Happy Halloween …. from Sleepy Hollow!

Happy Halloween!

And what a great time to spotlight the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery I visited this past August. I’ve alread posted about Tarrytown, the little Hudson River town that make an easy daytrip form New York City.

The next town over, which you can reach walking, is Sleepy Hollow. And its main attraction is the cemetery made famous by local son author, Washington Irving.

Irving is also buried in this atmospheric cemetery.

Sleepy Hollow, New York / Kimberly Sullivan

In 1820, Irving published the short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, which used to be a staple for every American schoolkid.

All kids remember the mad horse race with schoolmaster Ichabod Crane being pursued by the Headless Horseman (I loved seeing that the mascot of the local school are, fittingly, the Horsemen).

Sleepy Hollow, New York / Kimberly Sullivan

Here’s a background from the tale, set in 1790, in the sleepy glen that was thought to be bewitched.

“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”

Sleepy Hollow, New York / Kimberly Sullivan

I may be hesitant to visit the cemetery on a dark and misty night, but it was beautiful and atmospheric on the sunny August day when we were there.

Of course, we went to visit Washington Irving’s grave (1783-1859).

Sleepy Hollow, New York / Kimberly Sullivan

Washington Irving’s grave

I did not know that Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) was also buried here. And I was suitably impressed to find he didn’t have one of the huge mausoleums that dot the place, but a cross carved by a Scottish artist.

Sleepy Hollow, New York / Kimberly Sullivan

Andrew Carnegie grave

The Dutch church that also plays into the Sleepy Hollow Legend is also located within this cemetery, and there are other well known industrialists, businesspeople and philanthropists buried in this peaceful spot.

I’m glad I was able to visit a spot that has lived in my literary imagination for some time. When you’re next in Tarrytown, be sure to “lose your head” in Sleepy Hollow.

Sleepy Hollow, New York / Kimberly Sullivan

Sleepy Hollow, New York / Kimberly Sullivan

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