Since I was in elementary school and first watched Disney’s version of Ichabod Crane fleeing on horseback from a headless hessian I have been enthralled with all things involving the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Every book written (including the original of course), every movie made (Johnny Depp as the adorably bumbling Ichabod–sigh), I had to indulge myself in them all.
Until the day I decided to write Crane, my own spin on the infamous legend. Then, I went into research mode and only allowed myself to delve into the actual stories that came out of Tarrytown about their well-known burg of Sleepy Hollow. The karma gods thought that would be the perfect time to allow a brand new show–that I therefore couldn’t watch–to be launched. It’s name? Sleepy Hollow, of course!
I stayed strong; bit my knuckle, averted my eyes, and pretend to be deaf as the hype about the show built. Heads were rolling, mayhem was being unleashing on the Hollow, and I WAS MISSING IT! Through writing, editing, and up to the release I was a brick wall of resolve.
But then …
Crane was released and there was NO reason I couldn’t have a marathon viewing session! So, that is exactly what I did. Nonstop Hollow until the season one finale credits rolled and I was left wondering what the *!@# I just watched. Now don’t get me wrong, the show has some fantastic elements! Hot guy with dreamy accent? Check! Scenes that nearly made my bladder fail? Check! Special effects that could only be described as uber icky? Check to the second power. It’s all there. Yet, it just wasn’t working for me.
I had ruined the show for myself by … reading. Learning the true myths and legends of Sleepy Hollow was so fascinating that even the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse seemed contrite by comparison. A soldier saves a baby that he found in a city he was ordered to burn to the ground, then loses his head to canon fire, only to have the grateful mother of that child insist that he get a proper Christian burial for his noble act. His body should have burned with the rest of the fallen soldiers. Because it wasn’t, he rose again in search of his head. That is the premise of the REAL story of the Headless Horseman! How flingin’ flangin’ cool is that? The Horseman was once a HERO! Other facts that hindered my viewing pleasure? Washington Irving, that penned the original Legend of Sleepy Hollow, served in the military under a man named … drum roll please … Ichabod Crane! Wha?! Huh?! He knew the guy?! That’s right! This is just the tip of the iceberg! But it was the missing flavor of the real mythology that jaded me to this latest version.
I will give season two a try–accent boy is worth a second look. And I can at least rest assured that I was able to incorporate bits of real Sleepy Hollow trivia in Crane–along with witty one-liners, head-rolling thrills, and kindle clasping suspense.
The Horseman is unending,
his presence shan’t lessen.
If you break the curse,
you become the legend.
Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle had no choice but to cover up the deadly truth behind Ichabod Crane’s disappearance. Centuries later, a Crane returns to Sleepy Hollow awakening macabre secrets once believed to be buried deep.
What if the monster that spawned the legend lived within you?
Now, Ireland Crane, reeling from a break-up and seeking a fresh start, must rely on the newly awakened Rip Van Winkle to discover the key to channeling the darkness swirling within her. Bodies are piling high and Ireland is the only one that can save Sleepy Hollow by embracing her own damning curse.
But is anyone truly safe when the Horseman rides?
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