Background: This piece was a common piece of folklore within the informant’s community. He lived on Sleepy Hollow Road, so parents in the community adopted the tale of the headless horseman and used it to scare their children, and prevent them from wandering around unsupervised.
Context: This ghost story was performed to an audience of one, in the village dining hall.
Body: I lived on sleepy hollow road so in my neighborhood there was like the typical legend, I’m pretty sure the guy was headless on a horse or something, so we would stay with our parents and walk around. Whenever Halloween would come around, the kids on our street would be scared by it, so we would want to walk with our parents. Our parents would use it as a ploy to make sure people we not leave the house without them. Like he’ll get us basically. Ironically, like, I’m actually pretty far from the actual town of sleepy hallow.
I believe that this piece is a tool which parents who lived on the street of sleepy hollow adopted from a pre-existing myth to prevent their children from wandering off and misbehaving.
For another version of this legend, see “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving.