Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Horrors of the Headless Horseman

I suspect most readers have seasonal books they pull off the shelf at certain times of the year or during holidays (or films they watch). I have several, so choosing and finding the time to read them is really the difficult task. For Halloween, I can't resist Poe, and with the re-release (and soon to be film) of Richard Matheson's I am Legend, I've already returned to that work this month. My goal every year is to find a new book or story. I have several heaped in a stack, but I've yet to decide which to read. First, I suppose I need to get a proper pumpkin pie and to brew some tea, and then wait for a "dark and stormy night."

Another of my old favorites include Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," and Tim Burton's film variation, Sleepy Hollow. As a writer, I've often thought about continuing Icabod Crane's life in further tales of supernatural adventure. With a name like that, it is tough to avoid the temptation.

Given the direction of horror fiction since the publication of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (which wasn't originally termed a "work of horror"), I wonder if there is any thrill or terror left in something as seemingly mudane as an ambulatory figure missing a head?


Amanda said...

Sleepy Hollow is a great flick. I would have guessed you were reading Lovecraft. My copy of High Seas Cthulhu arrived from Amazon finally. So far I love it.

Charles Gramlich said...

Definetely I enjoy Poe and "the legend of sleepy hollow" at this time of the year. "Legend" is a great tale. I don't know if I have any particular favorite rereads, though.

Daniel J. Hogan said...

Hi William - thanks for the kind words on my blog, I had a blast being on the Lovecraft panel with you. I kind of regret not buying one of those High Seas Cthulhu books and having all of you guys sign it.

Sleepy Hollow is one of my favorite films, I even have one of the original teaser movie posters framed.

Reading about the further super-natural adventures of Icabod Crane would certainly be something I'd be interested in.

Anonymous said...

I don't have any regular seasonal reads. You mentioning Sleepy Hollow may bring me back to it. I haven't read it in ages.

I just finished reading MALPERTUIS by Jean Ray which is a fascinating novel. i've seen Ray compares to HPL on occasion but I thought the novel was more amusing than frightening. (I had a similar reaction to THE MASTER AND MARGARITA.)

Stewart Sternberg said...

Yeah. Yeah a headless guy walking around scares the heck out of me.

If you're looking for some inspiration this year and are seeking something early American, may I suggest Hawthorne. My kids and I were examining "Young Goodman Brown" today.

Anonymous said...

I love Sleepy Hollow.

I also really enjoy High Seas Cthulhu--I don't have a whole lot of time to read it, but I'm working my way through :)


ps my blog is going to have some of my other stories on if you want to check it out that'd be really cool