The story claims that the headless horseman was an artilleryman who was killed during the Revolutionary War at the Battle of White Plains The man died by decapitation from a friendly fire cannonball. The original American headless horseman comes from the tale "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving.
It is said that the angry ghost of the man comes back every Halloween to search for his lost head, which was left in shatters upon the battlefield after his body was carried away. The headless horseman is a reoccurring motif in folklore and scary stories. The horseman appears all throughout literature and film.