A ghostly face illuminated in midair, telling the story of the Headless Horseman.  And the Headless Horseman stomped his foot down, blocking my escape to the exit door.

Overall, Horseman’s Hollow keeps to the literary and historical aspect of Irving’s story.  The theater actors reveled in playing their characters, making the event realistic and scary.  It was a fun and creepy evening, perfect for autumn in the Hudson Valley.

A couple notes: There is a lot of walking (I was actually surprised by how much), especially from the parking lot and going through the event.  Wear comfortable shoes (do not wear heeled boots like I did.).  Also, it is pretty scary in certain parts, especially when characters jump out at you, so do not bring young children.

Our Dark New England theme continues with these great LT articles:

I am Providence: The City that Made H.P. Lovecraft

A Brief History of Edward Gorey’s Creepy Cape Cod

Shirley Jackson’s Outsider Perspective of Bennington, Vermont

1 response to Washington Irving's Horseman's Hollow

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