A Brief History: The Old Dutch Church is located at 430 North Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, New York. Construction of the church began in 1682 by Lord Frederick Philipse. He built the pulpit himself and he is buried underneath the church floorboards along with 13 of his family members. The church was completed in 1685 and is the oldest church in New York State and the eighth oldest church in the United States. The church was made a landmark in 1961. This is the location where “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, written by Washington Irving in 1819, takes place. Next to the church is the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery where many famous people including Andrew Carnegie, Walter Chrysler, Elizabeth Arden, Leona Helmsley, Brooke Astor, and William Rockefeller are buried. Also buried in the cemetery are townsfolk that inspired characters in the story.
Haunted History: The burial grounds that are located at the Old Dutch Church are said to be some of the oldest in the United States. It’s claimed that the Headless Horseman can be clearly seen making his route through and around these burial grounds. The legend of the Headless Horseman states that he was a soldier during the Revolutionary War. During the war he was decapitated by a cannonball. He carries his own head and uses it as a weapon and threatens people with decapitation. People have also claimed to have seen shadowy mist lurking around the cemetery at night.