un personaggio gotico di frontiera – Ichabod Crane in Sleepy Hollow

Ichabod Crane is another  protagonist of a story by Washington Irving that links (= unisce) old frontier legends with gothic elements, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

1790s. TarryTown is a Dutch settlement (= colonia) near New York. Ichabod Crane is a tall and thin school master in love with 18-year-old Katrina Van Tassel, daughter of a wealthy farmer. But he is not the only one who wants to merry her. Abraham “Brom Bones” Van Brunt , the town rowdy (= bullo) has proposed (= le ha chiesto di sposarlo) her, too. On an October night, after a party at the Van Tassel home, Ichabod is pursued by the Headless Horseman (= il cavaliere senza testa) , the ghost of a soldier killed by a cannon ball during the American Revolution who at night looks for his head. Ichabod disappears and Katrina marries Brom Bones. Nobody knows what has happened to Ichabod, and if the Headless Horseman really exists, but Brom seemed to be very sure about his future
In 1999 Tim Burton shot a film loosely (= vagamente) inspired by the tale. In the movie Ichabod Crane is a New York City police constable sent to the village of Sleepy Hollow, to investigate a series of brutal  murders (= omicidi) . All the victims are found (= vengono trovate) without their heads.  Crane is a pioneer of new techniques such as finger-printing (= impronte digitali) and autopsies and is persecuted by the visions of his mother tortured by his father because considered a witch (= strega) .   
At  Sleepy Hollow he is informed that the murderer is probably a ghost who rides (= cavalca) at night on a massive black stallion (= grosso stallone nero). He rents (= affitta) a room at the home of the town’s richest family, the Van Tassels, where he meets – and eventually falls in love with – Katrina.  Crane does not believe in the supernatural stories, but  discovers the Horseman’s grave (= tomba) in the Western Woods, where there is the natural world to and  from the supernatural — the knotted (= contorto) Tree of the Dead. Together with one of the victims’ son, he finds a lot of skulls (= teschi). Only the skull of the Headless Horseman lacks(= manca). At the end the truth is unveiled (= la verità è svelata): Katrina’s stepmother (= matrigna) is controlling the ghost of the headless Horseman because she has his skull. He wants back a piece of land unjustly claimed (= ingiustamente preteso) by Katrina’s father and sends the killer after Katrina.
Crane stops Lady Van Tassel giving back the skull to the Horseman, who goes back to the Hell (= inferno).  along with his Lady Van Tassel.  Crane  goes back to new York with Katrina and his helper.