If you’re on the prowl – like we were – for some Halloween tourists to talk to, you can’t do better than the grounds of the .
Come here any given day and time this October and you were bound to meet at least a few folks wandering the graves, especially now that there's nothing else going on in town. With all likelihood, they travel far for this experience and have an often impressive knowledge of our local yore.
In this Halloween-edition of Faces and Places, we present three sets of people in the graveyard on a late weekday afternoon before the storm set in, looking for Washington Irving’s (sometimes elusive) grave, deciphering worn stones, peering through the windows of the tiny trademark church, and thrilled to be in Sleepy Hollow.
1. There were three guys, all almost all identical looking, same height, same sort of trendy-casual, dark-clothes look. Two of them were actually identical twins, born and raised here, but now residing in LA, Calif. And they were showing their fellow Los Angelian friend around town to all the “hotspots”:
Nelso Lesmo, LA: “We showed him where GM used to be, we pointed out Van Tassel buildings – we always reference the movie in our tour. We used to swim in this brook here as kids; so many aspects are still untouched by time.”
Simon Lesmo, LA: “We all live in LA now, but we try to come out twice a year and visit our folks and friends. It’s the perfect time to come to this area. We didn’t have all this [Halloween events] when we were little.”
Nelson Lesmo, LA: “As a kid I used to be terrified in this cemetery. We’d visit our grandparents’ grave here and wait for the zombies to come out.”
Rick Gutierrez, LA: “It’s very cool here. Very nice.”
2. Three ladies, all in a row, not at all identical. Two though were also from California. One hails from Dobbs Ferry. Two had grown up in New York.
Karin Klein, Laguna Beach, CA: “We just came from the , and the tour was dominated by Californians. I grew up in Yonkers, and was a big Washington Irving fan. I’ve done a few visits here [to the cemetery] and some olders guys hanging around told us the lore and showed us unmarked graves. It’s a great place to visit, but we’re here more for the leaves than for anything Halloweeny. It’s too beautiful here to be creepy.”
Fran Smith, Dobbs Ferry: “We have to come on a rainy night.”
Mary Taugher, SF, California, the non-native NYer: “I love to see the stonework. There isn’t this sense of time in California, this sense of history.”
3. Finally, there’s the married couple from Venezuela, Marisol and Calixto Cifuentes, also strangely familiar with Washington Irving.
Calixto Cifuentes, Venezuela: “We are just here for a day. Actually of course the story ['Legend of Sleepy Hollow'] brought us here. We read it in school of course. Do you know where the bridge is?”
Oh, just over there, of course.