Monday, October 17, 2011

Jonathan Kruk: Hudson Vally Legends!

Historic Hudson Valley has a new headquarters!  I visited the brand new building to attend a storytelling presentation by Jonathan Kruk, a storyteller for over 25 years specializing in the folklore of the Hudson Valley.  Jonathan's October event, a dramatic retelling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow sells out every year! 

Jonathan Kruk.
The most famous tale from the Hudson Valley is, of course, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving.  "Long before Jason or even Frankenstein," Jonathan told us, "The Headless Horseman galloped into our imagination."  He feels that the story is so intriguing because it is romantic and ghostly.  The legend is compelling and people want to seek out the Horseman.  Washington Irving did not make up the story of the Headless Horseman, his version is more of an "creative interpretation of a legend," Kruk told us. "But every legend has a splinter of truth."  Irving may have gathered the information for his masterpiece from people he met, customs he observed and stories he himself was told. 

Map of the Hudson Valley
Jonathan touched upon other legends in the area as well.  Some say you can still hear the ghost of Revolutionary War spy Major John Andre as he came through the area before he was captured.  The White Lady of Raven Rock (or Spook Rock) is still seen where she perished in a snowstorm and the lighthouse in Sleepy Hollow is also visited by a white lady apparition.  He theorizes that the Hudson Valley is especially haunted because even with all of the changes and progress when colonializing the area, Sleepy Hollow and the surrounding lands were kind of left alone.  Inhabitants still spoke the language of their home country and kept their native traditions alive. (Perhaps people were more interested in settling in New York City.)

Jonathan impressed upon us that there may be other headless horsemans, but the one in Irving's story is the Commander in Chief and an American icon.  Kruk summed up the msyterious rider with these powerful words, "He is a symbol of these lands in Colonial Times.  Wild and untamed.  He is a reminder to keep your head about you."

Jonathan's new book Legends and Lore of Sleepy Hollow and The Hudson Valley is an exploration of folklore from the Hudson Valley.

To find out more about Jonathan Kruck, click HERE.
To find out more about Historic Hudson Valley, click HERE.

I am giving away one (1) signed copy of Jonathan's book Legends and Lore of Sleepy Hollow and The Hudson Valley and one (1) cd The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (the cd is not signed) by Washington Irving read by Jonathan Kruk to two (2) winners.

The first winner will get to choose either the book OR the CD.  The second winner will receive the remaining prize.

 To Enter:
~Fill out the Rafflecopter form.
~Extra entries are optional.
~If you are choosing to do extra entries, please read the questions/instructions CAREFULLY! If you do not follow the instructions, I reserve the right to disqualify that entry.

~This contest is open internationally.
~This contest ends October 21, 2011 at 12:01 am EST.
~Please see my contest policy HERE.
~Winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter.
~If I cannot get in touch with the winner within 72 hours from my first e-mail, another winner will be chosen.

Thank you for entering and good luck!


Karen said...

You find all the cool events!

I see you're taking the plunge and trying Rafflecopter :-) Good luck.

I'm still tweaking it as I go.

Brandy B aka Brandlwyne said...

I love the legend of sleepy hollow!!!

brandyzbooks at yahoo dot com

ArtemisG said...

Legends and Lore of Sleepy Hollow and The Hudson Valley seems amazing! I love the legend of sleepy hollow.
Thank you for the giveaway!

Michelle Stockard Miller said...

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is one of my favorite stories! Thanks for the giveaway!

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