Seeking Headless Horseman for 2020


The 4th floor of Brooks Hall at Baylor University decorated a hallway with a Headless Horseman theme. During Treat Night, a headless horseman sat in this chair and passed out candy. –Photo by Tracy Hoffman

President of the Washington Irving Society

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

In preparation for Baylor’s Treat Night on October 22, the students in one residence hall decorated using “The Headless Horseman” theme. In fact, one young man even dressed up like the headless one, holding a pumpkin filled with candy for the visiting trick-or-treater children.

Treat Night is one of many ways Baylor bridges the gap between Baylor Bears and nearby Wacoans. Baylor students dress up, decorate, and provide candy for children in the Waco area and for kids of Baylor faculty. I took my nephew once when he was little and have gone with colleagues and their wee ones, too. It’s always a fun night.

My students told me about Baylor’s recent Treat Night and about the headless horseman theme when I returned from my own Sleepy Hollow, New York, adventure. One of my nursing majors even showed me pictures of the headless horseman, and he was fantastic! Ironically, I had tried to find a headless horseman costume at the Halloween stores in both Dallas/Fort Worth and in New York, but never spotted one.

So I immediately went to work seeking out this undergraduate horseman for hire. I thought it would be great to have him walk up on my American Lit classes, and I was hoping he’d work for a Starbucks gift card or two. I reached out to the CLs (community leaders) in said residence hall, and immediately heard back. They thought it was a great idea and passed along my request to the headless horseman. Unfortunately, we were entering Fall Break when I reached out, so I didn’t expect to hear anything else until Halloween week.

During this respite, I reached out to my department chair to make sure it would be okay to have a headless horseman, less the horse, running around the building. He said it would be fine, but also asked if he needed to purchase some extra life insurance.

Fall Break came and went. We returned to school on the Monday before Halloween, and sadly, this most excellent Headless Horseman never contacted me, and I have no idea who this mysterious rider was. In anticipation of the 200th celebration of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” story in 2020, I will hire this horseman, find another one, or dress as the headless horseman myself. Any suggestions?

The good news for 2019: three of my students walked me over to the residence hall before decorations were destroyed, and I caught a glimpse of the Sleepy Hollow theme on the 4th floor hallway. One student told me they had done the theme the year prior, while another told me that was incorrect, so I have no idea if the theme will repeat next year.

In wrapping up my thoughts for today, I would like to congratulate the Baylor Bear football team for their Growl-o-ween victory over West Virginia on Halloween night. I couldn’t be in the stands, but I cheered from afar. It’s nice to see the team undefeated, 8-0. Here’s to taking the Big 12 by chasing away some frogs, Sooners, and Longhorns.

Speaking of chases, one blog follower has suggested that I chase too many rabbit trails. My apologies. Today, I tried to only chase bear trails.

And I threw in a split infinitive for all the English majors who are proofreading my posts. As my students know, I’m keeping blog posts casual and occasionally garbled for those who shamelessly cut and paste my words.

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I love receiving feedback from readers! Please feel free to drop comments wherever you like: Twitter, Facebook, on this page. If you need a reply, please message me at I try to respond to all Washington Irving Society-related email on Wednesdays, and I also update the WIS page on Washington Irving Wednesdays.



Published in: on November 6, 2019 at 1:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

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