'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow' lives on - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow' lives on

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Along the east bank of the Hudson River, 30 miles north of Manhattan, a place exists where stories of haunted spirits never die: the Village of Sleepy Hollow.

As day turns to night, tourists from all over the country often line up for a lantern-lit tour of the cemetery here. Many come to hear that frightful tale of the Headless Horseman and the pursuit of Ichabod Crane.

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving was published back in 1820. It is considered among the first great works of American fiction. Irving is buried in the sleepy hollow cemetery. That story he wrote nearly 200 years ago has stood the test of time.

The new series on Fox brings the story into modern times. The original took place 14 years after the Revolutionary War.

Sara Mascia, director of the Sleepy Hollow/Tarrytown Historical Society, says the story is a mix of romance, superstition and fact. That horseman is the spirit of a Hessian soldier. In real life, the British hired those German mercenaries to fight in this area. She says they were the scariest of the soldiers.

The village has embraced the famous fictional essay, even renaming that bridge Ichabod was trying to reach.

Christina Orban-Lasalle, the cemetery's tour director, says Irving is considered a godfather of American fiction. She says he has heard stories that a real headless soldier may be buried in this cemetery.

Surrounded by death, a legend lives on.

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