Thursday, October 5, 2023

“In the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson…”


 Every October, I return to and linger a long while in Sleepy Hollow. The town, in reality and fiction and folklore, embodies the spirits of October in more ways than there are headstones in the church yard. Washington Irving’s story is, quite possibly, the most perfect ghost story. The mystery, the doubt, the fear, the urban legends— it is so perfectly the stuff of ghosts. 

 Tonight I went to put on Robert Van Nutt’s animated story book version of the tale, narrated by Glenn Close, which is such a perfect, and book accurate, adaptation. In the process, I found and rented Hobey Ford’s “Ichabod: Sketches from Sleepy Hollow,” which while a very short short, was highly entertaining and worth the one dollar and ninety-nine cents.

 I still watched the Van Nutt version, after. The slowly moving illustrations are the perfect, nostalgia-tinged way to experience the story, in as close a way to reading the text can be without reading the text. 

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