Sleepy Hollow

Question: When going to kill the Killians, how did the Horseman know that Thomas was hiding under the floor? Thomas stayed completely still and didn't make a sound.

Answer: It would seem the Horseman possesses a supernatural instinct.

Phaneron Premium member

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

Question: Why was The Headless Horseman ordered to kill the Killian family including their incredibly young son?

Answer: As revealed by Lady Van Tassel to Katrina during the film's climax, the midwife Mrs. Killian was abreast of the secrets regarding the affairs of Peter Van Garrett with the widow Winship, as well as their unborn child. Mrs. Killian revealed this secret to Lady Van Tassel right in front of Mr. Killian, which signed both of their death warrants. However, Lady Van Tassel most likely commanded the Headless Horseman to kill the Killians (as opposed to just saying Mr. & Mrs. Killian), to which the Horseman would instinctively murder their child too. It may have been an oversight on the part of Lady Van Tassel, as the child would undoubtedly be ignorant of affairs and the intricacies of legal matters regarding wills, but then again, she probably didn't care anyway.

Phaneron Premium member

Question: Why is it in one scene revealed that the headless horsemen is just a normal guy?That doesn't fit into the plot.

Answer: Try watching a bit more closely. The "guy" in question is Bron, Katrina's would-be suitor, who is pretending to be the headless horseman to make fun of Crane. They're playing a joke on him, nothing more than that.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: Why does Widow winship have a cut on her belly?

Answer: She was pregnant. The Horseman stabbed her in the belly to also kill her unborn child. This is why Magistrate Phillips tells Ichabod that there are 5 bodies in 4 graves and why Ichabod subsequently performs an autopsy on the widow's corpse.

Phaneron Premium member

Question: What would have been the legal status of Widow Winship's unborn baby if the Horseman hadn't killed her or the baby?

Answer: Van Garrett amended his will naming the widow Winship as his beneficiary, so had the child been born, she likely would have been the heir apparent of the widow.

Phaneron Premium member

But, what would the legal status of the baby be?

Legal as in what? If she's born on U.S. soil and her mother lives as well, then she's a protected citizen entitled to her father's name and whatever rights a female would have been granted by the U.S. Constitution at the time. If the mother dies, she presumably becomes a ward of the state until someone adopts her.

Phaneron Premium member

Not sure why I decreed the baby to be female as I don't think the film ever specified its gender, but the same basic things would apply to a male baby as well, possibly even more so since men had more rights back then.

Phaneron Premium member

Question: Who was the father of Widow Winship's child?

Answer: The father of the widow Winship's unborn child was Peter Van Garrett, the wealthy landowner who was the second victim of the horseman, killed in the field after jumping from the coach when he saw the headless body of his son, Dirk Van Garret atop the coach.

Question: In the movie's opening credits, Christopher Lee's name is one of the first mentioned, even though he is only in the movie for a minute. In fact, Ian McDiarmid has a bigger role, but his name is mentioned after Lee's. Why are credits arranged this way?

Answer: It has to do with how well-known the actor is, rather than the size of the role they play. Christopher Lee is a bigger star than Ian McDiarmid, and therefore he is listed higher on the marquee. It is not unusual for an actor to have it negotiated into their contract where their name will appear in the credits.

raywest Premium member

Question: I am very confused about the incentives for killing these people was, why these people in particular were killed, and in general what was going on.

Answer: The incentive is the ownership of the lands and property held initially by Peter van Garrett, the older man killed at the start of the film. Van Garrett and his son are killed first, then the widow Winship when it becomes apparent that van Garrett married her, making her a possible inheritor. Once Ichabod arrives in town to investigate, it becomes necessary to remove witnesses to these events, so that they can't give him clues to what's really going on. Jonathan Masbath is killed because he witnessed the marriage and the change of will - he would be able to testify to both. The midwife and her husband were also aware of the situation - due to the widow Winship's pregnancy - so they were eliminated as well (their son was merely in the wrong place at the wrong time). Magistrate Philipse was consulted by the widow regarding the legal status of her unborn child, plus he was actively trying to help Ichabod, so his elimination became necessary. Once the van Garretts were out of the way (plus any inconvenient witnesses), the land now belongs to the van Tassel family. Balthus van Tassel is killed first - Katrina is his first-named heir, with his wife as the second. With Katrina's removal, the wife, Mary, inherits. As she explains in the film, her reason for this is that her family originally lived on the land, only to be evicted. Acting as the van Tassel family nurse, she arranged the death of van Tassel's first wife, Katrina's mother, then seduced Balthus into marrying her, thus placing her in the line of succession - she then proceeds to use the Horseman to eliminate everyone above her in that line.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: What happened to Notary Hardenbrook? He just vanishes after the scene in the notary building where Ichabod finds the will, and there is no more mention of him in the film.

Answer: He hanged himself. It's mentioned in the kitchen scene where Baltus notices his wife's cut hand.

Grumpy Scot
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

Ichabod Crane: Villainy wears many masks, none so dangerous as the mask of virtue.

More quotes from Sleepy Hollow

Trivia: Christopher Walken doesn't speak a single word in the entire course of the movie.

Jazetopher
More trivia for Sleepy Hollow

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