SEASON 1/EPISODE 5: It's the Great Pumpkin!

Content Warnings: Animal death, animal eating habits, animal mating habits, animal violence, animal injury, human death, human burial, beheadings, description of the appearance of a corpse-like being

SCENE 1

EXT. DAY. SLEEPY HOLLOW CARNIVAL.

 

Adventurous music plays.

                         
 

ADVENTUROUS MUSIC continues and DWINDLES into the sound

of people talking and children playing/screaming. A ride is heard off in the background. 

 

FLYNN

We’re almost there. Keep walking forward.

 

SEBASTIAN

Alright. I’m walking forward…

 

BECCA

Hey

(Becca whispers.)

Do you think he knows that--

 

ANNABETH

(Giggles)

I know, I know.

 

SEBASTIAN

Know what?

 

FLYNN

Shh-- Almost there.

 

SEBASTIAN

I’m not going to run into a pole am I?


 

FLYNN

I wouldn’t let you run into a pole.

 

SEBASTIAN

Umm… Yeah, you kinda would.

 

FLYNN

Maybe I should just turn you around and head back to the car?

 

SEBASTIAN

No, no. It’s fine.

 

FLYNN

Are you sure?

 

SEBASTIAN

Yeah, yeah.

 

FLYNN

Then put your hands down.

 

SEBASTIAN

I’m not-- Fine. Fine. Are we there yet? We sound close.

 

More crowd noises occur.

 

FLYNN

---And here. Take your blindfold off.

 

SEBASTIAN

Ooookay. Wait. You didn’t.

ANNABETH

You couldn’t tell? I mean, we drove outhere and everything.

 

SEBASTIAN

I mean, I had an idea, but I… I didn’t know it’d be this.

 

FLYNN

Welcome to Sleepy Hollow!

 

BECCA

Happy birthday! 

 

SEBASTIAN

You actually brought me to Sleepy Hollow.

 

FLYNN

Alright, well, what do you want to go do first?

 

SEBASTIAN

What I want to do?

 

ANNABETH

Yeah. I mean, it’s your birthday.

 

SEBASTIAN

Geez, like I know… Wait. What’s--Holy shit. Is that a pumpkin… sculpture garden?! We’re doing that right? Right?

 

FLYNN

I mean if you-- Whoa!

 

SEBASTIAN

Would you just look at this place?


 

FLYNN

Hey, hey, slow down. You don’t have to--- pull so hard.

 

SEBASTIAN

Come on! They-- They made a merry-go-roundout of pumpkins! 

 

BECCA

Think Sebastian’s excited? I can’t tell.

 

SEBASTIAN

It’s an actual fall carnival! How can’t I be? I mean, hi-- excuse me, do you have a map? Thank you. See? Look at all of this. There’s so much to do and there’s a-- There’s a  haunted hayride! We’re doing that right?

 

BECCA

Yeah!

 

ANNABETH

No way.

 

BECCA

What? I thought you love scary stuff.

 

ANNABETH

Yeah. I did. Then this goober came around. Do you know how weird it is thinking about

what just might be out there?

 

FLYNN

Hey, good news everything’s fake here. Even the Headless Horseman.

 

BECCA

That’s just Sleepy Hollow taking advantage of that Washington Irving story. 

SEBASTIAN

Well, actually.

 

ANNABETH

Here we go.

 

SEBASTIAN

The Headless Horseman is based on an Irish spirit called the Dullahan. No

one knows if it’s actually real--

 

BECCA

See?

 

ANNABETH

Don’t buy it.

 

SEBASTIAN

-- But it’s a really cool legend. They say a headless spirit with a steed as black as night rides to find any person who is meant to die. The dullahan would carry his head either in its right hand or in front of its saddle, but the head would be nothing more than a rotted face. The muscles of the head would be pulled tight against the skull and it would smile from ear to ear, wider 

than any human could. The head has no eyes, only the blackened holes of its empty skull

that the dullahan can use as a lantern to guide it through the night. The dullahan

isn’t like a banshee, predicting death,instead he rides through the night searching

for the souls of the dead to bring them to the afterlife. In some versions of the

story, his horse or head breath fire, and in other versions, he’s said to ride in

a black horse-drawn coach that pulls a Ghost Rider every time he marches off to find

a soul of the dead.

 

BECCA

Creepy.

 

SEBASTIAN

He also carries a spine as a whip.

 

ANNABETH

How… many vertebrae would that even

take to work?

 

SEBASTIAN

I don’t know. It’s just the story. But Washington Irving in his story hints, very strongly, that Brum kills Ichabod when a prank of his goes wrong and he and his cronies have to hide the body, but… It all depends on what you believe. Did the headless horseman really take

Ichabod’s head as his own? Or is it the I-Know-What-You-Did-Last-Summer of Sleepy Hollow?

 

BECCA

Is the Dullahan a sort of Church Grim?

 

SEBASTIAN

Not really. I mean, maybe the Headless Horseman could be? But the Dullahan was more, like, a grim reaper. 

 

FLYNN

Would you like to tell the class what a Church Grim is?


 

BECCA

Something I… learned from Prisoner of Azkaban. I looked into it after that. But, in that, the Church Grim was a giant black dog.

 

SEBASTIAN

In Britain, the Church Grim was popularly depicted as a black dog guarding graveyards from evil. There’s a tradition of sacrificing and burying dogs on holy ground when a church is first being built in order to create a Church Grim to protect the place. 

 

ANNABETH

Why’d it have to be dogs? Why not people?

 

SEBASTIAN

Well, it could be people, too. In fact, according to legend, the first of anything to be buried in a churchyard would become the Grim. Some sources say that executed criminals would be buried first, to live out an eternity atoning for their crimes protecting the dead. Hey, Becca, do you remember if the Headless Horseman was buried in a churchyard?

 

BECCA

Yeah he was! In the story, some “Historians” researching the ghost theorize that the soldier was buried in the churchyard he haunts. He was a Hessian soldier, a german mercenary, during the revolutionary war. In the book, it doesn’t say which battle killed him, but the Battle 

of White Plains took place near here. On October 28th.

 

SEBASTIAN

And that’s why he carries a jack-o-lantern!

 

BECCA

I mean, that, and the fact that his head was shattered by a cannonball.

 

ANNABETH

So it could be a mix of all of those stories. 

 

BECCA

It’d be silly to say that it wasn’t influenced by those. I mean, the Headless Horseman being a Dullahan makes perfect sense. The pumpkin he carries is even said to be on fire.

 

FLYNN

(Makes corny ghost noise)

Ooo-Oooo and maybe Ichabod did see the ghost and it came for his soul when he was killed by Brum.

 

ANNABETH

Sebastian, if this thing is ever and I mean ever real. I’ll kill you before it comes for you.

 

SEBASTIAN

Noted. The Church Grim is for sure though, the dogs at least. No one on the British team has seen a ghost yet.

 

BECCA

British team? You never said that there were people who do what you do.

 

SEBASTIAN

Yeah. I work with a team in Washington, Britain, France, Norway, and South Carolina. We’re spread pretty thin, though Oh hey! A pumpkin patch! Let’s pick one out!

 

FLYNN

Aaaand he’s gone.

 

SEBASTIAN

Hey! What about this one? It looks great!

 

BECCA

Which one?

 

SEBASTIAN

This one! Right here.

 

ANNABETH

Where’s the pumpkin?

 

SEBASTIAN

Here. Where I’m standing? This one?

 

Sebastian gives it a little kick.

 

FLYNN

Seb, you’re not pointing at anything.

 

SEBASTIAN

No, it’s right here. This one.

 

Sebastian crouches down to the ground.

 

ANNABETH

Seb, hold on. We can’t see the pumpkin.

 

SEBASTIAN

But… There’s not-- This is a fae?

 

ANNABETH

Have you never seen something like this before?

 

SEBASTIAN

No… Never.

 

FLYNN

Becca, here.

 

BECCA

And I just… Look through it? 

 

ANNABETH

Yeah.

 

BECCA

Oh, shit. That’s… That’s just weird. Great. An invisible pumpkin. What else is new?

 

FLYNN

It looks just like a pumpkin.

 

SEBASTIAN

I know… It’s camouflage is remarkable.

 

FLYNN

Why does it even need camouflage if we can’t see it?

SEBASTIAN

Even the fae have predators, but it’s not like the veil is a guarantee. I mean, under the right circumstances, you can see fae.

 

BECCA

It’s how stories start.

 

SEBASTIAN

Exactly.

 

SEBASTIAN crouches.

 

SEBASTIAN (CONT’D)

Hey there big guy. What are you?

 

ANNABETH

Would you look at that? It uses a pumpkin as a shell.

 

SEBASTIAN

No… I think… It is the pumpkin.

 

ANNABETH

Its shell mimics a pumpkin. That’s… a crazy form of disguise camouflage.

 

SEBASTIAN

Makes you wonder what it looks like in the offseason.

 

ANNABETH

Or what it looks like as a child.

 

SEBASTIAN

Let’s all backup from it. Give it its space. 

 

FLYNN

It’s not dangerous is it?

 

SEBASTIAN

Probably not. Everyone crouch down.

 

ANNABETH

Do you think the shell is made of keratin or chitin?

 

SEBASTIAN

Unless it happens to move incredibly fast, which it probably won’t, I’d say you’d have more than enough time to grab a sample.

 

BECCA

What is it doing?

 

SEBASTIAN

Getting some legs out.

 

The shell cracks and keeps on cracking.

 

FLYNN

It looks like a turtle’s leg.

 

ANNABETH

But it keeps part of its shell on its legs. It’s cool that its actual body is more of a dark brownish black.

 

The cracking continues.

 

SEBASTIAN

Okay. All four legs are out now. Where’s the head?

 

The cracking happens some more.

 

ANNABETH

There… look.

 

SEBASTIAN

So it drops the bottom of the front out, just like how a turtle would. And… There’s its head… There it is. A pumpkin sprite.

 

ANNABETH

Would it be classified as a sprite?

 

SEBASTIAN

It mimics plant-life… That is absolutely fascinating. I mean… This guy would be the biggest sprite we have ever found. I’d have to measure it just to make sure.

 

BECCA

What’s the next biggest?

 

SEBASTIAN

The hedge sprite. It’s in Europe. It lives in gardens and attaches plantlife to its back. It’s not this big, but it’s pretty big. 

 

FLYNN

Can we call it the Jack-O-Tortoise instead?

 

BECCA

Gourd-a-saur.

 

ANNABETH

Hey. What are those? The appendages.

 

SEBASTIAN

Looks like pumpkin vines, but thicker.

 

BECCA

They’re moving!

 

SEBASTIAN

Are they just a part of him or can he use them?

 

ANNABETH

Have no clue.

 

SEBASTIAN

Hold on. Going to snap a couple photos of it. Okay… Just… One… More... 

 

Schlunk-lunk-crack.

 

SEBASTIAN (CONT’D)

Shit. Scared him. But look at this… You can see the seams now that we know where they are. Texting the others about this… And its nicknames.


 

BECCA

Gourd-asaur. Tell them it’s called Gour-asaur.

 

SEBASTIAN

I’ll definitely have to come back to this.

 

ANNABETH

Like you needed an excuse.

 

SEBASTIAN

But now I have one. God. I just want to sit here and look at this guy for hours.

 

FLYNN

But?

 

SEBASTIAN

Haunted hayride.

 

ANNABETH

Alright, come on. You can find this fae next time. He won’t be going anywhere.

 

SEBASTIAN

(Whispers)

Best birthday ever.

 

They walk away.

CREATURE FUN FACT: The hedge sprite not only grabs plants, it will occasionally grab trash and other human objects to place on its shell. It chooses whichever materials help it camouflage more into the environment around it. 

CREDITS:

 

The Viridian Wild is created, written, and produced by Davis Walden with creative consulting by Nicole Miller. Our music is composed by Daryl Banner. This episode features the voice of Davis Walden as Sebastian, Leslie Gideon as Annabeth, Tara Santora as Becca, and Kyle Nishimura as Flynn.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as The Viridian Wild or email us at theviridianwild@gmail.com. Learn more and find transcripts of this episode at theviridianwild.com. We would like to thank our first Adventurers joining us on this journey: Joe and Mandy Walden. You can support Sebastian’s study of the magical world around us on our patreon at www.patreon.com/theviridianwild and gain access to bonus material such as bloopers and book recommendations. The Viridian Wild is a product of Always in My Head Productions. Till next time, happy trails!