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Sleepy Hollow

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Sleepy Hollow TV Poster Image
Time travel + spooky mystery = zesty TV fantasy.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 9 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show is ostensibly on the side of law and order, but the goings-on are so sensationalized and fantastic that sometimes it's hard to tell.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The cast boasts extensive racial and ethnic diversity, with people of color in lead roles. Main character Abbie Mills is hardworking and loyal.


Lots of violence and implied violence: shootings, beheadings, deaths of characters we've gotten to know. There is some blood but low gore, plus plenty of disturbing images such as frequent sights of a headless body. A menacing, dark tone runs throughout as characters are stalked and often killed.


Expect flirting and romance.


Occasional language like: "Get in the damned car."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sleepy Hollow is a fast-paced, scary crime-and-fantasy series that uses the classic Washington Irving tale as a jumping-off point. The plot involves a time-traveling headless horseman who kills others by stalking and beheading them, so expect to see lots of shots of headless necks, heads flying through the air, axes being swung menacingly, etc. There is also scary imagery: The headless horseman riding through the moonlight, dark woods, lightning. The show is much too scary for young kids, even though they may be fascinated by its fantastic premise and appealing lead actors. Teens and mature tweens should be able to handle the level of violence and intensity, and may enjoy the show for its sci-fi/mystery twists and turns.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBigchris September 16, 2013

Liked most of it

Ok well I am a Christian and didnt Mutch care for the whole demonic feel of the show but I loved the rest of it it was kinda. Like the show elementry witch I al... Continue reading
Adult Written byJared Galczynski May 9, 2014
Teen, 16 years old Written byladyluckxixi October 1, 2013

Would highly recommend giving this a watch

Great show, great premise, great acting, great potential. Some disturbing imagery, though portrayed in a rather fantasy-like way (fanciful and nightmare-ish, fi... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old October 12, 2013


It's a very good show and very captivating. Some of the violence may be scary for younger viewers. One character is frequently seen without its head. Heads... Continue reading

What's the story?

In a twist on the classic creepy legend, SLEEPY HOLLOW recasts Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) as a time-traveling soldier who dies on a battlefield in the midst of slaying the creepy headless horseman, and wakes up in modern-day Sleepy Hollow, population 144,000. Everyone Crane knew and loved, including his enchanting wife Katrina, who had secrets of her own, is now dead. But the horseman, not so much -- he's accompanied Crane to modern times and is stalking the residents of Sleepy Hollow and trying to obtain a mysterious talisman for nefarious purposes. Now Crane teams up with police detective Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) to catch the horseman and solve the mystery gripping the terrified town of Sleepy Hollow.

Is it any good?

Time travel, the undead, and a National Treasure-style mystery all rolled into one? Sign us up for this guilty pleasure, which has a cool premise: What if the faceless (literally, in this case) killer stalking a town is a supernatural being who can only be stopped with a combination of Law & Order-style police work and supernatural intervention?

Not only that, but near-unknown lead Tom Mison as Crane is both cute of face and pleasant of manner; Nicole Beharie as the crimefighter he teams up with is charmingly tart and intrepid. And all the mysterious goings on, which involve a lot of flashbacks in period dress, will make teens and adults alike swoon.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the original Washington Irving story Sleepy Hollow. How is this adaptation different? How is it the same? Why would the showrunners have changed the original legend?

  • Can you think of any other shows on the air that have a fantasy premise like the one on Sleepy Hollow? What about shows like Once Upon a Time or Teen Wolf? How are these shows like or different from Sleepy Hollow?

  • Sleepy Hollow brings in a time-traveling aspect not present in the original story. Why would time travel be attractive as a plot point on a fantasy show?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love fantasy and sci-fi

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