A great evil has descended upon the small village of Sleepy Hollow. Bodies are being found without their heads, and the locals believe that a creature known as the Headless Horseman is responsible, exacting revenge for its own untimely (albeit deserved) demise many years before. Sent to investigate is New York City constable Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp), who employs scientific method and educated deductions in his search for the killer. His only problem seems to be his penchant for fainting at the sight of blood.
Crane does not buy the local story of revenge, however, and follows the clues where they lead him. Usually, they lead to mysterious revelations regarding the well-bred Van Tassel family, especially young Katrina (Christina Ricci), and to further entanglements with the Horseman. The constable is determined, though, and he uncovers a conspiracy whose shadow looms over the most prominent figures in the town, the same people who are coincidentally ending up without heads.
The Headless Horseman is not the architect of evil, however, as the real villain behind this treachery is Lady Van Tassel (Miranda Richardson). In an attempt to steal the Van Tassel fortune - and exact a long-brewing revenge over the very family that shunned her own many years ago - she assembled a long list of victims to be killed, thereby allowing her to assume control of the Van Tassel family. The Horseman would provide the means, as well as a prime suspect for authorities. To do so, she would be able to control the dark rider utilizing the mystical powers of her long-forgotten sister, hidden deep in the woods.
Her mistake, however, was to think she could always control such a creature. Upon the discovery of the true villain, Crane managed to break the spell upon the Horseman, and with his head back where it belonged, the Hessian (Christopher Walken) would make Lady Van Tassel pay for her wicked deeds. All in all, the intense fear caused by the Horseman's various appearances around town were nearly as lethal as the raw physical power with which he operated. But finally, with the spell broken, the Horseman would be able to ride into the great beyond, and once and for all, he would go there intact.
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