Sunday, October 19, 2008

Spooked in Sleepy Hollow: Legend Weekend

It seems like we can't take two steps without someone asking if we've got our tickets for "The Blaze" yet. Meaning the Great Jack-o-Lantern Blaze that Historic Hudson Valley produces in October at Van Cortlandt Manor. Here's a photo of The Blaze that I took last year:
(By the way, are you going this year?)

We felt that two years in a row was enough, and decided to go to "Legend Weekend" at Phillipsburg Manor this year instead. In the mid 1700s this site was a farming, milling, and trading center owned by the Philipses, a family of Anglo-Dutch merchants. They rented land to tenant farmers and relied on a community of 23 enslaved Africans to operate the complex.

All we knew about this was that it was spooky - spookier than The Blaze, and that at some point the Headless Horseman would ride through a field. We followed a long candlelit path from the parking lot to the site. It was a chilly but clear moonlit night. A wounded patriot announced our arrival.

People had gathered around a bonfire and listened while a nearby storyteller told the Legend. Creepy prehistoric animated horse skeletons peered at visitors out of barn. This ghost bride seemed to want to find her groom, intensely scrutinizing the men in the crowd.

Maybe this is her mother? She didn't look too happy either.

A group of fiendish tree trunks haunted the woods.

Aliens appeared.

We walked over a footbridge toward the main building forgetting that we had missed seeing the star of the show. The main attraction. The Headless Horseman. We turned around and made our way back.

In the same field where Ichabod Crane is said to have seen him, he finally stepped out of the darkness on a black stallion. Truly bloodchilling.

The ambulance was ready for anyone threatening to die of fright.


tut-tut said...

I think if that horseman had appeared, my heart would have been in my mouth. Truly scary. We had a great Halloween one year that, if I remember, I'll try to describe on my blog nearer Halloween.

Buddy Garden said...

I actually went to the Blaze two years in a row too! It's really amazing for the first time but after two years I think I've had enough! The "legend weekend" looks fun too.

Joanne said...

I like the idea of a long, candlelit path, sounds just appropriately eerie.

shausler said...

what a great night, your photos turned out better than i thought they would!!

it was rather magical indeed