Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” as Want to Read:
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  65,747 ratings  ·  4,653 reviews
Ichabod Crane, a schoolteacher, came to Tarry Town in the glen of Sleepy Hollow to ply his trade in educating young minds. He was a gullible and excitable fellow, often so terrified by locals' stories of ghosts that he would hurry through the woods on his way home, singing to keep from hysterics. Until late one night, he finds that maybe they're not just stories. What is t ...more
Paperback, 108 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by Wildside Press (first published 1820)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Arlissa Vaughn
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Johnny Regrettably, for an out-of-copyright book with nearly 800 editions, that's going to be very hard to find out without a copy right in front of you. I'm…moreRegrettably, for an out-of-copyright book with nearly 800 editions, that's going to be very hard to find out without a copy right in front of you. I'm sure that there are some illustrated editions which indeed are abbreviated/abridged/"modernized" and depart from the original.

That said, if you're looking for a text-only version and don't have any specific edition in mind, I'd first check your local library since they are likely to have more than one edition for you to peruse at your own leisure for free. Heck, check 'em all out and just return whatever doesn't suit you. If that sounds like a hassle (it's probably less than you'd imagine), I'd just read the edition at the American Literature site. They have the story for free and most of their editions are from around 1900 to avoid copyright issues, which I imagine in this case would be to your benefit.

Of course, this question is over 4 years old so I doubt it interests you, but since it's still up and unanswered I hope somebody might benefit from the info...(less)
Jane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëFrankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft ShelleyWuthering Heights by Emily BrontëRebecca by Daphne du MaurierDr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Best Gothic Books Of All Time
382 books — 3,141 voters
The Shining by Stephen KingThe Haunting of Hill House by Shirley JacksonA Christmas Carol by Charles DickensHeart-Shaped Box by Joe HillGhost Story by Peter Straub
Ghost Stories
1,381 books — 1,962 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  65,747 ratings  ·  4,653 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
What?! All this time I was feeling sorry for him and it turns out Ichabod Crane was a douchebag!


Ok, this is my first time hearing the actual short story. So, I've been going off of movies and cartoons as my reference to what The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow was all about. And if you haven't read it, you may have some of the same preconceived notions that I did. Stop me if this doesn't sound familiar...


Poor awkward Ichabod falls in love with the town beauty and she (because women are saints) likes hi
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
Such heavy description, but still a good Halloween classic!
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-novels
“I recollect that, when a stripling, my first exploit in squirrel-shooting was in a grove of tall walnut-trees that shades one side of the valley. I had wandered into it at noon time, when all nature is peculiarly quiet, and was startled by the roar of my own gun, as it broke the Sabbath stillness around, and was prolonged and reverberated by the angry echoes. If ever I should wish for a retreat, whither I might steal from the world and its distractions, and dream quietly away the remnant of a t ...more
Nov 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Having seen the movie I thought I’d give the book a go, and I’m so glad I did. It was both comical and creepy at the same time. Really enjoyable.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow might be one of the most perfect spooky tales to read, listen to, or tell on a cool October night. I listened to the whole thing on one, chilly, misty, fall walk. As the leaves fell from the trees and the dew from the fog condensed on my coat, I was transported to Sleepy Hollow and the mysterious tale of Ichabod Crane and his encounter with the Headless Horseman.

I am writing this review on Halloween (even though I read it a few days ago) and can tell you this story is
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
I thought this story and I were Meant To Be.


A few days before reading this, I read and reviewed Washington Irving's other famous story, Rip Van Winkle, and really enjoyed it. And then I read The Fold, which has this exchange between a high school student and his teacher in the first few pages:
“Ichabod Crane isn’t really the hero of ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’.”


“He’s, like, the British. You told us that when you said we couldn’t just watch the TV show to learn the story. You said
I remember the movies and I think I recall we read and analyzed this short story in school. I think it was around Halloween as a fun activity but I really could not remember the story at all. It was a favourite of my husband's but I could not find his old childhood copy anywhere around the house. Luckily, Hoopla had the audio available.

It's a good short story for the season. Written very well and like all the classics very descriptive. The town and atmosphere is vividly set-up as well as the foo
Will Byrnes
Sep 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
No review coming for this. I re-read it for background in reviewing The Horseman, in which the famed rider of Sleepy Hollow is given a new take. The original is a fun read, with Ichabod as a gold-digger of a school-teacher looking to get with the beautiful local heiress, to the chagrin of the Gaston of the town, one Brom Bones, who does his best to scare off the interloper. It speaks to the period, place (there is a lot of local scenic and cultural color) and superstitious bent of area residents ...more
Terrie  Robinson
"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving was first published in 1820!

In Tarry Town, New York there is a quiet glen know as Sleepy Hollow where spindly schoolmaster, Ichabod Crane arrives from Connecticut to teach the local children. He has hopes of marriage to the beautiful eighteen-year-old Katrina Van Tassel, daughter of a wealthy farmer.

Ichabod may have formidable competition from the town brute and bully, Abraham 'Brom Bones' Van Brunt, who already has plans for this vision of beau
This little treasure was simply delightful! Quite honestly, I didn’t expect to enjoy it quite so much. I’ve seen the various movie adaptations over the years and figured there wasn’t really anything more to be gained by reading this short story. I was wrong – the eloquence of the written word brought the legend up to a whole other level for me.

Everyone is probably familiar with the tale of the Headless Horseman and the little valley of Sleepy Hollow, situated near the small town of Tarry Town,
Sep 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
I spent a few weeks every summer in the Catskill Mountains at a resort with my godparents, parents and grandparents. I used to walk around the forest, searching for the headless horsemen. The cottages we always stayed in were either "Rip Van Winkle" or "Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Such good memories on the place and this book. Even before the movie, it launched my thirst for mystery and the hunt! And when they used this to make a few movies and then the TV show, I loved the whole concept. A must-r ...more
Fun read and a great way to kick off my month of Halloween reads. I know the story, watched countless movie versions of the story, but never actually read the book. Still didn't....I listed to this one via audio. A fun read, but I wanted more gothic, creepy-ness. I wanted more Headless Horseman.

The audio narration was wonderful! The narrator's voice had an edge of spookiness to it (a very good thing). Glad I read this one but yeah, I prefer the movie version 'Sleepy Hollow', which I watch ever
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Equal parts hilarious, creepy, classical and of course legendary!
A part of the story was included in our fourth grade course book,
I never understood what it meant.
Now had an amazing time reading it.
Specially the funny use of Headless Horseman!
Loved the ending!
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
A reread for me, quite a humdinger of a little story with the silly, scarecrow of a school teacher and his stupendous imagination getting the best of him and leaving the girl as a prize for his clever rival.
Oct 30, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've seen different adaptations of this story before, but this was my first time reading it. Or rather listening to the audiobook.

What made this story a very enjoyable experience for me was the narrator, B.J. Harrison. I was actually really surprised by how many audio versions of this story there are. I think that it's not easy to narrate this story, because the author used long sentences with a lot of commas, and many narrators sound like robots while reading it.

However, B.J. Harrison's narra
Though I've seen the movie versions countless times and listened to Bing Crosby croon about Brom Bones every Halloween for decades, this was my first time reading the story and it was MAGICAL!

I really enjoyed Irving's style. His descriptions paint joyful pictures without being too wordy or grandiose. The passages about Icabod's boundless appetite and his lust for Katrina's huge . . . tracts of land are priceless.

Reading this story has given me a new appreciation for Irving. My goals now are:

1) R
Axl Oswaldo
Apr 30, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m kind of curious about something lately: I read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and I truly loved the story; I enjoyed the descriptions—basically the whole story is made up of long descriptive paragraphs, without dialogues or even characters’ thoughts—the typical gloomy atmosphere, and especially the last part, almost close to the ending of the book. Having said that, I think I mainly enjoyed this story because I found one of the best audiobooks I have ever heard so far*. It was beautifully narra ...more
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Ichabod Crane goes for a wild ride.

Washington Irving first published The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in 1820. Besides being an iconic story and a fine example of early American literature, this is also a revealing historic illustration of life in the Dutch portions of early nineteenth century New York. We get to spend some time with the corpulent and satisfied Dutch farmers and glimpse early American culture.

Irving’s language is typical of narrative fiction from his time, but is also resplendent as
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
An immortal story by a writer that is iconic and foundational for American literature. I can see why he was one of the first American authors that earned living by writing - his storytelling is a fine craft. Irving effortlessly creates a drowsy, dreamy atmosphere and sets readers in a different world. The first important element of the story are descriptions of land and life of everyday people that have lyrical, imaginative quality.

''From the listless repose of the place, and the peculiar chara
Leonard Gaya
This is a short story. Certainly one of the most famous (at least by name) of early American literature. Perhaps one of the first examples of the “gothic” genre, before Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft.

It is however interesting to note that, for the most part, this piece of writing is a description of the Dutch community and rural life in the early 19th century New York suburban area. Irving provides vivid descriptions of the peasant’s occupations, the animal farms, the chirping of birds, the
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Geh, 2.5 Stars! I prefer the Johnny Depp and Old Cartoon!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾🎃🍁🍂

Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
Let's get the rotten parts out of the way first - the story has flaws. Painful to admit, but it's long-winded and rambling, too much focus and writing concentrates on irrelevant scenes and parts and character trails, drawing out the wrong things. Sometimes it's for clarity, at times for snuck-in humor, but just maybe it was either because the author was writing without pre-planning or trying to pad. Irregardless, pacing is inconsistent besides the strong beginning and unforgettable ending, so so ...more
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: halloween
I finished this book just before going to bed last night, and I must say, it took me a while to get to sleep because I couldn’t stop thinking about the headless horseman.

Then sometime in the middle of the night I heard a ringing, clicking sound on the metal footboard of my bed. I sat up with a startle, just as I saw the headless horseman on his horse leaping over my bed and out through the closed French doors into the backyard. I could not sleep for the remainder of the night or so I thought, b
J.L.   Sutton
Oct 16, 2018 rated it liked it
It felt nostalgic to read Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow after many, many years. It was also fun to read some of the details that I'd forgotten about in this iconic story. There is definitely more to it than Ichabod Crane meeting his fate with the Headless Horseman. It might be worth a quick read for these reasons--it was for me--however, beyond that, the story didn't really do all that much for me. ...more
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: classics
For most classics that I read it is easy to discern how they have stood the test of time and attain their classic status. However, a few titles, like Moby-Dick; or, The Whale and Three Men in a Boat hold little or no appeal to me at all, and why would anybody want to read them is beyond me. I am consigning The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to the “not for me” pile (though I am careful not disrespect any classics because they are still being read more than a hundred years after first publication, just ...more
May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, 2016-shelf
I have to say that re-reading this as an adult is a much different and more wonderful experience than as a snot-nosed kid of 15. I was able to appreciate the nuances much more, enjoying just how established Mr. Crane could be as a realistic and sympathetic character, even if he was slightly foolish.

In other words, he felt real, I felt invested, and as any lover of horror knows, we must also feel superior to our victims before their inevitable and somewhat moralistic demise by supernatural or nef
First published in 1820, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is such a delightful and atmospheric tale. I love every movie/tv shows about the Headless Horseman and I can't believe I waited this long to read this one.

It's very interesting that Irving spent a lot of time in this short story on food. But as a foodie I can appreciate this! ...sweet cakes, short cakes, ginger cakes, honey cakes, and the whole family of cakes (Thinking about Bubba in Forrest Gump about now) ....apple pies, peach pies, pumpkin
Jay Schutt
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
A quick, fun read reminiscent of my fondest Halloween memories.
Oct 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Thanks Stephanie - your review led me to read this and I am so glad I did:) I suppose it is because I had my education in England that this book was not part of my school reading nor had I come across it since. So it was a first time read for me and it was delightful!
I always love stories written in this kind of old fashioned and extremely literate prose. The descriptions are just superb, especially the one of Ichabod Crane. At the end of that the reader knows exactly what he looked like to the
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Here in Indiana (US) there is a town called Irvington that has absolutely no historic connection to Washington Irving at all but never-the-less each year produces a marvelous and quite large Halloween festival in his honor. It lasts a week and centers around the characters from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I decided it was time re-read the story to catch up on all things forgotten.

It's a simple tale really. A schoolmaster, Ichabod Crane, is trying to woo a young woman from town and it angers th
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Tell-Tale Heart
  • Young Goodman Brown
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • The Fall of the House of Usher: An Edgar Allan Poe Short Story
  • The Raven
  • The Halloween Tree
  • La habitación de la torre
  • The Body Snatcher
  • Carmilla
  • Sleepy Hollow: A Novelization (Includes the Classic Short Story)
  • The Turn of the Screw
  • Great Classic Hauntings: Six Unabridged Stories
  • The Yellow Wall-Paper
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Tales of Terror
  • The Most Dangerous Game
  • The Minister's Black Veil
  • Horseman: A Tale of Sleepy Hollow
  • Mrs. Wickham
See similar books…
See top shelves…
People remember American writer Washington Irving for the stories " Rip Van Winkle " and " The Legend of Sleepy Hollow ," contained in The Sketch Book (1820).

This author, essayist, biographer and historian of the early 19th century wrote newspaper articles under the pseudonym Jonathan Oldstyle to begin his literary career at the age of nineteen years.

In 1809, he published The History

Articles featuring this book

With the holidays fast approaching and the end of the year just on the horizon, you might be wondering if you'll complete your 2018...
87 likes · 9 comments
“I profess not to know how women's hearts are wooed and won. To me they have always been matters of riddle and admiration.” 139 likes
“ All these, however, were mere terrors of the night, phantoms of the mind that walk in darkness; and though he had seen many spectres in his time, and been more than once beset by Satan in divers shapes, in his lonely pre-ambulations, yet daylight put an end to all these evils; and he would have passed a pleasent life of it, in despite of the devil and all his works, if his path had not been crossed by a being that causes more perplexity to mortal man than ghosts, goblins, and the whole race of witches put together, and that was - a woman.” 74 likes
More quotes…