Pretty much everyone knows something of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," even if they haven't read Washington Irving's short story. But just in case you are unfamiliar, let me give you a very brief run-down.
The story is set in Tarry Town, a fictitious place in the state of New York. A local ghost story is told here of a Headless Horseman, who was killed in an unnamed battle during the American Revolutionary War.
Ichabod Crane, a lanky schoolmaster from out of town, is the story's main protagonist. He goes to a party one night and falls in love with Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter of a wealthy townsman. However, Ichabod soon realizes that he must compete for Katrina's hand with none other than the town's local hero, Brom Bones.
After leaving the party, Ichabod experiences an encounter with a giant cloaked horseback rider. Ichabod desperately tries to out-ride and out-smart this figure, who could only be the Headless Horseman.
The next morning, Ichabod is nowhere to be found and the story ends as many short stories do - with more questions than when it opened up. Was Ichabod just another victim of the Headless Horseman? Was the whole chase really between Ichabod and Brom Bones (in disguise)? Was Ichabod merely spooked, causing him to have a terrible accident? Is something supernatural to blame? What really happened?
If you haven't read the original story, I'm sure you've seen one of the many other adaptations. From small screen, to the silver screen, to the stage, and beyond, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is one of the most popular ghost stories around today.