The man who became the Headless Horseman was a Hessian mercenary hired by the British Army in 1776 in order to assist British soldiers in the Revolutionary War. Among the 548 Hessian mercenaries who lost their lives in that war, he was killed in battle near Sleepy Hollow, New York when his head was blown off by a cannonball. According to later local legend, the Horseman returned in spirit form to take the heads of the living. Ichabod Crane ignores the warnings of danger from the legendary Horseman and later meets an unknown fate at the hands of the horseman. Although Crane's rival Brom Bones may have been masquerading as the Horseman, it is not explicitly determined whether Crane encounters the actual Horseman or Brom Bones.
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