Sleepy Hollow (1999) Movie Script

Help here!
Lend a hand! Anyone!
- Constable Crane? Is that you?
- None other.
Not only me. I found something
which was lately a man.
- Burn it.
- Yes, sir.
- We do not know the cause of death.
- If found in the river, it is drowning.
We might determine whether he was
dead before he went into the river.
- I will need to examine the body.
- Cut him up? Are we heathens?
- What happened to him?
- Arrested for burglary.
Good work.
The millennium is almost upon us.
In a few months, we will be living
in the 19th century.
Yet our courts rely
on medieval methods of torture.
- Stand down.
- I stand up, for sense and justice.
Ourjails overflow with men convicted
on confessions worth no more...
Constable Crane! This is a song we
have heard from you more than once.
There are two courses open to me.
First, I can let you cool your heels
in the cells, -
- until you learn respect
for the dignity of my office...
Why am I the only one who sees
that to solve crimes, detect the guilty, -
- we must use our brains to find clues,
using up-to-date scientific techniques?
Which brings me to the second course.
There is a town upstate, two days
to the north, in the Hudson Highlands.
It is a place called Sleepy Hollow.
- Have you heard of it?
- I have not.
An isolated farming community,
mainly Dutch.
Three persons have been murdered,
all within a fortnight.
Each one found
with the head lopped off.
Clean as dandelion heads, apparently.
You will take your experimentations
to Sleepy Hollow, -
- and there you will detect
the murderer.
Bring him here to face our good justice.
- Will you do this?
- I shall.
it is you, Ichabod Crane, -
- who is now put to the test.
The pickety witch, the pickety witch,
who's going to kiss the pickety witch?
- Is it Theodore?
- I am only a stranger.
Then have a kiss on account.
I am looking for Baltus Van Tassel.
I am his daughter, Katrina.
- We have not heard your name yet.
- I have not said it. Excuse me.
- You need some manners!
- Brom, we'll have no raised voices.
It is to raise spirits in this dark time
that I and my wife are giving this party.
You are welcome,
even if you are selling something.
Constable Ichabod Crane, sent from
New York to investigate the murders.
Then Sleepy Hollow is grateful to you.
We hope you will honour us
by remaining in this house.
Come sir, we'll get you settled.
Play on!
Excuse me.
Thank you. Please tell Mr Van Tassel
I will be down in a moment.
I will, sir.
Thank God you're here.
Ah, excellent, come in.
Leave us, my dear.
We are joined by Dr Thomas Lancaster,
Reverend Steenwyck, -
- our able magistrate Samuel Philipse, -
- and lastly, this fine fellow
is James Hardenbrook, our notary.
- And you, sir?
- A simple farmer who has prospered.
The town looks to me
as friend and counsel.
And landlord and banker.
Can we proceed?
So, three persons murdered...
First, Peter Van Garrett...
...and his son, Dirk Van Garrett.
Both of them strong, capable men, -
- found together... decapitated.
One week later, the Widow Winship.
Also decapitated.
Now, I will need
to ask you many questions, -
- but first let me ask,
is anyone suspected?
How much have your superiors
explained to you?
Only that the three were slain
in open ground, -
- their heads found severed
from their bodies.
Their heads were not found severed.
Their heads were not found at all.
- The heads are gone?
- Taken.
Taken by the Headless Horseman.
Taken back to hell.
- Pardon, I don't...
- Perhaps you had better sit down.
The Horseman
was a Hessian mercenary, -
- sent by German princes to keep
Americans under the yoke of England.
But unlike his compatriots,
who came for money, -
- the Horseman came
for love of carnage.
When battle was joined,
there you'd find him.
He rode a giant black steed
named Daredevil.
He rode hard into battle,
chopping off heads at full gallop.
He had filed his teeth
"down to sharp points," -
- "to add to the ferocity"
of his appearance.
This butcher didn't finally reach
his end until the winter of '79.
Not far from here,
in our western woods.
They chopped off his head with
his own sword. Even today the woods -
- is a haunted place,
where brave men will not venture.
For what was planted in the ground
"that day"-
- was a seed of evil.
And so it has been for 20 years.
But now the Hessian wakes,
cutting off heads where he finds them.
Are you saying...
Is that what you believe?
Seeing is believing.
They tell me you've brought books
of scientific investigation.
This is the only book
I recommend you read.
Reverend Steenwyck, gentlemen...
Murder needs no ghost
to come from the grave.
We have murders in New York
without benefit of ghouls and goblins.
You're far from New York.
The assassin is a man of
flesh and blood, and I will discover him.
Come out, devil.
- His name's Gunpowder.
- He should do just fine. Thank you.
Good luck, sir. You need any help,
you call my name.
Don't you worry about a thing.
Everything will be just fine.
Thomas, inside!
Run along for breakfast. Kiss your
mother once for you and twice for me.
Murder! The Horseman's killed again!
All right, Gunpowder, we're off.
No, no, the other way.
Good horse.
Mr Miller, ride back for the coffin-cart.
The rest of you, keep a sharp lookout.
It's all right. I'm here now.
The fourth victim, Jonathan Masbath.
I see. And the head...?
- Taken.
- Taken...
- Interesting. Very interesting.
- What is?
In cases like this, the head is removed
to prevent identification of the body.
- But we know this was Masbath.
- Precisely. So why was it removed?
- Why?
- Right.
You have moved the body?
You must never move the body.
- Why not?
- Because.
The stride is gigantic!
The attacker rode Masbath down.
Turned his horse.
Came back to claim the head.
There's a chemical reaction.
It shows it was a powerful
singular thrust to the neck.
- Interesting.
- What is it?
The wound was cauterised,
as though the blade were red-hot.
And yet, no blistering,
no scorched flesh.
The Devil's fire.
"Be vigilant", as it sayeth in the
Book of Peter, chapter five, verse eight.
"Because your adversary, the Devil,
as a roaring lion, walketh about, -
- seeking whom he may devour."
God rest, Jonathan Masbath.
- Mr Constable, sir.
- You're young Masbath.
I was young Masbath,
but now the only one.
Masbath at your service. In honour,
bound to avenge my father.
Well, I thank you very much, but your
mother will need you more than I.
My mother is in heaven. She has
my father now to care for her.
But you have no one to serve you.
I am your man, sir.
And a brave one, too. But I cannot
be the one to look after you.
I am sorry for your loss,
young Mr Masbath.
Constable Crane!
There's something you should know.
Jonathan Masbath was not
the fourth victim, but the fifth.
- The fifth?
- Aye. Five victims in four graves.
Masbath, find a place in Van Tassel's
servants' quarters. Wake me at dawn.
I hope you have a strong stomach.
Peter Van Garrett, Dirk Van Garrett.
Jonathan Masbath.
Five victims, four graves.
The Widow Winship.
Bring the widow in.
- This is most irregular, Constable.
- Yes, but in this case necessary.
- I need to operate immediately.
- Operate? She's dead.
I mean, of course,
I will need the operating table.
Once more,
the neck wound cauterised, -
- the sword thrust to the stomach
the same, but to what purpose?
To what is your purpose,
is the question.
- What type of instruments are these?
- Some of my own design.
Step out, young Masbath.
Thank you for your help, Mr Killian.
And if you don't mind, Doctor, -
- my concentration suffers greatly
when I'm observed.
- I am finished.
- What have you done to her?
- We are dealing with a madman.
- What did you find out?
The Widow Winship was with child.
Who's there?
- Oh, pardon my intrusion.
- There's no intrusion.
I come here to read when I'm wakeful.
- To read books which you must hide.
- They were my mother's books.
My father believes tales of romance
caused the brain fever that killed her.
The nurse who cared for her during
her sickness is now Lady Van Tassel.
Why did no one mention that the Van
Garretts are kin to the Van Tassels?
Hardly a household is not connected
to every other by blood or marriage.
I see.
This was Van Garrett land, given to my
father when I wore swaddling clothes.
They were the richest family around.
When my father brought me here, -
- Van Garrett set him up with an acre
and a broken-down cottage.
My father worked hard and prospered.
I owe Van Garrett my happiness.
I remember living poor in the cottage.
- Should I show you?
- Yes.
- Take this. It is my gift for you.
- No, I have no use for it.
Are you so certain of everything?
- It was your mother's.
- It is sure protection against harm.
Are you so certain of everything?
What are these strange markings?
I've had them since I can remember.
I used to play by this hearth
as a child.
It was my first drawing school.
My mother was my teacher.
Look. See?
Carved into the fireback.
The archer. I'd forgotten it.
This was from long before
we lived here.
- Are you all right?
- Yes, thank you.
A cardinal. I'd love to have a tame one,
but I wouldn't have the heart to cage it.
Well, then I have something for you.
Cardinal on one side,
an empty cage. And now...
- You can do magic. Teach me.
- It is no magic. We call it "optics".
The pictures are joined in the spinning.
Truth is not always appearance.
What are you running from, Philipse?
You had a mind to help me.
Yes, and it's put me in dread of powers
against which there is no defence.
- You knew the widow was expecting?
- She told me.
And you are not the child's father?
Did she tell you the father's name?
Yes. She came to me for advice
as town magistrate, -
- to protect the rights of her child.
I was bound to keep the secret.
- Do you believe the father killed her?
- The Horseman killed her.
There is no Horseman.
There never was. There never will be.
- What is that thing?
- My protection from the Horseman.
A magistrate, full of such nonsense!
Now tell me the name of...
Oh, my God!
Constable Crane?
Has he not come out at all?
- It was a headless horseman!
- You must not excite yourself.
- That's why you're here.
- A horseman, a dead one, headless!
- I know.
- You don't. You weren't there. It's true!
Of course it is.
I told you. Everyone told you.
I saw him.
I suppose it's back to the city, then.
This time I'll go to New York myself.
I won't be fobbed off with an amateur.
- This time, a magistrate's dead.
- Gentlemen...
I need able men to go with me
into the western woods.
- We thought you'd shot your bolt.
- I will find the Horseman's grave.
I will pit myself
against a murdering ghost.
Who's with me?
The Van Garretts, Widow Winship,
your father, and now Philipse.
Something must connect them. Did
your father deal with the Van Garretts?
He worked for them.
We lived in the coach-house.
It's nothing.
There was an argument between father
and son a week before the murder.
My father was later sent for
by Mr Van Garrett.
An argument between father and son.
Elder Van Garrett sent for his servant...
- I hear nothing.
- Nor I.
No birds, no crickets,
it's all gone so quiet.
Quicken pace.
Pardon our intrusion,
but perhaps you could help us.
- You're from the Hollow.
- In a way, yes.
I make no assumptions
about your occupation, -
- nor your ways,
which... which... which...
...are nothing to me, whatever you are.
Each to his own.
Do you know of the Horseman, ma'am?
The Hessian?
That'll be him.
You, come with me.
Go out, child. Keep away.
Whatever you hear, keep away.
What might he hear
that he must keep away from?
He rides to the Hollow and back.
I hear him. I smell the blood on him.
Do you?
Well, I'm here to find him
and make him stop.
You seek knowledge
of the netherworld. I can show you.
- What are you doing?
- Don't move or speak.
- When the other comes, I will hold him.
- The other?
Silence. He comes now.
Madam, do you hear me?
You seek the warrior bathed in blood,
the Headless Horseman.
Follow the Indian trail to where
the sun dies, to the Tree of the Dead.
Climb down
to the Horseman's resting place.
We're leaving.
We're leaving now.
- We go to the Tree of the Dead.
- How will we recognise it?
Without difficulty, I fear.
Then to the Horseman's resting place.
- His camp?
- His grave.
Stay here.
Halt and turn,
I have a pistol aimed!
Katrina! I might have killed you.
Why have you come?
Because no one else
would go with you.
Then I am now twice the man.
It is your white magic.
Pardon my intrusion.
I think you'd better look at this.
The Tree of the Dead.
Stay where you are.
- What is it?
- Just stay where you are. Don't move.
This tree is a gateway
between two worlds.
This ground has been disturbed.
The soil is loose. Bring the shovel.
The skull is gone.
That's why he returns from the grave.
To take heads
until his own is restored to him.
Split up. Glenn. Theodore.
- Don't pick your teeth, it's a bad habit.
- I am a bad habit.
- There's nothing for it.
- Oh, isn't there?
- Let's get ready for bed.
- Yes.
Beth, run!
Be quiet.
- Wait, he's not after you.
- I'll get him.
We cannot win this.
Remarkable. A wound like this
should have killed him, -
- but it needs no stitch,
and there's hardly a loss of blood.
- You must be still. The fever is on you.
- Katrina...
Nostradamus, Mediamus,
milk of mercy, in media nos laudamas.
Katrina, I tried to stop Brom...
Drink this down,
it will make you sleep.
The Horseman was not set to kill Brom
or me. Had Brom not attacked him...
Later. Rest now.
The Horseman doesn't kill at random.
His victims are chosen by
that very person who took his skull.
Someone who knew where to dig,
of flesh and blood, as I've always said.
- These are ravings.
- Drink.
- You were dreaming.
- Yes. Of things I had forgotten...
...and would not like to remember.
- Tell me what you dreamt.
- My mother was an innocent.
A child of nature.
Murdered... by my father.
- Murdered by...?
- Murdered to save her soul.
By a Bible-black tyrant,
behind a mask of righteousness.
I was seven when I lost my faith.
- What do you believe in?
- Sense and reason.
Cause and consequence.
But here my rational mind has been
so controverted by the spirit world.
You'll take nothing from Sleepy Hollow
that was worth the coming here?
No, not nothing.
A kiss from a lovely young woman,
before she saw me or knew my name.
Yes, without sense or reason.
Forgive me. I speak of kisses,
and you've lost your brave man Brom.
I have shed my tears for Brom, -
- and yet my heart is not broken.
Do you think me wicked?
No. But perhaps
there is a bit of witch in you.
- Why do you say that?
- Because you've bewitched me.
You slept like the dead.
You're too kind to me. I don't look
to be served by the lady of the house.
Nor would you be,
but that the servant girl has vanished.
- Sarah?
- Run away, like so many others.
They're all leaving in fear.
Where is Katrina?
She watched over you till dawn.
Now it is her turn to sleep.
I'm fit for another day, I think.
Fit enough to face a mortal adversary.
Dr. Lancaster.
Reverend Steenwyck.
Notary Hardenbrook
and Magistrate Philipse...
...who tried to cut and run,
and lost his head.
Four frightened men arguing together
on the very night Philipse was killed.
There is conspiracy here.
The doctor, the reverend,
the notary and the magistrate.
What is the secret that unites them?
Magistrate Philipse knew
there were five bodies to four graves.
He knew the widow was pregnant and
would not tell me the father's name.
What does this point to?
We must proceed
by process of elimination.
I'll list everyone in town, starting with
its chief citizen, Baltus Van Tassel.
- I feel we're getting very close.
- Yes...
I suppose Baltus is the chief citizen,
now that old Van Garrett is dead.
The Van Garretts...
I'd almost forgotten them.
Come with me,
to Notary Hardenbrook's.
- Have you thought of something?
- Yes... I have.
My father's satchel.
Why is it here?
- Leave me alone.
- Notary Hardenbrook...
Show me the last will and testament
of old man Van Garrett.
- The will leaves everything to his son.
- Who died with him.
- The estate passes to the next of kin.
- Naturally. All legal and above board.
- Sir?
- I'm a dead man. No...
Van Garrett's seal, broken.
He made a new will just before he died,
naming... Widow Winship?
And here, look.
A marriage certificate.
He secretly married the widow and left
everything to her and her unborn child.
It stood between Van Garrett's fortune
and the one who'd have got everything.
It's true, but we four
were drawn in against our will.
- Your will?
- He means...
Of course, the four town elders.
Now I see what parts you had to play.
Steenwyck knew the secret.
He performed the marriage. Lancaster
attended the pregnant woman.
Philipse gave protection of the law.
Hardenbrook concealed documents -
- entrusted by Van Garrett
to his faithful servant.
- The conspirators drawn into the plot.
- We knew not it was a murdering plot.
But I have not finished, sir.
First, the Van Garretts slain by
a horseman raised from the grave.
Up pops a widow with a claim
on the fortune. Off with her head.
But murder begets murder.
It was the servant...
...Jonathan Masbath. The night father
and son quarrelled over the new will.
Masbath was summoned upstairs
to bear witness.
Here is his signature.
I'm afraid it was his death warrant.
The Horseman came for him.
Came for him -
- at the bidding of someone who had
power over him, who dug in the earth -
- and stole the skull, which must again
be his before he will return to hell.
Someone who stood to gain
or lose a fortune. None other -
- than Van Garrett's next of kin,
Baltus Van Tassel!
- Katrina, why are you in my room?
- Because it is yours.
- Was it wicked of me?
- No, not at all.
- I missed you. Where did you go?
- I had questions to ask Hardenbrook.
- Did you learn anything of interest?
- Perhaps.
- My father...
- Your father?
Yes. My father thinks
you should return to New York.
Really? Why is that?
I don't know. Perhaps he looked in your
ledger and did not like what he saw.
- What have you there?
- Evidence. I'm sorry, I must ask you...
Then I'll leave you to your thoughts.
- It's just a spider.
- Kill it!
- No, stop it!
- There's something under here.
- What is it?
- Help me move the bed.
No, I mustn't. You do it.
The evil eye. It is someone
casting spells against you.
The evil eye...
Wait here.
- You took the evidence and burned it.
- So it would not accuse my father.
I accuse no one. But if there is guilt,
I cannot alter it, even if it grieves me.
No spells of yours can alter it, either.
It is he who profits from these murders.
If you knew him, you'd not have
such harsh thoughts about him.
- Nor if you felt anything for me.
- Why did his friends conceal...?
You are the constable. Find another
chain of reasoning and let me be.
I cannot. Nor the one or the other.
And I am heartsick with it.
I think you have no heart,
and I had a mind once to give you mine.
Yes, I think you loved me -
- when you followed me into the woods.
To have braved such peril.
What peril was there if it was my own
father who controlled the Horseman?
Goodbye, Ichabod Crane. I curse
the day you came to Sleepy Hollow.
- She will not see you.
- Did she say anything?
Only that she will not come down.
- I see. Thank you.
- Constable...
You have not asked me
how I hurt my hand since yesterday, -
- which would have been polite.
In fact, you have been as careful
not to look at it as not to mention it.
- Yes, I'm sorry. How did you...?
- I know you saw me.
- What?
- I know you followed last night.
You must promise not to tell my
husband what you saw. Promise me!
The town is in ferment! Horror
piled on tragedy. Hardenbrook is dead!
- That harmless old man?
- Hanged himself in the night.
- Hanged himself?
- There's a church meeting tonight.
Everyone is going to speak out
against you. If you are wise, -
- you will leave this place.
What is that?
- I was careless with the kitchen knife.
- The wound looks angry.
I will bind it with arrowroot flowers.
I know where some grow.
Hurry up,
the meeting bell has started tolling.
The Horseman!
Katrina, the Horseman saved me!
The Horseman killed your stepmother!
Oh, God!
You'll kill us all!
You're the one the Horseman wants!
He cannot enter.
The Horseman cannot enter!
He cannot cross the gate.
We have to save ourselves.
The next person to lay a hand on me
will get a bullet!
He's coming back!
- Enough have died. It's time to confess.
- What is it that you know?
Your four friends played you false.
We were possessed by one who...
Stay back!
There's a conspiracy here,
and I will seek it out!
It was an evil spirit possessed you.
I pray it is satisfied and that you find
peace. The evil eye has done its work.
My life is over. Spared for
a lifetime of horrors in my sleep.
Waking each day to grief.
Goodbye, Katrina.
- You think it was Katrina, don't you?
- That can never be uttered.
A strange sort of witch,
with a kind and loving heart.
- How can you think so?
- I have good reason.
- Then you are bewitched by reason.
- And beaten down by it!
It is a hard lesson for a hard world.
You'd better learn it.
Villainy wears many masks. None
so dangerous as the mask of virtue.
Return the coach! Turn around now!
Pardon my intrusion.
No blood flow,
no clotting, no healing.
When this cut was made,
this woman was already dead.
Dear stepdaughter.
You look as if you'd seen a ghost.
Rise up once more, my dark avenger.
One more night of beheading.
Rise up with your sword.
A head for a head.
My unholy horseman, rise.
Come now for Katrina.
Awake at last.
- You thought it was all a nasty dream?
- Father saw the Horseman kill you.
He saw the Horseman come toward
me with his sword unsheathed, -
- but it is I who govern the Horseman,
dear, and Baltus did not stay to watch.
- But there was a body.
- The servant girl, Sarah.
I always thought she was useless...
...but she had a purpose after all.
- Who are you?
- My family name was Archer.
The archer?
I lived with my father, mother and sister
in a cottage not far from here.
My father died, and the landlord, whom
we'd served faithfully, evicted us.
No one would take us in, because my
mother was suspected of witchcraft.
She schooled her daughters well, while
we lived as outcasts in the woods.
She died within a year.
My sister and I remained in our refuge,
seeing not a soul.
Until one day, gathering firewood,
we crossed the path of the Hessian.
I saw his death. At that moment,
I offered my soul to Satan, -
- if he would raise the Hessian
from the grave to avenge me.
- Avenge you?
- Against Van Garrett!
The landlord who showed us no mercy
and left us to starve, -
- whilst Baltus and his simpering wife
and girl child stole our home.
I'd make myself mistress of all he had.
The easiest was to enter your house
as your mother's sick-nurse, -
- and put her body into the grave,
and my own into the marriage bed.
Not quite so easy was to secure
my legacy. The widow had to go, -
- and the servant Masbath. Just the
other day, that silly midwife Killian -
- told me the widow
had told her a big secret.
And she told me this right in front
of her husband! What a goose!
So, another little job for the Horseman.
But lust delivered
the Rev. Steenwyck into my power.
Fear did the same for Hardenbrook
and the drunkard Philipse.
And the doctor's silence I exchanged
for my complicity -
- in his fornications
with the servant girl Sarah.
- Yes, you have everything now.
- No, you have, my dear.
By your father's will. I get everything
in the event of your death.
Oh, my sister, by the way,
sadly passed away.
Quite recently.
- You killed your own sister.
- She brought it on herself.
By helping you and your master!
You're just in time
to have your head cut off.
Tonight the Horseman comes for you!
Thank God.
Watch your head.
To the roof. I have an idea.
Jump in the sails!
- Is he dead?
- He was dead to begin with.
- Where are we going?
- Anywhere but here.
Take the reins.
My bag!
- Still alive?
- Run, Katrina.
Yes, do run and jump and skip.
Here, take her! She's yours!
Sir, you're not dead!
Just in time for a new century.
You'll soon get your bearings,
young Masbath.
The Bronx is up, the Battery's down,
and home is this way.