The Headless Horseman is the main antagonist in The Adventures Of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, specifically the Legend of Sleepy Hollow segment.
He was voiced by the late Billy Bletcher.
In the Disney Adaption of the story, the Headless Horseman is the ghost of a horseman who died in the woods after having been decapitated. According to the song sung by Brom Bones, the Horseman has been spurned by the other spirits and demons within the hollow and due to this the Horseman wants to obtain a new head,
Role in the film
Brom Bones musically tells this soldier's legend at a Halloween party in order to scare Ichabod Crane to the point where he sweats up a storm. Later that night, Ichabod comes face to faceless with the Horseman himself (while originally in the film it was just his imagination). After a spectacular chase scene, Ichabod, riding his old plowhorse, Gunpowder, crosses a bridge (that Brom said would render the Headless Horseman powerless), but looks back in terror to see the Headless Horseman toss his flaming Jack O'Lantern at the schoolmaster toward the screen. Ichabod tries to dodge the gruesome object, but too late. It hits him with a tremendous crash. The very next morning, Ichabod's hat is found, and very close to it, a shattered pumpkin. But there is no trace of the schoolmaster. It is shortly thereafter that Brom Bones leads a girl, Katrina Van Tassel, Baltus Van Tassel's daughter, who, Ichabod has a crush on to the altar. Now rumors have persisted, that Ichabod is still alive and married to a wealthy widow in a distant county and with many children, who look just like him, but, of course, the good settlers refuse to believe such nonsense, for they know that the schoolmaster has been spirited away by the Headless Horseman.
Comparison to Source Material
In the original story the Horseman was said to have been the ghost of a Hessian Soldier who was decapitated by a cannonball on the battle of White Plains in 1771, while in the film his exact backstory was never made clear. It is also strongly implied in the book that the horseman was completely fictitious and that Ichabod was chased by Brom Bones in disguise while in the film it's never made clear.
- There is a lot of debate upon whether or not the Headless Horseman is real. Some think he is, but most believe that Ichabod simply dreamed it, or that Brom Bones is the headless horseman in disguise.
- The Headless Horseman made an appearance in House Of Mouse. He was also in House Of Villains.