Oct 8, 2018

The Sleepy Hollow Experience

Welcome to the first post for Headless HorseMonday!

To celebrate my birthday a couple weekends ago, we went to Old Sturbridge Village. This is one of those "living museum" places where they recreate early 1800s New England life with period accurate buildings and people. This might not sound exciting but we went at night for The Sleepy Hollow Experience!


After checking in, you can wait in Ichabod's Tavern for the tour to start. They offer drinks (both alcohlic and non-) as well as beef stew and other snacks. The tour begins with crossing a wooden bridge (not *the* bridge but we'll get there) and walking a good five minutes through the woods along a path lit on either side by tiki torches. There's no magic portal in the woods but it definitely gives the feeling of traveling to a different place and time.


As you come off the path into the area where the buildings are, you are shepherded by ominous figures in black robes and masks carrying lanterns. I actually didn't notice the first one as they were in a dark area and I was more focused on the building we were entering.


At the first stop on the tour you meet the five players: Ichabod, Katrina, Brom, and a pair of villagers. I don't think they're from the story but I did catch that the female's last name was Van Winkle, a nod to author Washington Irving's other famous tale.


Their version of the story plays out with an unexpected amount of song at a couple different locations. The dark clad figures ushering you from place to place. We went to a schoolhouse and then to a town square looking area where the in-story Halloween party was held. We stopped here for a short intermission during which the characters came out into the crowd to interact with everyone and pose for photos. The guy playing Brom was a hoot!


Coming back, the cast take turns telling ghost stories and finally recount the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Ichabod is tasked with tying Katrina's scarf to the middle of the covered bridge where the Horseman has been seen. We then followed Ichabod to *the* bridge.


I'd been having a great time so far but this is where I started to get very excited as I could see what was coming. Approaching the covered bridge, it is divided into three lanes. The crowd filters into the narrower outside lanes and the performers take to the wider center lane. The interior of the bridge is rigged with smoke machines and artificial thunder and lightning adding to the spooky setting.

Then you hear the galloping (thanks to the bridge's sound system) and the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow rides down the bridge chasing Ichabod! A unseen narrator gives the epilogue of the story and you make your way back to the tavern.

But what's that you see on a dark side road?
It's...the Headless Horseman!


The entire thing is about 90 minutes and was a fantastic experience. If you're within day trip distance of Sturbridge, MA during the Halloween season, it's absolutely worth it!

If you'd like a postcard from "Sleepy Hollow" check yesterday's post for contest details!


Be sure to visit the participating Countdown blogs by clicking below!

8 comments:

  1. That's really cool. I'd love to do something like that. Some day I would like to visit Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow in NY.

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  2. I'd like to go there some day too. Funny, we have a cemetery here in MA called Sleepy Hollow.

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  3. The best we have is a motel named Sleepy Hollow.

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  4. Love that they have a real horseman!

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    Replies
    1. As good as the show was, I would have been majorly disappointed if they didn't!

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  5. Can I say it again so jealous! This looks amazing

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    Replies
    1. It was a lot of fun! If it wasn't close to a 2 hour drive I'd probably go back this year.

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