The Legend of Sleepy Hollow


The immediate cause, however, of the prevalence of supernatural stories in these parts, was doubtless owing to the vicinity of Sleepy Hollow. There was a contagion in the s very air that blew from that haunted region; it breathed forth an atmosphere of dreams and fancies infecting all the land. Several of the Sleepy Hollow people were present at Van Tassel’s, and, as usual, were doling out their wild and wonderful legends. Many dismal tales were told about funeral trains, and mourning cries and wailings heard and seen about the great tree where the unfortunate Major Andre was taken, and which stood in the neighborhood. Some mention was made also of the woman in white, that haunted the dark glen Raven Rock, and was often heard to shriek on winter nights before a storm, having perished there in the snow. The chief part of the stories, however, turned upon the . favorite spectre of Sleepy Hollow,.the headless horseman, who had been heard several times of late, patrolling the country, and who, it was said, tethered the horse nightly among the graves in the churchyard.

-Excerpted from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving

  1. What is the narrator’s purpose in the introductory sentence of this passage?
  • to explain a process
  • to contrast different settings
  • to state a cause-and-effect relationship
  • to classify types of stories
  • to compare fiction with nonfiction
  1. How could the atmosphere of Sleepy Hollow best be described?
  • wild and wonderful
  • dreamlike and fanciful
  • mournful and dismal
  • infected and contagious
  • unfortunate and horror-stricken
  1. What can you conclude about the residents of Sleepy Hollow? They are
  • terrified
  • uneducated
  • hysterical
  • diseased
  • superstitious
  1. What was the favorite story recounted at Van Tassel’s? The story about
  • the woman in white
  • the funeral trains
  • the headless horseman
  • the haunted rock
  • Major Andre
  1. What kind of TV program do you think the residents of Sleepy Hollow would have found most interesting?
  • a soap opera
  • a science fiction show
  • a documentary
  • a music video
  • a game show
  1. Major John Andre was a British spy who was hanged by .American forces during the American Revolution. What does this information provide to the story?
  • It adds to the historical atmosphere.
  • It makes the story realistic.
  • It supports the supernatural mood.
  • It helps to characterize the residents.
  • It attempts to name the headless horseman.