drawing of the headless horseman holding a pumpkin and riding a horse through the woods

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

by Washington Irving

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What are six key scenes in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"?

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Sleepy Hollow is famed for the many legends and haunted tales associated with the area. One of them recounts the story of a Revolutionary War soldier,

... the apparition of a figure on horseback, without a head. It is said by some to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper, whose head had been carried away by a cannon-ball...

There are the visits of Ichabod Crane to the home of Katrina Van Tassel. He is lured there both by Katrina--"a tempting morsel"--and the riches of the house, filled with food, silver and china.

There is the scene of Ichabod spending "at least an extra half hour at his toilet" after receiving an invitation to the Van Tassel home.

Ichabod makes an unforgettable figure upon Gunpowder, his "old and broken-down" horse who, nevertheless, still had "the lurking devil in him."

Returning home from Van Tassel's house, where he had enjoyed the food but not the attentions of Katrina, Ichabod comes face-to-face with "some gigantic monster ready to spring upon the traveller."    

And there is the climactic scene in which Ichabod realizes that the mysterious horseman's head is not upon his shoulders but, instead, "was carried before him on the pommel of his saddle." The Headless Horseman uses it as a weapon, "hurling his head" at Ichabod, who is knocked from his horse. The "goblin rider" escapes into the darkness, and Ichabod was never again seen in the area of Sleepy Hollow.

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