Keep Your Head at Conner Prairie's Headless Horseman

Photo Courtesy of Conner Prairie.

Each year, Conner Prairie presents its Headless Horseman event. Based on Washington Irving's classic, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the highlight of this event is the haunted headless horseman hayride. In addition to the hay ride, there are numerous activities for every age group. This event is a favorite fall tradition with local families.

The Headless Horseman Hayride

Perhaps the spookiest event at the Headless Horseman event is the haunted hayride. The tractor-pulled hay wagon winds through Conner Prairie's 1800's town. During the ride, the Headless Horseman appears and gives chase across the old covered bridge. The ride is included in the cost of admission but requires a timed-ticket. Earlier tickets are available during dusk for younger children or anyone else who's scared of the dark!

Legend of Sleepy Hollow Puppet Show

If you want to hear the giggles of a room packed with kids, attend the Legend of Sleepy Hollow puppet show. Presented by Steven's Puppets, the show features a condensed and hilarious version of the classic story. Steven's Puppets uses hand-crafted marionettes that are created in the traditional old-world style. The show is unique and entertaining. If you have kids, this is a must!

Rhythm Fun with Bill Bailey

Perhaps the most creative activity at Headless Horseman, Rhythm Fun with Bill Bailey takes regular household items and turns them into musical instruments. Children (and adults) are invited to create rhythmic sounds with homemade instruments. Halloween-themed music is played and everyone grabs an instrument. While fun and definitely loud, the lesson here is that rhythm and instruments can be created from anything. Always busy, the tent provides great hands-on amusement for the kids.


Relive your summer camp memories and gather around a bonfire to listen to ghost stories. The Conner Prairie storyteller will make your hair stand up as he recounts the ghoulish stories he's heard as a resident of Conner Prairie. Also a great way to warm up from the chilly fall weather.

Scary-o-ke and Ghostly Vortexes

Hone your singing skills at the Conner Prairie version of karaoke. Visitors are invited to sit back and listen to others strut their vocal talents or try their hand at singing along to spooky songs. Morph into a Ghostbuster in the Ghostly Vortexes area, as you harness the power of air to keep these apparitions at bay. You don't need proton packs - just strap on an air cannon and fire streams of swirling air at your target.

Magic Show

Master Illusionist C.R. Ryan Demler delights audiences of all ages with his special Headless Horseman magic show!

Other Activities

Enjoy face painting, fortune telling, the flying monkey catapult, and visit the creepy Monster Museum!

Before You Go

Nearly every activity at Conner Prairie is out in the elements. Fall in Indiana is chilly and there's usually a breeze running across the fields. Dress in warm layers because there aren't a lot of places to get out of the weather at the event. It is also important to note that this event is packed. If you want to ensure a spot for the headless horseman hay ride, arrive early in line for your appointed ticket time. Be prepared to sit on hay and cuddle up next to strangers. Food and beverages are available for purchase including fall favorites like hot chocolate, kettle corn, caramel apples and apple cider.

Event Information

This year, the Headless Horseman is October 15-18, 22-25, 29-31, 2015 from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance Thursday and Sunday; $12 at the gate. Friday and Saturday tickets are $14 in advance and $16 at the gate. Presale tickets are available at Marsh Supermarkets, O'Malia's and MainStreet locations.


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