After villagers become concerned that Crane is missing, they go in search of him. They find the following traces of him:
They find his saddle in this dirt.
They find the imprints of horse's hooves that have dented deeply into the road, as if his horse were galloping at high speed.
They find his hat.
They find a shattered pumpkin.
However, they do not find Ichabod's body anywhere.
People gossip about what happened to Crane. Some conclude he was carried away by the headless horseman, called the Galloping Hessian. One man, however, says years later that he has heard that Crane is still alive and has earned a law degree while teaching school in another part of the country. He has allegedly gone into politics and is now a justice of the Ten Pound Court. But the villagers prefer to believe he was carried off by supernatural means and that his ghost haunts the bridge and the schoolhouse.