Sleepy Hollow (1999)

From Television and Film Character Encyclopedia

Inspector Crane is sent to a small village to investigate a series of beheadings.


Horror, Supernatural


Ichabod Crane - Johnny Depp

Katrina Van Tassel - Christina Ricci

Lady Van Tassel - Miranda Richardson

Baltus Van Tassel - Michael Gambon

Brom Van Brunt - Casper Van Dien

Reverend Steenwyck - Jeffrey Jones

Magistrate Philipse - Richard Griffiths

Doctor Lancaster - Ian McDiarmid

Notary Hardenbrook - Michael Gough

Hessian Horseman - Christopher Walken

Young Masbath - Marc Pickering

Lady Crane - Lisa Marie

Killian - Steven Waddington

Beth Killian - Claire Skinner

Burgomaster - Christopher Lee

High Constable - Alun Armstrong

Crone - Miranda Richardson

Jonathan Masbath - Mark Spalding

Sarah - Jessica Oyelowo

Van Ripper - Tony Maudsley

Lord Crane - Peter Guinness

Glenn - Nicholas Hewetson

Theodore - Orlando Seale

Thomas Killian - Sean Stephens

Doctor Lancaster's Wife - Gabrielle Lloyd

Dirk Van Garrett - Robert Sella

Spotty Man - Michael Feast

Thuggish Constable - Jamie Foreman

Constable One - Philip Martin Brown

Young Ichabod - Sam Fior

Young Lady Van Tassel - Tessa Allen-Ridge

Young Crone - Cassandra Farndale

Girl 2 - Lily Phillips

Little Girl - Bianca Nicholas

Rifleman - Paul Brightwell

Peter Van Garrett - Martin Landau



Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis

Peter Van Garrett writes and signs his last will and testament which is witnessed by Jonathan Masbath. As Peter is traveling in his carriage, driven by Dirk Van Garrett, a horse quickly rides by. He hears the sound of a sword being unsheathed and looks outside his carriage window and sees Dirk, now headless. Peter jumps out of the carriage and into a corn field where he too has his head cut off.

In New York City in 1799, Ichabod Crane rings a bell for help. He then tells two deputies of a body he found in the river. Thuggish Constable and another constable bring the body on a cart and the High Constable tells them to burn the body. Crane thinks they should do an autopsy, but the High Constable thinks doing an autopsy would be barbaric. Constable One brings in someone arrested for burglary, and the burglar is thrown in the pit. At the trial of Spotty Man, Crane criticizes the way the courts treat evidence and prisoners in front of the High Constable and Burgomaster. The Burgomaster threatens to throw Crane into jail, but instead orders Crane to investigate a series of murders in the town of Sleepy Hollow. Crane releases his pet cardinal and then takes a carriage to Sleepy Hollow.

While on his journey, Crane reads notes about the victims and looks at a series of small scars he has on his hand. He arrives in town and sees Young Masbath saying goodbye to Jonathan as Jonathan prepares to start his shift on night watch duty. He makes his way to the Van Tassel home and sees a couple kissing outside. He is grabbed by Katrina Van Tassel, who is wearing a blindfold, and kissed, which angers a jealous Brom Van Brunt. He tells her he is looking for Baltus Van Tassel and Brom gets upset when Crane ignores his request to state who he is. Baltus walks into the room with Lady Van Tassel and Crane presents his credentials to Baltus. After Crane is given a room in Baltus' home, Baltus stares at Magistrate Philipse who then turns to look at Doctor Lancaster and Doctor Lancaster's Wife. Crane tells Sarah to tell Baltus he will be back downstairs in a moment and Sarah tells him she is glad he is there. Crane is introduced by Baltus to Doctor Lancaster, Reverend Steenwyck, Philipse, and Notary Hardenbrook. Crane goes over the list of the dead, including Widow Winship and Steenwyck tells him the heads of the deceased were never found. Hardenbrook tells Crane their heads were taken by the Headless Horseman and Baltus relays the background of the Hessian Horseman. The Hessian Horseman was a Hessian mercenary sent to fight against the American revolutionaries. While trying to escape, his horse Daredevil was shot and while escaping he came across Young Lady Van Tassel and Young Crone who were gathering wood. The Hessian tells them to be quiet, and Young Lady Van Tassel breaks a stick she is carrying, alerting the revolutionaries who cut off the Hessian's head with his own sword. Steenwyck tells Crane the only thing he should read is the Bible and when Crane opens it, he finds a Van Tassel family tree inside.

While on watch duty, Jonathan sees something which makes him leave the safety of his post and run in the woods. He is chased down and has his head cut off by the Horseman. The next day, Crane purchases Gunpowder from Killian as Beth Killian says goodbye to a patient and then tells Thomas Killian to come inside. A horsemen shouts that the Headless Horsemen has killed again and at the site of the body, Baltus tells Theodore to get a cart to carry away the body while Doctor Lancaster, Steenwyck, Philipse, Brom, Glenn, Rifleman and Van Ripper stand nearby. Crane and Killian arrive and Crane uses scientific techniques to figure out how the Horseman killed Jonathan. After Jonathan's funeral, Young Masbath walks up and offers to work for Crane, but Crane tells him he cannot accept his services. Philipse tells Crane that there were actually five victims, but in four graves and Crane hires on Young Masbath. In the morning they dig up the dead killed by the Horseman and Crane finds a stab wound in the Widow Winship's belly. He does an autopsy and finds she was pregnant. While Crane is riding to the Van Tassel home, he is chased by someone who seemingly has no head and who throws a flaming pumpkin at him. The rider gallops away and Brom reveals himself to be the rider and laughs with Glenn and another friend. Crane remembers his childhood and giving flowers to Lady Crane. He remembers how Lady Crane showed him witchcraft and he remembers Lord Crane. His memories continue to how Lady Crane showed him a thaumatrope to calm him down during a storm. Crane finds Katrina reading a book which she then hides and tells him about the death of her mother and the history of her family. She offers him a magic book, and he initially refuses to take it.

They ride to the Van Tassel's original home and Crane shows Katrina the thaumatrope his mother used to show him. In the evening, Crane catches Steenwyck, Doctor Lancaster, Hardenbrook and Philipse arguing. He confronts Philipse who admits the Widow Winship told him she was pregnant and by whom. As they are talking, the Horseman rides up and chops off Philipse's head and then takes it. Back at the Van Tassel home and after relating what he saw to Katrina and Baltus, Crane faints. He remembers more of his childhood including more of Lady Crane's magic and then when Lord Crane found out she was a witch. He walks out of his room and invites Baltus and the other village elders to come with him to find the Horseman's grave, but only Young Masbath will go with him. As they are riding, Young Masbath tells Crane, Jonathan worked for the Van Garrett's and they lived on their property and he heard Peter and Dirk fighting a few nights before their deaths. They find a cave in the woods and speak to the Crone in the cave, who tells Crane where he can find the grave of the Horseman. They come across Katrina who joins them. Young Masbath finds a large tree in the woods and as Crane hacks at its root ball with a hatchet, blood starts to squirt on him. He pulls back a piece of the tree and they find the heads of the victims inside. Crane finds the Horseman's sword embedded in the tree and they dig at the base of the tree and find a skeleton without a head. The Horseman rears out of the open tree wound and rides away.

Crane jumps onto Gunpowder and chases after the Horseman. Brom is with Theodore and Glenn and tells them to split up and search different areas. Thomas lights a lantern in his home and Beth chastises Killian for picking his teeth with a knife. The Horseman breaks into the house and attacks Killian, killing him by cutting off his head. He then attacks Beth and cuts her head off, before hunting down Thomas and cutting his head off. Brom hears Thomas scream and runs to Killian's house. He sees the Horseman leaving with a sack of heads and shoots him, knocking the Horseman off of his horse. Brom attacks the Horseman who fights back but also continues on his way. Crane helps Brom attack the Horseman and convinces Brom to retreat. As they are crossing a bridge, the Horseman attacks them and stabs Crane in the upper chest and cuts Brom in half. Crane wakes up to Doctor Lancaster looking over his wound and Baltus looking over him. Katrina prepares a potion for Crane and he tells them the Horseman's victims are not random, but chosen. Crane dreams of Lord Crane who transforms into the Horseman, walking out of a room. Crane enters the room and finds Lady Crane in an iron maiden which causes him to jump, causing the scars on Crane's hands when he puts them on spikes. He wakes up and tells Katrina what happened to Lady Crane. Crane wakes up to Lady Van Tassel looking over him and she tells him Sarah is missing. Crane writes the names of residents on pieces of paper in order to figure out what connects them. He looks at the Van Tassel family tree again and then heads over to Hardenbrook's with Young Masbath.

Crane finds Hardenbrook trying to hide and demands to see Peter Van Garrett's will. Young Masbath finds Jonathan's satchel with a will inside. The will is from Peter, which names Emily Winship as his inheritor along with a marriage certificate. Crane then figures out the connections between the murdered and the four town elders. Crane and Young Masbath return to the Van Tassel home and find Katrina in Crane's room reading his journal. After Katrina leaves, Crane sees a spider go under his bed and orders Young Masbath to move it, revealing a pentagram drawn in chalk. At night, they follow a cloaked figure who walks out of the house. Crane then catches Lady Van Tassel having sex with Steenwyck. He returns to the house and finds the will and marriage license gone and then finds Katrina at her first home, burning them in the fire place. Katrina curses the day Crane arrived in Sleepy Hollow and rides away. Crane returns to the house and Lady Van Tassel tells him Katrina wont see him and that she knows he saw her in the woods. Baltus walks into the room and tells them Hardenbrook hung himself. Before a meeting at the church, Baltus runs to the church and tells Katrina, the Horseman killed Lady Van Tassel. The Horseman circles the church but cannot enter. Theodore and others shoot at the Horseman, but to no effect. As Doctor Lancaster begins to admit to Baltus, he and the others betrayed him, Steenwyck hits him in the forehead with a cross, killing him and Baltus shoots Steenwyck dead. The Horseman ties a rope to a broken fence post and throws it into a window, impaling Baltus, who he then drags out of the church and cuts off his head.

Crane looks down and sees a pentagram like the one under his bed and thinks Katrina was the one to bring the Horseman to life. Crane says goodbye to Young Masbath and takes a carriage out of town driven by Van Ripper. He opens the book Katrina gave him and sees the pentagram she drew was for protection of a loved one. He goes to the morgue and discovers the body of Lady Van Tassel is not really hers. Lady Van Tassel kidnaps Katrina and brings her to the windmill and calls forth the Horseman. She admits to Katrina that she killed Sarah and tells Katrina of her family's background and being evicted from her home by Peter Van Garrett after her father died. She goes over all those she murdered or had murdered including the Crone. Young Masbath runs and grabs Katrina and they run to Crane who then brings them back into the windmill and he tries to board the door. They escape to the roof of the windmill as the Horseman chases them and Crane sets the contents of the mill on fire. They then run away from the windmill, which explodes, but fail to kill the Horseman. They take Van Ripper's carriage and ride away. The Horseman rides after them and they eventually arrive at his burial place. Lady Van Tassel shoots Crane and then grabs Katrina by the hair. Crane sees the bag holding the Horesman's skull and takes it from Lady Van Tassel with the help of Young Masbath and offers it to the Horseman. The Horseman puts his skull back on and then grabs Lady Van Tassel and drags her spirit to hell with him after giving her a bloody kiss. Crane, Katrina and Young Masbath then travel to their new home in New York City.