Folk Horror | 31 Nights of Horror

For this year’s 31 Nights of Horror Challenge, the Day 29 prompt was Folk Horror. What better way that to choose one of the coolest folk stories of all time and pick one of the Tim Burton movies.We choose Sleepy Hollow (1999). 


The curse of The Headless Horseman (Christopher Walken) is the legacy of the small town of Sleepy Hollow. Spearheaded by the eager Constable Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) and his new-world ways into the quagmire of secrets and murder, secrets once laid to rest, best forgotten, and now reawakened, and he too, holding a dark secret of a past once gone.

Our Thoughts on Sleepy Hollow 

What says more than Halloween that Tim Burton?  I knew we wanted to get a couple of his movies into this year’s challenge. 

This rich visual feast demands a viewer’s attention with its stunning photography and art direction, with countless memorably framed shots of 18th Century New York, with its foggy woods and small town cobblestone streets. Lurking about, too, of course, is the legendary Headless Horseman who seems to be collecting an increasingly large number of heads of his hapless victims.

8 out of 10 


Johnny Depp adopted Goldeneye, the horse that played Gunpowder, Ichabod Crane’s horse in this film, when he heard it was going to be put down.

The idea of The Headless Horsemen actually dates back to the Middle Ages in Europe, largely in Celtic and German folklore. While Washington Irving‘s horseman can be considered the most famous, most areas of the United States during the time of the story’s publishing had their own stories of headless horsemen. Irving’s is said to be inspired by the headless body of a Hessian Jägers (renowned sharpshooters and horsemen), who was found in Sleepy Hollow. The real Van Tassels buried him in Old Dutch Burying Ground in an unmarked grave.

Johnny Depp did all of his own stunts for the final scene where he is dragged by the horse. He had bullet-proof clothing underneath his wardrobe.

The exteriors were shot with a blue filter. So for the blood to appear red, the liquid used had to be bright orange.