Compare the story to the movie version of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow."
The story written by Washington Irving deals with the behaviors of a small community. Irving shows the biased and hypocritical behaviors of all the members, particularly the school master Ichabod Crane. He demonstrates the ability of brawn to overcome brain in the defeat of Ichabod by local strong man Brom Bones. Bones uses Crane's intellectualism and education against him by creating a supernatural experience that Crane had read about. Sending the fake "headless horseman" after Crane causes Crane to flee the village, much to the laughter of the townspeople. The story isn't about the supernatural event - instead it is about assumptions and behaviors.
The movie version is about the supernatural and how the intellectual mind can overcome it. In the movie, Ichabod is more of a scientist than a teacher. Girls have been disappearing from town, and Ichabod is there to discover why. He uses fancy new equipment to do so, and uncovers through his science, deduction, and bumbling good nature, that all the crimes were the result of an unruly spirit. He vanquishes the spirit and wins the girl. While Crane is the victim in the story, he is the hero in the movie.
The biggest similarity between the two is the portrayal of how storg supersition was in early America. People were more likely to believe in the supernatural and to be wary of it than is true in today's America.