It wasn’t until nightfall that Ichabod regained consciousness. He sat up on the cot, confused.
The former schoolmaster was dead now, how was he able to sleep and wake up? Just then, he heard footsteps coming toward him.
Ichabod quickly glanced toward the noise, and sure enough the Headless Horseman was approaching him again. The recently deceased man stood up and walked toward the other spirit.
Then Ichabod began asking questions. “Why did you choose me? How am I still in one piece? How do I sleep if I’m not alive?”
The horseman pressed his index finger against Ichabod’s lips. Then he placed his other hand on his forehead.
Though the headless specter didn’t speak, Ichabod Crane was able to understand everything.
First, he learned that this church was used as a hideout by soldiers during the war, which is why these cots were there.
Then the horseman revealed to Ichabod that he was an especially powerful ghost.
Which was why his pumpkin turned him into a ghost without leaving behind a corpse, and why he was able to carry concoctions and put Ichabod into a temporary slumber.
The Headless Horseman never practiced sorcery while alive; however, his corpse was discovered by American fighters who not only buried the remains hastily and without formal rites,
but also cursed him since he was a Hessian and worked for the British army. Hessian soldiers were also feared because of their exceptional skills and ferocity in battle.
As a result, the Headless Horseman gained power and abilities one would associate with the dark arts.
Then Ichabod learned something completely unknown until now; before his sudden demise the Hessian was secretly planning to switch sides during the war.
Not only did he die before carrying out this task, but the Americans were unable to find out about his intentions. No wonder this ghost was restless!
Finally, the Headless Horseman lowered his hands. Ichabod gawked at him, stunned by these revelations.
The infamous spirit wasn’t searching for a head to steal, but the chance to share his real story even if he could only do so with one other soul.
However, Ichabod would soon discover that the Hessian didn’t share everything.
The horseman suddenly placed an arm around the schoolmaster’s waist and led him downstairs. The spirits went outside and mounted the spectral horse, then took off on a quiet ride.
It was a crisp autumn night, with the breeze blowing quietly and the moon shining bright only occasionally hidden by a few clouds.
After several minutes, Ichabod began to solemnly hum a familiar tune. Even in this state of being, his singing and humming were pleasant to hear.
At last, the sun started to rise. The Hessian spirit’s horse returned to the church, and his owner dismounted with the ‘guest.
’ When the departed souls entered the building, the horseman swept Ichabod up in his arms and carried him upstairs to the former secret hideout!
The deceased schoolmaster was startled by this new action, but it didn’t bother him.
When they reached the upper floor, the Hessian laid him on the same cot as before; but this time he had the schoolmaster lay on his abdomen! What occurred next truly astonished Ichabod.
The Headless Horseman gave his shoulders and back a soothing rubdown. After that, the bigger spirit once again caressed Ichabod’s hair with his fingers.
The newly dead ghost certainly didn’t expect such warm kindness from his ‘captor,’ but he gladly welcomed the sweet tenderness.
The schoolmaster smiled contently, and before long he dozed off peacefully. Upon noticing this, the horseman gave Ichabod an invisible kiss on the cheek!
Once again, the Headless Horseman’s ‘captive’ woke when night came. He immediately stood up and glanced around, searching for the other ghost.
Then as if on cue, a pair of footsteps began ascending the staircase and within seconds the Hessian was at Ichabod’s side.
The recently deceased soul asked “You didn’t give me that potion last night. How did I fall asleep again?”
Like before, the horseman placed his hand on Ichabod’s forehead.
The schoolmaster learned that the while the concoction’s effects would slowly cease over the next few weeks,
he would still at times fall into a slumber whenever he became content and delighted with the Hessian’s displays of affection,
as well as experience other physical traits associated with the living.
Next, Ichabod found out another startling revelation; the Headless Horseman found him attractive!
He had observed Ichabod riding and walking through the area several times and became smitten with him very quickly.
That fateful night when he chased the schoolmaster after the party at the Van Tassel farm, the Headless Horseman sensed Ichabod’s heartache and sadness.
He also sensed that Brom Bones and his gang were up to no good, to say the least.
At last, Ichabod understood everything.
The other ghost spirited him away to save him from further heartache and humiliation from which he’d never recover,
and to give him tender adoration he never would’ve truly experienced while alive. After the Headless Horseman lowered his hand, Ichabod smiled and threw his arms around the other ghost.
“No one, alive or dead has ever cared about me the way you do!”, he whispered.
The headless specter ‘smiled’ and stroked his back and shoulders. Then he scooped Ichabod up in his arms again and carried him downstairs.
Tonight, the Hessian ghost gave his horse a rest and led his fellow spirit through the hollow on his own feet.
They arrived at the brook and sat on a log while gazing at and listening to the running water. After a while, Ichabod began shivering.
The Headless Horseman immediately noticed, and draped part of his cape around him. The two ghosts snuggled together under the horseman’s cape, who stroked Ichabod’s arm.
In turn, the departed schoolmaster laid his head on the other spirit’s shoulder and ran his hand up and down the Hessian’s back. The deceased souls had a wonderful night together!
From that time on, Ichabod’s ghost freely wandered the surrounding area.
He often visited the schoolhouse where he’d sing and hum tunes like he did before during church and while giving lessons.
As a result, the schoolmaster was soon believed to haunt the vicinity along with the Headless Horseman.
Once the sun set beyond the horizon, Ichabod’s spirit instantly returned to the old church and graveyard, then he and the Headless Horseman took nightly rides together.
Ichabod Crane never would’ve imagined that he would become involved with another male in this way, and with a spook at that.
But he was happy, for the Galloping Hessian truly did give him more love and care than he could’ve ever expected from anyone while alive.
The ghostly lovers are still roaming Sleepy Hollow to this very day.