Visiting the Real Sleepy Hollow!

When you think of Disney, you usually think of happy-go-lucky princesses and Elsa singing “Let it Go.” If you’re a huge fan of the Halloween holiday season, you will know this awesome fun fact. Walt Disney was a huge fan of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which is story by Washington Irving in which Irving created the character of the headless horseman who ran rampant throughout his town of Sleepy Hollow.

Disney was such a fan of the legend of Sleepy Hollow, that he used it as the premise of the two-part animated movie, “The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr. Toad.”


You can watch the full-length movie for FREE right now on Youtube. This past weekend, I wanted to check out the actual village of Sleepy Hollow, which is located within a larger town of Tarrytown. It’s located in upstate New York. All this time I’ve lived a brief 35 minute train ride away and I never visited. Now that I’ve been, I feel like I need to go every week. Here’s my adventure!

Everyone who lives in Sleepy Hollow are the nicest people I’ve ever meant. They truly know and LOVE the fact that Sleepy Hollow is a major tourist destination in the fall and they own up to it. There are decorations everywhere the eye can see. Even their street signs are themed to the season.

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Once you get into the actual village of Sleepy Hollow, there are clearly labeled sight-seeing locations where people can take tours by day and go on hayrides and night. All of the major spots are located in one small area, so it’s really easy to see everything.

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The favorite MUST-SEE of the day, was the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Washington Irving is actually buried here, and we even found his grave.

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As soon as we arrived, we noticed there were people drinking and eating everywhere. For the most part, the graves aren’t blocked off, so you can actually walk ON the graves. Not creepy at all, right? My first gut instinct was, “Why is everyone drinking and hanging out at the cemetery? Isn’t that a tad disrespectful?” Then, come to find out, we were told by a staff member (there was a HUGE fall event for the Old Dutch Church that weekend) that most of the people buried in the cemetery have been dead since the 1700’s and have no living family. This is the one time of year when people visit them and keep them company, and the village of Sleepy Hollow has completely embraced it. So, I had a shot of Pumpkin Liquor and a mulled wine (which I purchased at the cemetery), and I wandered around and said hi to all of the happy haunts.

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If you plan on visiting the cemetery, go earlier in the day. It usually closes early for special events, and the space spans across 1 mile, so if you’re enjoying the view, it could take you hours to see everything.

Afterwards, we were starving, and we got a recommendation from a local to visit the Horseman Diner located just walking distance down Broadway. I had the best meatloaf of my life!

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I can’t begin to express how beautiful this town is. It’s so incredibly wonderful to be in a town that embraces the holiday so whole-heartedly. I felt so at peace in the cemetery. I felt like I was connected to my gramma who LOVED Halloween. She was definitely with me all day. She would’ve gotten a kick out of the magic of Sleepy Hollow.

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