In the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expansion of the river denominated by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappan Zee, and where they always prudently shortened sail and implored the protection of St. Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small market town or rural port, which by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town. This name was given, we are told, in former days, by the good housewives of the adjacent country, from the inveterate propensity of their husbands to linger about the village tavern on market days. Be that as it may, I do not vouch for the fact, but merely advert to it, for the sake of being precise and authentic.
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” – Washington Irving
Anyone familiar with the area now called “Sleepy Hollow” should be well-versed in its peculiar “history,” or at least its peculiar legend. What is now considered Sleepy Hollow was once North Tarrytown and the site of one of America’s most famous ghost stories.
According to Irving’s tale, there were many ghosts and ghouls said to haunt the town and it was those stories that sparked the imagination of one school teacher, Ichabod Crane. Though it is implied through Irving’s words that the most famous of those spectres, a headless Hessian horseman said to chase individuals before vanishing in a flash, was the work of a romantic rival, this has not stopped Sleepy Hollow from being unofficially called one of the most haunted towns in America–and nor should it, according to plenty of current residents.
Within Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, it is said that there is a statue that weeps with soft though audible cries and some have even claimed to have felt wetness upon those cold cheeks. Dubbed “The Bronze Lady,” most of the witness testimony found is that of young teens and children who are often the most daring when pressured to investigate. The statue dates back to 1903 and has been a staple to the cemetery’s aesthetic for a long time since. Other notable ghost stories include sightings of Washington Irving himself wandering about in what is supposedly his old home on the bank of the Hudson, Major John Andre, a Revolutionary War figure involved with Benedict Arnold who is even mentioned in Irving’s tale, and a woman named Hulda the Witch who fought for her home against the British despite having been feared and despised by her neighbors.