Short story by Irving, possibly based on a German source. It was published in The Sketch Book (1820). An operetta, The Headless Horseman (1936), with music by Douglas Moore and libretto by Stephen Vincent Benét, is based on it.
Ichabod Crane, an assertive, ingenuous Yankee schoolmaster, lanky and angular in appearance, lives among the Dutch folk of Sleepy Hollow on the Hudson, in post-Revolutionary days. He loves Katrina Van Tassel, daughter of a rich farmer, and is the victim of many pranks by the friends of his chief rival for her affections, Brom Van Brunt or Brom Bones, a reckless horseman and neighborhood hero. At an autumn quilting party at Van Tassel's, the guests entertain themselves with stories of ghosts and witches, and Brom tells of the headless horseman said to haunt the region. Ichabod is discouraged in his suit for Katrina, and on his way home, late at night, riding a borrowed plow horse, is frightened by a headless apparition that rides after him and throws a round object at his head. Ichabod is never again seen in Sleepy Hollow, although the next morning the round object is discovered to be a pumpkin. Brom marries Katrina, and Ichabod's tale becomes a legend of the countryside.