The legend of Sleepy Hollow lives by lantern light

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SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. -- It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, which is ridiculous since November just started, but there is one place that still has a stronghold on Halloween: the historic Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

When the sun sets, the place begins to glow, and the cemetery offers tours by lantern light.

"It's very atmospheric to explore the grounds at night with a kerosene lantern," said Christina Orban-La Salle, director of visitor services at the cemetery. "It's a little like stepping back in time."

Cemetery tour guide Ro Mytych, who was quick to mention that every day is Halloween in her world, asks visitors to grab hold of a lantern and follow her along the dark pathways that traverse the 70 acres of rolling hills.

"You see a lot of symbolism, this is a Victorian cemetery," Mytych said. "You see history, you see great monuments, you hear a lot of great stories."

Guests are taken to the opulent plots where people like William Rockefeller are buried. There are more modest graves as well, where magnates like Andrew Carnegie lie.

"He had this motto, 'to die wealthy is to die disgraced,'" Mytych informed the group of Carnegie's history.

More than 44,000 people of all denominations and classes buried at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, which remains active today and turns 166 years old this year. The most popular stop on the tour is, not surprisingly, famed author Washington Irving's grave.

"Washington Irving is the guy who started it all, the whole 'Legend of Sleepy Hollow,'" Mytych said.

Orban-LaSalle added that the tour is a wonderful way to explore the stories behind the stones. "This is a place worth preserving for centuries and also take away a little of the beauty that's there. It's a place meant for the living and the dead."

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is just over 90 minutes from Hartford. The lantern tour lasts about 2 hours and costs $24.99 per person. Advanced reservations are required. Tours run into late November and then start up again in April. To find out more click here.