FOX’s new series Sleepy Hollow is set to premiere on Monday, Sept. 16 and the residents of the town with the same name are hoping the that the new series won’t give the village a bad name. 

Some residents spoke out about the new series to

How Do Residents Feel About Sleepy Hollow?

“I am looking forward to seeing the show,” said Laura Smutek, who is the manager of the Horseman restaurant in Sleepy Hollow. Smutek checked out the trailer online several times and had an overall high opinion of it. “It is scary and it is funny. I laughed so hard.”

Maybe if Smutek likes it, other town residents will follow. Smutek’s restaurant has been in business since 1989 and is smack dab in the middle of Sleepy Hollow country. From her eatery, it’s just a short walk to the Old Dutch Church and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. The cemetery is where the author of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving, is buried. 

Inside Smutek’s restaurant are photographs of the bridge where the legendary headless horseman rode, silhouettes of the headless horseman (an image that also happens to be the local high school mascot), as well as various shots of Sleepy Hollow. It’s obvious from Smutek’s display that she’s a fan of the legend, and hopefully will be of the show as well. 

Sleepy Hollow to Feature Shots of Actual Town

Sleepy Hollow’s co-creator and supervising producer Phil Iscove also spoke about the upcoming series, saying that his version will involve ideas such as time travel and what kinds of evils there could be hiding in the dark woods around the town. He and the production team did extensive research on the town itself, as well as Irving’s story. They even went so far as to take aerial photographs of the village and to use live shots from the town for the show’s opening credits. 

“We want to do justice to the (village) of Sleepy Hollow,” Iscove said. 

Will Sleepy Hollow Boost Tourism?

As for the village officials of Sleepy Hollow, they’re hoping that the new series will bring a boost in tourism to the town. Using money from $60,000 state “I Love New York” grant, they produced a commercial to advertise the area as a fun tourist destination. Sadly, they were unable to place the ad during the airing of Sleepy Hollow, but the $23,000 price tag for a 30-second spot was too far out of their price range. 

“I think [the new show] is pretty cool for the village,” said Mayor Kenneth Wray. “It will promote the village and may make people think about us and want to see the real Sleepy Hollow.”

Village Historian Henry Steiner is on board with the show, too. “I don’t mind people doing a spinoff of ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’,” Steiner, a longtime local resident, said. “I don’t think Washington Irving would mind either. He might be entertained since his stories show he had a great sense of humor.”

As for Sara Mascia, who is the executive director of the Historical Society of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, she has decided to keep an open mind about the show and wait to see what happens when it airs. 

“It’s a great story and people can’t help but redo it,” Mascia said. “I feel protective over it, particularly since I work in the field of historic preservation. I do try not to encourage a fake. But you can certainly get inspired by this story, which resonates in many people’s lives. It just doesn’t get old and it transcends generations.”

Store owner Jacqueleen Golabek is also hopefully about the attention the show will bring to the town. 

 “Anything like this show that brings attention to the area and what makes us special is good for the business community. And we all take pride in the local history,” she said. 

How would you feel if you found out a network was making a TV show out of your town? Would you be as supportive as most seem to be of Sleepy Hollow?

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Image courtesy of FOX

Michelle Carlbert

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV