Sleepy Hollow: 10 Enemies Scarier than the Headless Horseman When You're a Time-traveler from the 1700s

By Kaitlin Thomas

Jan 07, 2014

Can we be real for a second? I promise it'll just be a second. Sleepy Hollow is WHACK. It's got so much going on that it really shouldn't work, and I need notebooks and charts to keep all the complex mythology straight, but I wouldn't want it to be any other way. Sleepy Hollow is the Crazy Little Series That Could, and it provides me with so much happiness and laughter on a weekly basis that these past few weeks without new episodes have left me feeling distraught. SO distraught, in fact, that my Google search history may or may not include "how to make a golem" and "is Tom Mison single?" 

Thus, to help chase away the dreariness of a Sleepy Hollow-less existence—since the show still doesn't return until next week—I've painstakingly rounded up some of the scariest enemies Ichabod Crane and Abbie Mills have faced together since the series premiered. But if you think you're going to find the Sandman creature from "For the Triumph of Evil" or the scarecrow monster from "Sanctuary" in the list below, think again, because those don't even come close to the terrifying foes listed here.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the top 10 things that are scarier than the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, headless or otherwise... at least when you're a time-traveler from the 1700s.


10. Inaccurate American history


As a displaced history professor in the year 2013 (and now 2014), Ichabod was naturally very surly when he discovered that Americans have gotten lots of their own history wrong, from butchering Paul Revere's "The Regulars are coming!" to the meal that was served at the first Thanksgiving (no pie, and venison not turkey). I'd pay a great sum of money to watch Ichabod terrorize poor tour guides in museums across the country.


9. Showers


Mornings are hard for everyone, but they're especially rough on 200-year-old time travelers.


8. Voicemail


It's all fun and games until Ichabod gets really drunk and starts leaving horribly embarrassing messages for Abbie. But hey, at least they'd probably be charming.


7. Having to pay for water


"Were you charged a fee for that water? My God, it should be an inalienable right!" You're so right, Ichabod. Preach.


6. Plagiarism


Ichabod's poor heart was broken when he realized his idol, Thomas Jefferson, stole one of his quotes and passed it off as his own. I wonder where he stands on Shia LaBeouf.


5. Computers and the internet


"Leftenant! I've done something catastrophic!" The ongoing battle between Ichabod and technology is a dangerously beautiful thing.

Though to be fair, I too have printed several copies of something in fear that it will disappear. But I'm told by medical professionals this has something to do with anxiety and not simply misunderstanding technology or how computers work. And who hasn't suffered an embarrassing moment in which a sexy pop-up ad asks you to pony up some cash for a webcam show while you're basically at work? (J/K that has never once happened to anyone I know.)


4. Funhouse mirrors


What is this hellish torment indeed! Carnivals are creepy in their own right, but funhouses and the mirrors that call them home, are second only to clowns on the creep-o-matic scale. If you ask me, Ichabod's reaction to the mirror in "The Golem" was perfectly reasonable, if a little understated.


3. Abbie's car


Ichabod's voiceover that turned out to be a real phone call with Yolanda, the NorthStar Assistance woman, is probably one of Ichabod's finest moments to date. Thank goodness for Yolanda, otherwise Ichabod might have been trapped in Abbie's car without entertainment for hours.


2. Plastic


Don't feel bad, Ichabod—plastic has made all of us her bitch at one time or another. It's just something we've come to accept and live with, kind of like the Kardashians.


1. The donut tax


I think Ichabod spoke for all of us when he lamented how high sales tax can be, especially with regard to our favorite yummy treats, in Sleepy Hollow's second episode. And again when he declared that the public needed to flock to the streets in outrage. I don't know how much street-flocking I'm up for, because that sounds like a lot of effort, but if he wants to start a Change.org petition to lower the tax on pastry, I'll sign it.


What would make your list? And remember! Sleepy Hollow returns next Monday, January 13!


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  • marcusj1973 Jan 14, 2014

    One episode late, but I think we can all appreciate that skinny jeans on men are scary regardless of what century you're from

  • Tanis_Ketra Jan 12, 2014

    I personally love it whenever Ichabod takes issue with how the English language has changed. The conversation between Abbie and Ichabod about awful intercourse was hilarious.

    Abbie: So you're telling me that if I went on a date and said that we had awful intercourse, we'd be going on another date?
    Ichabod: Well, yes.

  • SFSK8rGrrl Jan 10, 2014

    Great list, Kaitlin, thanks!
    Hopefully, TPTB at Fox will grace SH fans a few handsful of crumbs between seasons. Otherwise, I'll be acquiring my SH fix from re-runs (sigh...) if only to listen to Ichabod's prose. Speaking of prose: Boost Mobile - and the massive grammatical destruction deposited in the wake of their "Where you at?" campaign - can suck it.
    BTW... "is Tom Mison single?"

  • michaelcwiak Jan 09, 2014

    I agree with many of the things on the list, but I have some exceptions.

    Many of the things on the list are based on advanced technology so he should be relatively perplexed by their assumed functionality. However, having been educated at Oxford, he should have at least a broad understanding of the ways in which ancient civilizations manipulated water sources in order to meet their health and sanitation needs. Indoor plumbing isn't much different than Roman aqueducts combined with a hidden well system. To say he would have trouble adjusting to such a phenomenon stretchs the imagination.

    Plagarism actually doesn't belong on the list either, since it actually coincides with his innacurate version of history peeve. The fact that it's a history he didn't forsee makes it personal but not actually distinct.

    Paying for water...that actually isn't what he should be upset about. The destruction of natural environments to the point where water needs to be sold, much less purified and made healthy, that would be a topic much closer to his heart. Looking at an ocean filled with debris, seeing massive landfills filled with the remains of a consumptive society on steroids, that would bring on an outrage much greater and visceral to his awareness.

    Funhouse mirrors also shouldn't be on the list, for the most part. The only exception could be that because Moloch and his minions use them as gateways, one could craft the mythology to make funhouse mirrors have supernatural properties that twists entities that pass through them. Thus, fighting a demon in a carnival, for example, could have greater tension because the twisted mirrors could be used as portals, thus requiring extra vigilance when fighting among them.

    As for the donut tax, I have to shoot that down as well. Let's not forget that Ichabod's understanding of taxation is starkly different than ours. Taxation then was a method of subjugation by a colonial power over its subjects without equal political access. Furthermore, we've fought three major wars and a number of extended conflicts since that time, all of which require revenue to help pay for. In addition, the role of government has expanded greatly as the society has changed. Ichabod never lived to see the Articles of Confederation or the drafting of the Constitution, major pieces of legislation that differ strongly in spirit from each other and also from the simple Declaration of Independence that he was aware of. It is not the % that he would be upset about so much as its usage. Medicare, Social Security, Food Stamps, paved roads, electric streetlights, all government controlled benefits that cost money (and much cheaper than private, free market providers would charge *cough* health care *cough* ) services his century did not have. A state run hospital of this day and age might fill him with moral outrage at its condition but its still dispensing better medical treatment than the average wealthy person received during his time.

  • threekittens Jan 08, 2014

    Ichabod speaking via the computer camera, to Thomas in "John Doe," was cute, especially with Abby's subtle assistance.

  • Winter1066 Jan 08, 2014

    May favorite was when he shot the gun once and threw it away. Abby asked where it was, he was amazed that it fired more than once!

  • thekaitling Jan 08, 2014

    That was originally on the list, but I decided to swap it out at the last minute!

  • Gislef Jan 08, 2014

    Funhouse mirrors and houses of mirrors have been around since Louis the XIV, and one was built in New Amsterdam in 1651. It's not clear if they were distorting mirrors, but since that technique goes back to the ancient Egyptians...

  • amelie88 Jan 08, 2014

    Love it. I just love it. Monday is not coming fast enough.

  • geekmalaya Jan 08, 2014

    Well, you'll have to wait till the show introduces Ichabod to facebook or instagram. Wonder how he'll whine about that.. :)

  • CaitlinRice Jan 08, 2014

    McDonald's. I mean, do we really believe that those nuggets are actually made of chicken breast??

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