Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is the backdrop to Washington Irving’s short story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” In the story, a Headless Horseman, said to be a ghost of a solider who had his head shot off by a cannonball in the Revolutionary War, rides around the town of Sleepy Hollow looking for his head. A schoolmaster named Ichabod Crane, comes upon the Headless Horseman, and is terrified to see a man on a horse without a head on his shoulders, but instead on his saddle. Ichabod flees from the Headless Horseman but barely makes it across a bridge in the cemetery before he is hit in the face with the severed head.

Washington Irving is one of many who have chosen Sleepy Hollow Cemetery as their resting ground. Others include Brooke Astor, Walter Chrysler, Andrew Carnegie, Elizabeth Arden, and William Rockefeller.