Washington Irving

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

Rip Van Winkle and the American Phantasy

The ghosts that haunt the lonely corners of the globe have ever managed to play an uncanny and incalculable role in the rolling course of the world, and might even be considered the goblin guides of human history. Whether by visions or voices from the grave, the disembodied beings beloved by lore are a presence [...]

The Spectre Bridegroom and the Immortal Love for Ghost Stories

It was a dark and stormy night… Besides “Once upon a time,” this storytelling opening has no equal. Is there any region of fiction so hoary and so hallowed as the Ghost Story? The reasons for this are wholly mysterious but hardly strange. Is there anything that can make one more at home than the [...]

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

Be warned. As you read this, the demons are grinding the glorious creatures of folklore into distorted glorifications of the grotesque. Traditional ghosts and conventional goblins are banished—they are too suggestive of a world opposed to a world that has banished Christ. Abolished are depictions of spirits that inspire healthy mindsets with healthy goose bumps. [...]

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