|Interview with The Witch
of Sleepy Hollow
By AL J. Vermette
Settled just off the Hudson River is the
very real town of Sleepy Hollow. Most
people's thoughts go right to the town's
most noted character, The Headless Horse-
man himself who haunts the woods sur-
rounding Sleepy Hollow. But there is more
to this wonderful place than just the tale
of the Horseman. This place has witches
too.....and the most notable one is Krystal Madison, The Witch of Sleepy
Hollow. She is the founder of The Black Hat Society, The Festival of Witches
and The Halloween Sleepy Hollow Witches Ball. This young lady is the real
thing and her love for her craft and her events shows why she is The Witch
of Sleepy Hollow.
Not long ago I had the great pleasure of talking with Krystal about her events
in the town she loves so. The photos are from her first Annual Halloween
Sleepy Hollow's Witches Ball that was held on October 25th in the land of the
AL: Please tell our readers all about the
events that you have hosted?
Krystal: This year, I was host to the Festival of
Witches Events in Sleepy Hollow. We began
small, with only a weekend of festivities that
began with a genuine seance, in which partici-
pants actually saw the little boy that haunts my
home in the country. He seems to follow me
everywhere, even back and forth between my
home, there and my home in Sleepy Hollow, and
I've grown quite fond of him. The weekend fol-
lowed with the first annual Sleepy Hollow Witch's
Halloween Ball, where tribal belly dancers absolutely delighted and enchanted
every guest... and the Headless Horseman made an appearance too! The
weekend festivities were concluded with the first Sleepy Hollow Psychic Fair and
New Age Bazaar..... the entire weekend was a success, and a lot of fun!
AL: How many events have you hosted to
date and what were they?
Krystal: The events I've hosted in the past were
on more of a private scale, rituals, Sabbat cele-
brations, but being the mother of five children,
I've gotten pretty good at pulling off all kinds of
AL: What event plans do you have for the
Krystal: On May 2, 2015, I will be hosting the
first-ever Hudson Valley Beltane Festival in Pat-
terson, New York, A Renaissance Fair & Summer
Solstice Festival in June and of course, Sleepy
Hollow events again in October. But this October
in Sleepy Hollow, events will be running for 3 weekends as opposed to just the one
weekend from this past year. The psychic fair will run for two days, as will the
seance, the Witch's Halloween Ball will be the the night before Halloween, and
we're incorporating all kinds of workshops, such as Ghost Hunting 101, Belly
Dance, Tarot for the Beginner, How to Communicate with Spirits, Henna Magic and
AL: Please tell us how the Sleepy
Hollow Witches got started?
Krystal: For years I'd been visiting
friends in Salem during their events
in October. Realizing that Salem is
the witch mecca of the U.S. only rival-
ed by New Orleans and the Voudu
and Hoodoo communities and shops
in the French Quarter, I found myself
wandering Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
(as I so often do) one cold, gray,
afternoon upon returning from Salem
and thinking to myself that the legend too, had witches. Also realizing that many in
the general public are misinformed about witches, or what witchcraft really is, I
wanted to create something special, magical and inviting to those who come to
visit Sleepy Hollow during the October season, as well as for other Witches and
Pagans in the surrounding area; something they too could participate in and have
a sense of community. Then I recalled a story I'd heard years ago about there
actually having been a witch from which Washington Irving drew inspiration from
his story. Upon researching this, I discovered that her name was Hulda and she'd
lived just outside the village. She died a hero and was buried in the cemetery of
the Old Dutch Church , but because of her reputation as a witch, her grave was
unmarked, and I thought, what better way to honor this woman, and in her
memory, show just how far we have come?
AL: How many members are in your
group to date?
Krystal: That's a tough question to
answer simply. I founded both the
Pagan Circle as well as The Sleepy
Hollow Black Hat Society. Combined,
we have nearly 26,000 members world
wide. So everyone involved had a hand
in some way in helping me to make the
first Festival of Witches happen.
AL: How would one become a mem-
ber of your group and do you take
Krystal: We welcome everyone. I get
along well with members of many differ-
ent cultural groups and religions. Any-
one can join the Pagan Circle and
Sleepy Hollow Black Hat Society, al-
though, to date, all of our members in the Society are real witches. We even wear
our pointy black hats at our meetings! For information, go to
AL:When did you yourself become interested in wicca?
Krystal: Actually, I'm not Wiccan. I am what is called a Blood Witch. In other
words, a witch who was born into a family of other practicing witches. More
specifically, on my mother's side, I had Mohegan Indian and Santera's and on my
father's side, my grandmother was a Hungarian gypsy. It made for a very
interesting childhood, so witchcraft has always been a part of my life.
AL: What would you like to say to
any men and woman wishing to
become witches and how would
they go about it?
Krystal: Firstly, there are many
paths of the Craft. Wicca for exam-
ple, is a Federally recognized reli-
gion. So if someone likes the idea
of there being certain laws or rules
that are followed as well as structure,
just as most other religions have, yet
having the freedom of spiritual exploration, Wicca may be suitable for them.
Secondly, research. There are many wonderful resources on the web for which
one can find information on the various paths and traditions of the Craft that exist.
Go with what calls to you. Third, find a mentor. Whether it's a friend online or in
real-life you know who is a witch or whether you sign up for classes somewhere
(do A LOT of research on those on-line classes that you'll stumble across-- there
are many that aren't so great or very expensive).
AL: What do you see for the future for The Sleepy
Krystal: I see us doing really great things. Big things
for both the Festival of Witches events in October as
well as through the Sleepy Hollow Black Hat Society.
Witches are of service to our communities, whether it
be a house call because there is something going
"Bump" in the night, the blessing of a new baby, the
marriage of a couple in love, or to help heal an ailment,
help raise funds for a worthy cause, or spiritually
counsel another person. Witches have been coming
out of the proverbial broom closet [hiding] in droves.
We're here to stay. We're here to educate. We're
here to help.
Krystal Madison ~The Witch of Sleepy Hollow~