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Memories of the Headless Horseman, Anaheim-Style

Washington Irving’s 1820 tale of a headless horseman terrorizing the village of Sleepy Hallow is considered one of America’s first ghost stories.  The History Channel’s Elizabeth Bradley theorizes Irving’s likely source of inspiration is a translation of the German poem The Wild Hunstman by Gottfried Burger.  It’s no wonder then that Anaheim’s Germanic Colonists would consider the story ample fodder for mining Halloween gold.

The Headless Horseman has made several appearances in the Anaheim Halloween Parade throughout the years.  Shown here as a charming paper-mache and metal pipe art sculpture in La Palma Park Stadium, 1949:

Image courtesy Anaheim Public Library Archives

In 2015, the Horseman was presented “live action” as seen in the staging area for the parade at Broadway and Manchester:

Photo courtesy of Holly Unruh

And here, accompanied by the Anaheim Police Department’s Mounted Unit at staging for the 93rd annual Anaheim Halloween Parade in 2017:

Photo by Anaheim Halloween Parade

Whenever the Horseman rides down the streets of Downtown Anaheim,

you know the Anaheim Halloween Parade isn’t far behind.

© 2020, The Anaheim Fall Festival & Halloween Parade is a Registered 501(c)3 Non-Profit

Text: With Generous Support From, Image: Yellow Down Arrow Text: Big Thanks, Image: Yellow Down Arrow
  • Anaheim Historical Society