The Curse of the Cat People (Mrs. Julia Farren)

I’ll tell you a story. A lovely story. Do you know the story of the Headless Horseman? You live right here in Tarrytown and you don’t know the legend of Sleepy Hollow? Then you must hear it. I shall tell it to you. There, now, you sit there. Now, we’ll pretend this is the stage. The Headless Horseman. It was shot off long ago in the great battles that were fought here. With the British on one side and the Americans on the other. On the dark nights, on the stormy nights, you can hear him. He passes like the wind, and the flapping and fluttering of his great cloak, beating like gaunt wings. And the thunder of his horses’ hooves is loud, and loud, and louder! At the midnight hour, down the road that leads to Sleepy Hollow, across the bridge, he goes galloping, galloping, galloping. Always searching, always seeking. And if you stand on the bridge at the wrong hour, the hour when he rides by, his great cloak sweeps around you! He swings you to his saddlebow. And then forever you must ride. And always his cold arms around you, clasping you into the cavity of his bony chest. And then, forever, you must ride, and ride, and ride with the Headless Horseman.