Spook Rock in Rockefeller Preserve in Sleepy Hollow, New York, was considered haunted by the native Americans of the area, long before the Dutch settlers which Washington Irving made famous moved into Sleepy Hollow.
Legends tell of a young Indian meeting up with a dozen beautiful maidens of a celestial origin dancing on the rock. “According to Edgar Mayhew Bacon, writing in the Chronicles of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, “Their voices were as sweet as their bodies were beautiful and graceful, and no one could have mistaken them for anything less than celestial, even if there had not been, in the centre of the circle around which they danced, a great basket, which, as every one knows, is the approved vehicle when heavenly maids pay a visit earthward.”
“The scene was lit by unearthly flambeaux that flared among the trees like Will-o’-the- wisps. The singing and the dancing grew wilder and madder and more fascinating every moment, till the solitary spectator forgot himself and gave a cry of admiration. In a moment, half frightened and half laughing, the bevy scrambled into the basket, with little screams and pretty panics, like girls that would fain go a-slumming and retreat at the first sight of a tipsy man. In they crowded, hugger-mugger, higgledy-piggledy, all but one, who lingered a moment and looked back. She was the most beautiful of them all. Then, in a moment, she took her place, or rather was dragged in by the rest and, amid a chorus of laughter, they were all whisked out of sight and the young Indian was left standing alone in the dark woods.”
As with all good tales of this nature, the love sick young man falls in love with the maiden, pulls her from the star on which she lives and into his arms, only to find things go horribly wrong.