The story has been told exquisitely with details falling into precision. Ghost stories are usually associated with natural settings. This location is perfect for the story, especially given the river and other telltale signs such as the hilly terrain and extent of isolation. Also, the weather in the story is perfect with the theme. An authentic ghost story usually requires somber atmosphere as compared to the jubilant preconditions that would exist in summer or spring.
Ghost stories were more common in the past than they are in the present. Hence, this story on Sleepy Hollow is well placed in the history. Were it to happen in the present day, there would be little or no relevance whatsoever, and the story would most probably diminish into thin air. Most of the stories from the past have graduated to legends, and will be carried on to future generations. It is highly unlikely that the present age will bear new ghost stories.
Most ghost stories are eerie and isolated, hence their bizarre nature. Their location or environmental surrounding tends to concur with the bizarre nature of the story. For there to have been enough conviction in the story, the setting had to be right. According to the story, the sleepy hollow was so quite that the only sound audible was that of the brook (Washington, 1999). This created an environment of total alienation from the surrounding hence perfect for any existence of ghosts. Also, it serves to set the mood for the story. This isolation is introduced at the beginning of the story. Hence, as the reader carries on with the story, they already have an expectation that some weird things will happen. This hence keeps the theme of the story alive from the very start. The dream aspect of the story could infer that the events are not real, although that is a farfetched thought. Anybody taking part in ghost literature knows that the stories are fabricated mostly for historical or cultural reasons. Hence, there is no need for a story to have a smoking gun on its validity.
When the USA was a young nation, there was little development. People were more united than they are in the present age. Also, there was little advancement of literature at that time. People hence formulated stories to account for bizarre and possibly scientific occurrences of that time. On the other hand, it would be more probable to sell this story to the present generation since the events took place in the past hence no records to discredit them. As the country grew, there were newer ways of accounting for occurrences and documenting every aspect of the society.
The timing of the story is extremely strategic. As a result of the time frame employed in the story, one has little choice but to read and interpret the story by themselves. Also, the time frame allows for the story to have passed through many generations before the present day narration. Hence, it will have passed the test for legends, which requires them to be stories that occurred in ancient times, which have been passed down from generation to generation. At that time, there was little population in the settlement areas. This allowed for possibilities of isolation. Nowadays the population has grown in leaps and bounds. It would hence be impossible to position a story in a manner that will be comprehensible.
The story surprisingly has few supernatural occurrences. The most prominent is the headless figure that village men think they see riding a horse. It is mortally impossible, indicating once again that the story is a legend and not an account of true events. There is also a belief that the sleepy hollow was cursed by an Indian chief, hence the deserted nature of the place. There is no scientific evidence that backs the notion, although this cannot be dismissed. There are many stories of cursed that have been told over the years. As an avid reader of history and religion, one might be convinced to believe the story of the curse. These assumptions were popular in the olden days, where most of the misfortunes that befell on the society were blamed on curses. Even today, some people still hold these beliefs, especially in areas where civilization has not fully penetrated.
The mysterious disappearances which seem to be happening in the village, at the bridge, are also mysterious. These are the backbone of the story. There are two cases mentioned in the story. In one, the headless creature carries a villager to the bridge then disappears leaving behind a heap of bones. This is a bizarre occurrence that is both unexplainable and unbelievable. The main character in the story is called Ichabod. This young fellow also suffers the same disappearing fate. His, occurs as he is leaving the party hosted by the father of his dream girl. He leaves the party heartbroken and on his way home, he meets with the headless fellow. In this case, there is no record of a bag of bones, just a saddle that was left behind at the bridge, where Ichabod was last though to have been seen. This bizarre occurrence is yet again unbelievable. Possibly, the person who disappeared simply fled the village because of his heartbreak, and chose to live elsewhere. Since the villagers did not know what transpired, they might have formulated the story to account for their lack of information.
There are other possibilities that may explain his disappearance. For instance, he could have fallen into the river. All in all, this is one of the many legends that have found their way into the present day society. One should know that all these stories contain some level of truth in the, especially in the setting, but the plots are mostly fabricated for entertainment purposes.