Thursday, October 2, 2014

Secret Journal of Ichabod Crane Revealed! The TV Ichabod, that is! Sleepy Hollow Fan Alert!

A 1848 daguerreotype of Ichabod B. Crane. Offi...
A 1848 daguerreotype of Ichabod B. Crane. Official U.S. military portrait. Colonel, 1st Artillery, U.S. Army in 1848. Wikipedia)
Wow! I didn't know there was a real Ichabod! Cool, right?!

And I looked, and behold a pale horse; and his name
that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him,
And power was given unto them over the fourth part of
the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with
death, and with the beasts of the earth.

The eighth verse of the sixth chapter
of the Revelation of Saint John the
Divine. This verse will not leave my
mind. It was marked in the Bible that
lay on my breast while I was in my
sleep, a most precious book that
once belonged to George Washington.
I have no memory of how it came to
be in my possession, although I knew
General Washington well and suspect
one of our allies in the war against evil
must have placed it there during my
October 4th -- One scarcely knows where to start. To commit the facts to writing--if facts indeed they are, and not the last failing sparks of a soul being freed from its mortal confines--is to begin to believe them. Dare I? 
I must.
I am Ichabod Crane, born in the year 1749 in the city of London in England. I came to the New World in 1770 and followed the dictates of my conscience to the side of the colonial rebels in 1771.
It seems this is the year 2013 Anno Domini, and I have been given new life--how, I know not; why, I know not. I am in a cell, lit harshly by lamps that appear to be hidden behind glass panels set in the ceilling. The table is made of an unusual stonelike substance, so too the chair. There is little wood in evidence and some of the furniture appears to have steel legs. What people are these, who can spare steel for the legs of chairs? 
They believe me a murderer...

                                   This is of the TV Program, not the book...

The Secret Journal of Ichabod Crane
Based on characters from Fox's Hit TV Show Sleepy Hollow

By Alex Irvine

If you are a fan of Sleepy Hollow, you may automatically consider this a must-read so that you can learn more from the Ichabod Crane character--or perhaps just have an overview of the first season? There are many pictures, artistic sketches I assume by the author, and images of documents sprinkled through the Journal, some of which are in languages you'll not be able to read unless you know some ancient languages. They are apparently from the files of the former sheriff, which originally were used to piece this surprising story together from historical documents, the Bible and, in particular, the Book of Revelations, the Freemasons, now shortened to Masons, I believe, as well as many references to the magic, demons and other supernatural beings that have been identified through past years...

First a disclaimer, with my reading activities, I have not been routinely watching the television program, so I have no basis upon which to evaluate whether it supports or adds to the program. On the other hand, this allowed me to read and review the book without influence. The book is written in traditional journal format and apparently has been started while Ichabod is in prison, when he decides to record what has been happening to him since he was brought back from the dead. As you may already know, I was amazed at the breadth of the story as it has been created, not unlike a number of other former Fairy Tale-type books which have been greatly been expanded,cannibalized and merged between fact and fiction, that, for many, it may be impossible to separate and enjoy purely as fictional entertainment. In this case, the once horror story of the headless horseman has now been merged with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse... What?! The first of the four riders has since lost his head... OMG!

I dreamed of Katrina. My love. Yesterday I was
led to her gravestone, here in Sleepy Hollow,
and learned of her agonized end on the stake.
The devastation this caused me is beyond words
and I could not write of it then. Now I know I do
not have to, for events perhaps yet more tragic
have revealed her death to be a ruse perpetrated
by parties yet unknown...
Of course, this is the constant fight of good versus evil...just bringing in more of the big guns? I confess that the most enjoyable parts for me was Ichabod's response to the world of today! Just as the creators of Star Trek took all of us into the future with their imagination, so now they have moved into the past, but with many real-life historical characters as well as those from mythology...

I am the first witness, she said...
but to what, I do not know--no,
of course I do. Was I not just
reading passages from
And I will give power unto my two
witnesses, and they shall prophesy...
It appears that Ichabod is communicating with his wife, who is supposed to be dead, but is actually a prisoner in purgatory, held by Moloch...

I have no idea whether one is alive or dead when stuck in purgatory by a demon...

And, I also have no
idea how Ichabod
Crane,  as well as Lt. Mills, became  the witnesses mentioned in the Book of Revelations... You would think that somewhere along the line, this would have been discovered by learned students of this Book, wouldn't you???

I enjoyed meeting Lieutenant Mills who became hilarious when Ichabod asked if she had been emancipated and congratulated her on finding work as a Sleepy Hollow's police officer. But I really couldn't blame Crane for not trusting her too much at first...

While Lieutenant Mills was otherwise occupied, I was able to gather a couple of newspaper articles that I suspect may prove useful. In order to trust her--and, perhaps more important, to gain her trust--I must get to know her better, and she is a deeply private woman. Her down-to-earth practicality has also made it difficult for her to accept the clear signs that she too is a Witness as spoken of in the Revelation of Saint John, though surely she will rise to the responsibility when the occasion demands it. I hope she will forgive my intrusion on her privacy.

And then there is the "dreaded Mohawk demon Ro'kenhrontyes... who is getting some news times online... Have to say I agree with the commentary... since Ichabod claims in his Journal that he learned of this demon from two of his Mohawk friends who were "stalwart aids to the colonial forces..." Fortunately they escaped this evil demon...thus far...

We emerged from the Valley of Death. The forces of evil, if I may be permitted so melodramatic a phrase, are gathering to oppose the work of the Two Witnesses: Abigail Mills and me. The Hessian, Serilda, now the Sandman of the Mohawk...what monstrosity shall we confront next?

And of course...Moloch

If this Moloch of the Hessians is the same warlike spirit Milton knew (for one who has seen what I have seen must surely believe that Milton knew rather than invented; a visionary he was despite his blindness, or indeed perhaps because of it--if this Moloch is the same, we are in for a weary struggle, and only faith will permit us to believe in our eventual triumph...

Yes, that's the book, Paradise Lost, which has lost a demon to Sleepy Hollow...LOL!

And then I learned about the "Sin Eaters," which is apparently an ancient practice which, "when death was near--or when a sinner had just passed on from this life--the Sin Eater was given a piece of bread and a bowl of beer. In consuming these, he ritually consumed the sins of the departed and sanctified the fleeing spirit..." Sleepy Hollow is apparently fortunate to have one living there now...

You know, as I was reading the book, I was finding myself uncomfortable... As I review it, however, I find it even more so... Because the materials and references used are undoubtedly public domain due to age, I found it difficult to understand why so much of this story was, perhaps, plagiarized? Because the book is written as a journal, I can see their being quoted in it more so than being able to accept that these characters, references, etc. are actually being now used in a television program where viewers must write and ask, "Was Ro'kenhrontyes really a Mohawk Indian?"
I've consider myself a Trekkie all my life, or at least as far back as watching the original Star Trek and from then on. The creation of aliens on those shows, even different races, such as the Klingon, never bothered me a bit... There was a clear understanding that this was fiction! fun fiction!

This is just not so when, seemingly, every single demon that ever might have lived in other books or writings, has been pulled in and regurgitated--thrown into Sleepy Hollow... Sure, the young adults may be enjoying it because they don't realize that these characters are just an amalgamation with little creative imagination used except perhaps in the computerization and electronic development to make old stories even more scarier... Personally I'm disappointed with the whole thing...

At the same time, however, I must recognize that the book written by Alex Irvine, is exceptionally well done. The language for Ichabod Crane is in character for how he would have talked in early times, I believe. And the references made for his fun and sarcastic opinions of what is going on in modern times are "spot on" for me...and I'm not over 200 years old! LOL I must also assume that the references to early historical figures such as Washington, Ben Franklin, etc., are based upon the story. A number of these seem beyond offensive related to historical figures, and unnecessary, whether in jest or personal opinion by the author, albeit, permitted through Freedom of Speech...

For these reasons, I reiterate that this could be a must-read for fans of the show. For others, hey, only you know... but I can't recommend unless you are into "alternative horror history," a genre which I might have just made up to try to explain all that is in this book...  You know the old phrase, "Too much of a good thing?" Sleepy Hollow just might have gone beyond belief, even for fiction...  And the book, which continues well beyond what I've shared, certainly didn't encourage watching the least for me...

But, hey, they do have the head...! Of one of the Horsemen???
Sure, right, doubt about it! NOT!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Native of Ypsilanti, Michigan. Writer of books, comics, games etc. Fan of Detroit sports, any and all soccer. PhD, former professor. Father of three. Resident of Maine. Pets: two dogs, a parrot, a snake. Favorite writers, in no particular order: Cervantes, Borges, Murakami, Dick, Pynchon, Herriman, Chaucer, Kelly. Ask me again tomorrow, the list would be slightly different.
Some favorite books, not written by people on the previous list (but all written by people who might have been on the list on a different day), and again in no particular order: Sarah Canary, Gould's Book of Fish, Geek Love, Midnight's Children, Song of Solomon...
Current projects:
Marvel: Avengers Alliance, a Facebook RPG -- you've always wanted to be an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., right? Well, you can if you go to
I'm also working on another Marvel game, some things for Blizzard, two novels, a novelization of an upcoming movie, and various shorter pieces and comics. More details as I can reveal them, but trust me, it's some pretty cool stuff.

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