The Headless Horseman

Real Name


First Appearance

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820)

Original Publisher

C. S. Van Winkle

Created by

Washington Irving


The Horseman was a Hessian soldier hired to suppress the American Revolution. During the war, the Horseman was one of 51 Hessians killed in a battle for Chatterton Hill, wherein his head was severed by an American cannonball. He was buried in a graveyard outside a church. Thereafter he appears as a ghost, who presents to nightly travelers an actual danger (rather than the largely harmless fright produced by the majority of ghosts), presumably of decapitation.

Around 1790, the Horseman supposedly haunted the small town of Sleepy Hollow, New York. A school teacher named Ichabod Crane was never seen again after being pursued by the Horseman, though he may have simply been scared off by his rival, Brom Bones.

Public Domain Comic Appearances

  • Jumbo Comics vol. 2 #11 [35]: Stuart Taylor travels back in time and discovers Brom Bones impersonating the Headless Horseman to scare Ichabod Crane.
  • Whiz Comics #30: Ibis the Invincible battles the Headless Horseman and sends him back to his grave.
  • Blue Bolt vol. 6 #8 [64] : Sergeant Spook investigates reports that the Headless Horseman is once again haunting Sleepy Hollow, but discovers that the spectre is merely the result of special effects.
  • Spook Comics #22: Reprints story from Blue Bolt #v6#8.
  • A Treasury of Horses

Public Domain Comic Appearances Inspired by the Headless Horseman

  • Amazing Mystery Funnies #19, Arrow #2: Betty is a woman in late 1800s Nebraska who disguised herself as the Headless Horseman to fight crime in the Wild West.

Public Domain Movie Appearances

  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1912)
  • The Headless Horseman (1922)

See Also

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