Around this time last year, my stepfather and I took a trip up to the Catskills. On our way back, we swung through Sleepy Hollow because, hey, it was on the way, and who wouldn’t want to catch a potential glimpse of the Headless Horseman?
So we arrived in Sleepy Hollow, parked in a random school’s parking lot and…immediately found ourselves walking through a suburban area. Oops. The area remained quiet and completely uninterested in us, so we got back in the car and looked for a different spot.
Turns out that Sleepy Hollow is a quiet town overall. We managed to find an area that was more populated, but nothing really stuck out, tourism-wise. The town is truly focused on its one claim to fame: Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”
So we set out for the cemetery and…went to the wrong place. Future travelers, take heed: several maps will mislead you on your quest to the churchyard. When you go to Google and type in “Sleepy Hollow,” the actual cemetery in Sleepy Hollow will pop up. And that’s all well and good, but if you’re looking for Ichabod Crane’s church, then go to the Old Dutch Church instead.
The best time to go is October, in my opinion, because that’s when I went, and we all know I’m brilliant.
….In full seriousness now, it’s actually best to go in October because that’s when the trees are changing colors, the weather is lovely, AND when the Old Dutch Church Fest takes place (which happens each year on the October weekends, including Halloween). When we showed up on that Sunday, we were greeted by friendly Sleepy Hollow volunteers who offered food, drink, and knowledge (three of my favorite things). One fellow stopped grilling hot dogs long enough to take us both on a short tour of the churchyard. I sipped from my cup of ale as I watched him gesture at numerous graves, rattling off facts and stories to my stepfather.
At one point I was left to my own devices, so I continued to stroll among the gravestones. Many of them were so old that time had worn away any discernible markings on their surfaces.
Eventually I was brought out of my reverie by this sight:
This man never spoke. He never got out of that outfit. Maybe he was, indeed, the spectre that hunted down Ichabod on that fateful night?
….Then again, I did see him drinking beer out of a plastic cup at one point. And he held that dog. He seemed pretty chill.
BUT MAYBE Ichabod just caught him on a bad night?
Thanks for reading,