Jim is superintendent of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery where he has researched the cemetery’s history for more than 20 years. He draws on an extensive collection of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown historical resources for the material on Sleepy Hollow Country.

  • A pen and ink sketch postcard of Emily Shaw's Inn, Pound Ridge, NY.
    Ghosts & Spooks,  Places & Landmarks

    The Ghosts of Emily Shaw’s Inn

    Emily Shaw’s Inn, once a popular restaurant, was located just 20 miles from Sleepy Hollow as the raven flies. Generations of Westchester County residents celebrated holidays and special occasions over the more than four decades Emily and her son John operated the venerable Pound Ridge establishment. The original part of the building was built as a residence around 1833, attributed to Alsop Hunt Lockwood. Eventually it served as a boarding house known as Dexter Lodge. By the early 1900s the population of this part of the county dropped precipitously as farming in the area fell into steep decline. By the 1930s the building, like many of its neighbors, was rundown…

  • A Tarrytown goat and two goat kids stand in a fenced pen.
    Local History & Interest

    The Obstreperous Tarrytown Goats

    In fairness to goats everywhere, Tarrytown goats are not unique in their obstreperousness. They are an unruly animal across the board. However, here in Sleepy Hollow Country we have more than our share of oddities, and our goats are no exception. Make that past tense. At this time, Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow restrict livestock within village limits. Here are three of our favorite tales of Tarrytown goats. Tarrytown Goat Sets Monetary Policy In the late 1800s the United States Congress hotly debated changes to monetary policy. At issue in the “money question” of the day was whether to base American currency on gold or on silver. Further, there was pressure…

  • Main entrance to Tarrytown Castle, framed against a gloomy winter sky.
    Places & Landmarks,  Post Cards

    The Last Tarrytown Castle 

    Carrollcliffe, standing at one of the highest points in the village, is the last surviving Tarrytown castle. There were once two castles here. Or maybe four depending on who you ask and how you choose to define a castle. Just north was Ericstan, a castellated villa by Alexander Jackson Davis that was demolished in 1944. To the west was Edgemont, the painted brick home of Julian Detmer, with decorative crenelations in the style of a castle. To the south is Lyndhurst, which is occasionally described as a castle although it is more accurately a Gothic Revival mansion. Carrollcliffe was constructed by Howard Carroll, Inspector General of New York state’s troops in…

  • Tarrytown Post Card Company half tone post card of Sleepy Hollow Bridge, Tarrytown, N.Y.
    Vanished Sleepy Hollow,  Places & Landmarks

    The Legendary Headless Horseman Bridge

    “The bridge became more than ever an object of superstitious awe, and that may be the reason why the road has been altered of late years, so as to approach the church by the border of the mill-pond.” -“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, Washington Irving More than 200 years after publication of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow“, the headless horseman bridge is one of the most popular destinations in Sleepy Hollow. Every October it is sought out by thousands of visitors from around the globe. Unfortunately, the original bridge where Ichabod Crane lost his race with the Headless Horseman no longer exists. The simple wooden span that crossed the Pocantico River…

  • Newspaper clipping on Silent Pete, a character who walked the roads and woods of Hudson River towns and villages.
    Local History & Interest

    The Lonely Life of Silent Pete

    “For nearly 20 years—as far as anyone knows—a shabby, slouching figure of a man has been walking daily between Yonkers and North Tarrytown, creating for Hudson Valley residents a new legend. He never speaks: so he’s called Silent Pete. Iron Mike and Nothing Joe. He just walks.” The Tarrytown Daily News, Tarrytown, NY. May 19, 1938. Tarrytown and North Tarrytown (today’s Sleepy Hollow) were once the haunts of Silent Pete, a reclusive and mysterious character who walked a regular route along the river towns in southern Westchester County. Reclusive and mysterious characters aren’t in short supply in Sleepy Hollow Country. In fact, Silent Pete picked up the mantle from two…

  • The Piermont ghost lurked between Haddock's Hall in Piermont, NY and Kipps Corner in Sparkill.
    Ghosts & Spooks

    The Reckoning of the Piermont Ghost

    “If ghosts were as plentiful in fact as they are in newspaper columns white-robed shapes and people who can be seen through would be almost as numerous as stray cats. It is astonishing what a quantity of ghost stories are in circula­tion among the journals of the country.” -White Plains Eastern State Journal, April 23, 1887 Five miles from Sleepy Hollow as the raven flies, or ten by highway, is a stretch of road where the Piermont ghost terrorized two villages in March and April of 1887. We cover a lot of reported ghost sightings in these pages but this one stands out for the regularity of the ghost’s appearances…

  • Ghoulish Jokester Robs a Grave in a cemetery, setting the skull atop a tombstone.
    Local History & Interest,  Vanished Sleepy Hollow

    Ghoulish Jokester Robs a Grave

    “Echoes of Ichabod Crane’s ghost stories in the Tarrytown cemetery led to the discovery early today that some one had removed a skull from a pauper grave and placed it on top of a tombstone in the conventionally gruesome manner.” -The Washington Times, May 25, 1929 One night in May 1929 a person passing through the hamlet of East View received quite a jolt at the sight of a human skull atop a tombstone in the county poorhouse cemetery. Not bothering to give his name, the individual reported to Town of Greenburgh police that a ghost was roaming the cemetery. Sergeant Dunkel investigated and found the skull placed on top…

  • The 2019 sandstone grave stone of the Edgar Mathew Bacon character Hulda The Witch.
    Folklore,  Witches and Witchcraft

    Hulda the Witch of Sleepy Hollow

    “. . . in the days of our nation’s birth-throes he was a brave man who passed the cottage of the witch, even in the daytime. A hundred years ago the people took witches seriously.” –Chronicles of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow Hulda the witch of Sleepy Hollow has over the last decade performed a most difficult feat: she has transformed from a minor fictional character into a real person, complete with a headstone in a place of honor at a local church. Until very recently, the historical record of the alleged witch of Sleepy Hollow consisted entirely of seven short paragraphs in Edgar Mayhew Bacon’s 1897 book Chronicles of Tarrytown…

  • Set Back Inn in Tarrytown, NY has a red door between two plate glass windows.
    Ghosts & Spooks

    Haunted Taverns of Sleepy Hollow

    “The dominant spirit, however, that haunts this enchanted region, and seems to be commander-in-chief of all the powers of the air, is the apparition of a figure on horseback without a head.” “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, Washington Irving When it comes to phantoms in these parts, Sleepy Hollow’s Headless Horseman is, to paraphrase Frank Sinatra, top of the list, king of the hill, A-Number-One. Although he is the undisputed top dog he is a bit of a recluse, preferring solitary rides along dark, lonely roads. Fortunately, there are three haunted taverns of Sleepy Hollow where the resident spirits are more sociable. The ghosts we introduce here are reportedly less…

  • An historic image of the Old Polhemus Mill, site of the last witch trial in New York State where the Witch of West Nyack was acquitted.
    Local History & Interest,  Witches and Witchcraft

    The Witch of West Nyack

    “This neighborhood has the doubtful honor of having been the scene of the last trial for witchcraft held in New York State, possibly the last among a so-called civilized people.” -The History of Rockland County, by Frank Bertangue Green Think of witches and Salem, Massachusetts comes to mind. But Sleepy Hollow Country has its own including Hulda the Witch of Sleepy Hollow and Jane Kanniff, the alleged witch of West Nyack. In the hamlet of West Nyack, six miles from Sleepy Hollow as the raven flies, is a historic marker at the site of the last witch trial in New York State. Some versions of her story use the name…