Many years ago, on a drowsy autumn afternoon, a learn and lanky stranger strolled into the quiet little village of Sleepy Hollow.
He approached the Village Square, where the town bully, Brom Bones, stood with his gang of friends.
Brom loved pranks and practical jokes. His fun-loving ways made him the hero of all the country lads in Sleepy Hollow.
Spotting the newcomer, who was as skinny as a scarecrow, Brom bellowed, "Who - or what - is that?"
Ignoring Brom Bones, the stranger smoothly turned to the surrounding womenfolk. "The name's Ichabod Crane," he said. "I am the new schoolteacher."
The ladies of Sleepy Hollow were charmed by Ichabod. Brom only laughed at the silly stork of a man.
Ichabod was the master of his classroom, but he stayed on good terms with his students… especially if their mothers were good cooks.
Brom never thought the laughable Ichabod could be his rival…but everything changed the fateful day Ichabod saw Katrina Van Tassel at a picnic.
When Ichabod first spotted the beautiful Katrina, he forgot all about the picnic food. She was the loveliest girl in Sleepy Hollow...
…and her father, Mr. Van Tassel, was the richest farmer in the county. Though all the single men of the village wished they were Katrina's sweetheart, Brom Bones was her suitor.
Katrina thought Brom was a little too sure of himself. To make the big bully jealous, she playfully flirted with both Ichabod and Brom.
Unlike the other men, who were too scared of Brom to even try and woo Katrina, Ichabod was so lovestruck that he never noticed the angry Brom.
A few days later, Ichabod got an invitation to a Halloween party at the Van Tassel farm. At the bottom of the invitation, the flirtatious Katrina had added a note that said, "Please come."
At Mr. Van Tassel's party, Ichabod outdanced everyone, even Brom Bones. Brom was angry that he had once again been outdone by the skinny schoolmaster.
Then Brom saw Ichabod spill a saltshaker and nervously toss the salt over his shoulder. Brom had discovered the schoolmaster's weakness - he was superstitious!
Now Brom had an idea how to get Ichabod out of the way. The sneaky bully told the guests a spooky story about a Headless Horseman who rode through Sleepy Hollow in search of a head!
Superstitious Ichabod was frightened out of his wits! Brom slyly said that the only way to escape the Headless Horseman was to cross the bridge located on the other side of the graveyard.
After the party, Ichabod headed home. Brom's scary story was still ringin in his ears as he entered the hollow.
It was midnight as Ichabod slowly rode deeper into the hollow. Suddenly, Ichabod thought he heard the sound of galloping hooves!
Slowly, Ichabod turned to look. It was the Headless Horseman! Mounted on a fiery black steed, carrying a carved pumpkin head, the phantom flashed his sharp sword in the moonlight.
Ichabod's old plowhorse galloped fast with fear, but the Horseman's steed was much faster. Ichabod ducked as the horrible phantom whooshed his steel blade right over the schoolmaster's head.
Ichabod remembered what Brom Bones had said…if he could make it across the bridge, the Headless Horseman's power would be over! Ichabod and his horse madly scrambled for the old covered bridge.
Ichabod made it safely across the bridge! The schoolmaster turned to see the Headless Horseman stopped in his tracks. But the ghastly ghoul had one last trick. He threw his flaming head straight at poor Ichabod!
The next morning, the only trace of Ichabod was his hat, lying near a shattered pumpkin. Though some believed Ichabod had simply run off, many said the schoolmaster had been spirited away…by the Headless Horseman.