The Headless Horseman 5

The Dullahan (pronounced DOOL-a-HAN) - also referred to as the Headless Horseman - is a type of spirit originating from Irish folklore. This sinister being appears as a man or a woman riding upon a black horse, but the rider has no head upon their shoulders. Typically, the Dullahan carries its head under its arm; the head appears dead and rotten with a demonic grin spread across its face.

The Dullahan carries a whip made from a human's spine. The wagon it pulls is adorned with funeral objects (e.g., candles in skulls to light the way, the spokes of the wheels are made from thigh bones, the wagon's covering made from a worm-chewed pall or dried human skin). When the Dullahan stops riding, that is where a person is due to die. The Dullahan calls out the person's name, at which point the person immediately perishes. There are also only 3 Dullahans in the entire world.

There is no way to bar the road against a Dullahan—all locks and gates open to them when they approach. They do not appreciate being watched while on their errands, throwing a basin of blood on those who dare to do so (often a mark that they are among the next to die), or even lashing out the watchers' eyes with their whips. They are frightened of gold, and even a single gold pin can drive a Dullahan away.

The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow

It was the Revolutionary War that the Headless Horseman was involved in. His head was taken by a cannon ball, and his body was buried in the Sleepy Hollow Church. According to legend, the Headless Horseman rises every night searching for his head, and if not, he would take someone else's. Ichabod Crane, Sleepy Hollow's school teacher, was first introduced to the legend when Brom Bones told everyone at Baltus Can Tassel's Halloween party about the Horseman. That night, when Ichabod traveled back to Sleepy Hollow, he has a terrifying encounter with the Headless Horseman, resulting in the Horseman throwing his pumpkin head at Ichabod. What happened to Ichabod is unknown; he may have survived, or the Headless Horseman took his head. However, Brom Bones was the one behind Ichabod's chase and the legend itself. Ichabod's whereabouts following the event have remained a mystery.