Sleepy Hollow

Corrected entry: More than once the Headless Horseman ignores Ichabod Crane because he wasn't after him, however he kills the midwife's son just because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It doesn't make sense.

Correction: As we don't see the specific instruction, we don't know precisely what orders the Horseman had. However, as both Elizabeth Killian (the midwife) and her husband need to be eliminated, it's likely that the Horseman was simply told to take out the Killians, rather than referring to them by individual name - this instruction would include the child.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: The Headless Horseman died in 1779 when the two little girls (who were about 6) make noise to get him killed. The grown up little girl (Miranda Richardson) in 1799 is much older than 26. (01:26:05)

Correction: We have no idea how old the girls actually are - many short thin people look much younger than their true age. The girls could easily be at least 10.


Even if she was 10, that would only make Lady Van Tassel 30. The mistake is saying she looks over 40, since the actress was 41 at the time of the film.


Correction: We have no idea of Katrina's stepmother's age. It was very common for an older gentleman to marry a much younger woman at that point in history.

Mary Archer, who is known as Lady Van Tassel and is Katrina's step mom, was a little girl (around 6 according to the mistake entry) when her dad died. 18 years later, she becomes nurse to Elizabeth and 2 years after that, she marries Baltus, putting her at around 26. It should be noted, the mistake is saying Mary looks over 40 (since the actress was 41 at the time of the film).


Corrected entry: When Johnny Depp is axing the Headless Horseman's tree, he is covered in blood. The camera pans to the boy and Christina Ricci, and then back to Johnny Depp, and he is magically clean again.

Correction: There's never a shot of Crane "magically" clean. When the camera first changes to the children and back, you can see the same about of the tree's blood. There is a shot where he's not covered in as much blood when the camera goes to the children and back, when he has removed some limbs, but he's off camera and could easily wiped some blood off his face, so he could see better.


Corrected entry: The Stepmother shoots Ichabod, and a couple of scenes later we find out (surprise, surprise) that he is still alive. However, he shows no signs of pain and is able to struggle and fight with the stepmother perfectly well. There is never again any indication that he has ever been shot.

Correction: The bullet lodged in the book that Katrina gave him, so, while the force of the impact knocked him to the ground, he was never actually wounded. So, basically, there's never any indication that he was shot because, he wasn't.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: Near the beginning Ichabod claims 'the millennium is almost upon us' - yet it's only 1799, 200 years early.

Chimera Premium member

Correction: Ichabod wanted his statement to be as dramatic as powerful, and chose to point to the millennium change instead to the much closer centennial change, to emphasize his point about adopting modern methods. Also, "almost" is a very relative term. From our point of view (living in a fast-paced world) 200 years is a long time, but when looking at the entire history of the human race, 200 years is a trifle.


Corrected entry: When Braum and Ichabod come across the headless horseman near the bridge together, the horseman stabs Ichabod in his shoulder and uses it to lift and throw him a good distance away. Even if the sword went all the way through Ichabod, he is still too heavy to be flipped over like that. The sword which is sharp enough to cut off heads with ease should have gone right through him and split his shoulder in two.

Correction: When Ichabod was stabbed with the sword, the horseman drove it into him on a straight angle like this [- -] with the sharp edges on the left and right not like this [|] with the sharp edges up and down meaning that it was possible for the horseman to use it to flip Ichabod over his shoulder.


Corrected entry: The map and the scenes of the town show that Sleepy Hollow is on the east bank of the Hudson River, the same as New York City. However, when Johnny Depp is shown going between New York and Sleepy Hollow, he follows a route on the west bank of the river. (00:07:20)

Correction: The road could easily have crossed the river several times during the trip, as Sleepy Hollow appears to be some distance from New York.


Corrected entry: Daredevil is expressed as the name of the Horseman's horse, but in the actual Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Irving Washington Daredevil is the name of Brom van Brunt (Brom Bones) horse.

Correction: This is a discrepancy between the book and the film, not a film mistake. There are too many others to mention - apart from the title and one or two character names, this film bears no resemblance to the Irving Washington story at all.


Corrected entry: This film is set in 1799, but the kind of optical effect that Ichabod Crane used with the cardinal in the cage, the thaumatrope, was invented in 1825.

Dr Wilson

Correction: It was OFFICIALLY invented in 1825. Apparently Ichabod's mother invented it, but they never patented it or showed it around much, so it did not become known to the public.


Corrected entry: In the starting scene when Peter van Garret (Martin Landau) sees the scarecrow from the carriage window, a lot of time passes until he's jumping out of the carriage (about two minutes).When he flies through the maize-field, he reaches the scarecrow in a few seconds. I don't think that an old man is faster than four horses. (00:03:10)

Correction: In such large fields its more than likely the farmer has more than 1 scarecrow.


Corrected entry: Katrina's mother-in-law used the Horseman to kill everyone to get her revenge and then inherit everything. The problem lies in the fact that she had faked her own death. How could she return after everyone else was dead to claim the inheritance, without causing suspicion? Last I checked, returning from the grave would cause more than a few raised eyebrows.

Correction: Revenge being the main issue she may not have thought that far. Even if she did there's always inherit, disguise, liquidate, and move to a big city.


Corrected entry: When Johnny takes his pet cardinal out and releases it, it is obviously a made up Java Rice Sparrow (a common cage bird) and not a cardinal. (00:07:00)

Correction: It is never claimed that the bird is a cardinal and not a cage bird.


Corrected entry: At the church scene, the horsemen spears Christina Ricci's dad with a pole, it is a pretty smooth pole that has nothing to catch on to the body, so that when he tugs on it that fast, the man wouldn't have come with it, it would have just slipped out. (01:17:45)

Correction: Gross as it is, the pole would have stayed due to suction and tissue trauma swelling. That's why first aid teaches you never to remove something that impales a person, but to leave it for a doctor.

Grumpy Scot

Corrected entry: When Ichabod is riding his horse at night, and the "horseman" rides after him with the pumpkin, you can see that the pumpkin is not lit, and even if it was, it would have been blown out by the speed of the horse. Then, right before the horseman throws it, it is fully lit and catches leaves on fire. (00:30:55)

Correction: The pumpkin is lit the whole time. It's just harder to tell when it's in the distance.


Corrected entry: In the windmill scene, the lantern was dropped in an abandoned windmill. What could've caused the whole windmill to explode? Don't tell me that the sacks they moved are full of gunpowder.

Correction: Actually, flour can, and often does, explode. As recently as 1979 a huge industrial mill in Germany blew up due to a dust explosion.


Corrected entry: When Ichabod Crane cuts into the stomach of the dead pregnant widow, you see a fountain of blood spurt out and gush all over him. If the body has been dead a week or more, this wouldn't happen, as the heart needs to be pumping blood round the body for this to occur. (00:29:20)

Correction: The body would have decomposed and bloated by that time, putting the body cavity under some pressure. The first cut could spray Ichabod with some gore. Disgusting, but accurate.

Grumpy Scot

Corrected entry: When Lady Van Tassel has been revealed as the one controlling the Horseman, she explains to Katrina that she killed the servant girl to fake her own death and then later goes on to explain that now she had to Kill Katrina because only then would she get her revenge and inherit everything from the Van Tassel family fortune. But, if Lady Van Tassel is already presumed dead, how can she inherit anything, without it exposing her as the culprit?


Correction: She presumably expects that she could talk her way out of it. For example, she could claim that the servant girl was dishonest, stole one of her dresses and was then killed by the Horseman who mistook her for Lady Van Tassel because she was wearing the dress. She could claim that she took refuge elsewhere out of fear for her life, only returning once the killings stopped. With nobody to dispute her claims, she would likely get away with it and be able to claim the fortune.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: Ichabod figures out that the headless body thought to be of Lady Van Tassel couldn't be her because the cut on the hand showed "No bloodflow, no clotting, no healing... When this cut was made...this woman was already dead". Yet in Lady Van Tassel's flashback of her decapitating Sarah and cutting her hand there is an unforgettably orangish stream of blood coming out of the dead girl's wound. This image clashes with his observation.

Correction: Of course blood would leave the wound, because the blood was already there in the veins. However, the heart would no longer be beating in the girl, which would stop the bloodflow from continuing, and eventually clotting and partially healing, like the hand of Lady Van Tassel.

When somebody dies, all of the blood in the body quickly coagulates.

Lady Van Tassel cut the hand of the servant girl immediately after death. It would not have had time to coagulate.

Blood does not coagulate in the body after death, it seperates into plasma and bloodcells, gravity then sinks it. Coagulation is an active process. "Dead" blood does not coagulate.


Corrected entry: In the starting scene when Peter van Garret (Martin Landau) sees the scarecrow from the carriage window he is looking out of the left side of the carriage, but the shot of the scarecrow is as if he is looking out of the right. (00:02:20)

Correction: He looked out to the viewers' left; his right.

Corrected entry: When we first see Ichabod's mother, she is drawing markings in the sand. Look at the stick she is using. When later in the movie we watch Katrina draw the same kind of markings, she is drawing with the same stick as Ichabod's mother

Correction: Of course she is using a stick that looks the same, to underline the connection between the magic of his mother and Katrina.

Sleepy Hollow mistake picture

Continuity mistake: In the flashback to the death of the headless horseman, when the horseman's steed gets shot and falls to the ground, the blood and the wound are on the right side of the horse...later in the scene when the horse is seen again, the wound is on the left side of the horse. (00:16:45)

More mistakes in Sleepy Hollow

Brom Van Brunt: We haven't heard your name yet, friend.
Ichabod Crane: I have not said it.

More quotes from Sleepy Hollow

Trivia: When Crane starts chopping the Tree of the Dead and he gets blood in his face, this was a joke from the directors as they knew he wasn't expecting the blood. You can see the look of surprise on his face. It was well-known among the cast and crew that Johnny Depp (who played Crane) hated anything being sprayed in his face.

More trivia for Sleepy Hollow

Question: Why did Van Garret want to keep his marriage to Widow Winship a secret?

Answer: It may have been because she was a widow. I'm not sure, but it was possibly frowned upon at the time.

Sierra1 Premium member

The widow was pregnant with Van Garett's child.

More questions & answers from Sleepy Hollow

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.