“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a short story of by American author Washington Irving, written while Irving was living in Birmingham, England, and was written with a companion piece “Rip Van Winkle”.
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is one of the earliest American fiction stories with enduring popularity, especially during Halloween due to the Headless Horseman being believed to be a Hessian soldier who lost his head to a cannonball in battle.
The quiet community of Sleepy Hollow lay in the Adirondack mountains on the western shore of the Hudson River in America’s colonial period. The solitude of the woods was overwhelming, and not even a schoolmaster was immune from the eerie gloom that permeated the dense forest.
“From the listless repose of the place, and the peculiar character of its inhabitants, who are descendants from the original Dutch settlers, this sequestered glen has long been known by name of Sleepy Hollow … A drowsy, dreamy influence seems to hang over the land, and to pervade the very atmosphere.”
— Washington Irving, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”