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Abraham Van Brunt

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Abraham Van Brunt

Abraham Van Brunt
General information
Alias: Headless Horseman
Horseman of Death
Birthplace: England 1749
Status: Undead
Species: Human (formerly)
Profession: Continental Army soldier (formerly)
Horseman of the Apocalypse
Position: Horseman of Death
Physical description
Gender: Male
Hair color: Blonde (shaved bald)
Eye color: Blue

White (after making a deal with the devil)

Personal information
Further information
First appearance: "Pilot"
Last appearance: "Ragnorok"
Portrayed by: Neil Jackson (headed)
Jeremy Owens (headless)
Richard Cetrone (Weapon double)
Craig Branham (Horseback double)

Abraham Van Brunt, also known as The Horseman of Death, Death, The Horseman and The Headless Horseman, is an undead horseman and one of the the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. He was an Englishman who fought alongside the American army. He was betrothed to Katrina Crane, at the time, who left him for his best friend, Ichabod Crane. Wanting vengeance, he sold his soul after being killed by The Shadow Warriors in 1774.[1]

He got the chance to slay Ichabod, but was beheaded within that brief moment. After he was killed, he was entombed beneath a lake. Being bound by blood, both Abraham and Crane were resurrected in 21st century of Sleepy Hollow.

History Edit

Early life Edit

Originally, the horseman of Death was a human named Abraham Van Brunt who was an Englishman born in 1749. He came from a prosperous family, and a was a friend of Ichabod Crane. He was betrothed to Katrina Van Tassel in an arranged marriage in 1774. He would purchase expensive gifts for her to show his love. One time, he sought to buy her a necklace and initially chose the most expensive one; however, Ichabod suggested another simpler one as being more suited to Katrina's taste. During a soiree, unbeknownst to him, Katrina told Ichabod that she was going to break off the engagement that evening, as she loved him instead.

The following day, Abraham and Ichabod were sent on a secret mission to deliver the Declaration of Resolves of the First Continental Congress, the predecessor to the Declaration of Independence. As the two men made their way through hostile territory in Pennsylvania, Abraham's mind was on Katrina's break up with him. During a discussion over the matter, Ichabod confessed, which angered Abraham. Ichabod tried to reason with him and ask for his blessing, but to no avail. Abraham forced Ichabod into a duel with their sabers. Ichabod quickly yielded, but Abraham refused to accept and continued the fight. Abraham disarmed Ichabod and forced him to the ground with his sword at Ichabod's throat. However, without warning, Abraham was shot by a Hessian soldier who came on the scene.

Ichabod slew the Hessian and another, but more approached. Ichabod tried to help Abraham, but he told him to leave. The Hessians dismounted and approached the mortally wounded Abraham. Moloch came to Abraham and made a deal with him. Abraham sold his soul to Moloch who made him the Horseman of Death in exchange for revenge.[1]

He then went under the guise of a Hessian soldier who was part of the 5th Battalion, also known as The Shadow Warriors. He was also the unknown assailant who chased Paul Revere and his allies, murdering all three of them while Paul barely escaped with a manuscript containing his only known weakness.[2]

Season One Edit

Abraham is first introduced as the Headless Horseman and murders Sherrif August Corbin and Reverend Alfred Knapp.[2] He also kills several members of the Freemasons, hoping to find and kill Ichabod in the process.[2] His goal is to find his head so that he can summon the other three Horsemen and bring about the End of Days, under the command of the demon Moloch.

Later on while in the 21st Century, not only does he have the use of his ax, but at the end of the "Pilot", he acquires a Mossberg 500 shotgun and a Colt M4A1 Carbine that is modified with a fore grip and holographic sight. He is also seen carrying a Glock 17 pistol as a sidearm.

Aside from his weapons, the Headless Horseman also has a bandolier of 12 Gauge shotgun shells he uses for his shotgun. He also has another bandolier where he stores clips for his sidearm and carbine, as well as a belt that contains more clips. He got most of this from Andy Brooks's home in Sleepy Hollow when he broke in and took them from the weapons safe. After being captured and held prisoner temporarily, it's likely all these weapons were taken from him, though it's likely that he will obtain a new set later on. In the season finale, he is seen with at least his Mossberg 500 again, implying that he has obtained firearms again (or at least his shotgun). Also, he relied on the use of a white horse as a mode of transportation, symbolizing his status as the Horseman of Death.

Season Two Edit

Abraham captured Katrina and took her to his opulent mansion, where he held her prisoner through a powerful hex which greatly suppressed her powers, cast by his fellow Horseman, Jeremy Crane/Henry Parrish. He would talk with Jeremy about the plan to resurrect Moloch, as well as attempt to convince Katrina to forget about Ichabod and begin a new life with him. He told her that she could do it voluntarily or he would perform a binding ritual to make her into a servant of Moloch.

Katrina managed to convince Abraham that she would not endeavor to escape and to allow her feelings for him to develop naturally. In reality, she was manipulating him using his love for her as a tool to keep herself safe. Abraham eventually wised up to her tactics, but because of his desire for her, he allowed himself to believe her lies.

When Moloch desired to use Katrina as a vessel to come into the mortal realm, Abraham rebelled against the plan and attacked the Hessian soldiers sent to take her. He was stopped by Jeremy, who used the sunlight to weaken him. It was at this point that Abraham's loyalty to Moloch began to waver.

Eventually, Abraham decides to perform the binding ritual on Katrina on the eve of Moloch's rise to take her as his prize, as agreed through his pact with the demon. He is stopped by Ichabod and Abbie, who take him to the underground prison chamber and once again chain him up. Frank Irving threatens to kill him with the Sword of Methuselah and Abraham tells them of Moloch's entrance to the mortal world and how he plans to bring about the Apocalypse.[3]

After Moloch's destruction, Katrina tells Abraham that she wishes to free him from the dark magic the demon placed on him and turn him human again. He agrees to let her attempt a ritual that would accomplish the task but before she can perform it, the angel Orion appears to kill him. Katrina, worried about his safety, frees him from his bonds and he escapes to a woodshed where demons that had escaped from Purgatory wish for him to become their new leader. He reforges his axe and later battles Orion. Ichabod, Abbie and Katrina arrive and Ichabod uses the axe to destroy Orion's weapon, causing him to flee.[4]

Abraham attacks Ichabod but Katrina convinces him to let him go. He tells Katrina that he refuses to be chained up while she looks for a way to return him to normal. He leaves and hasn't been seen since.

In the past (in an altered time line), Katrina and Abraham arrived at Frederick Manor stop Grace's and Abigail's attempt to reverse her spell, but Grace and Abigail succeeded and canceled the Traveler's Spell.

Season Three Edit

Abraham was captured by Pandora and trapped in her box. [5] With the box thought to have been destroyed[6], his ultimate fate was unknown.

He is not seen again until the season three finale, Ragnorok, when Ichabod summons him forth from a restored Pandora's Box to defeat Pandora herself. Pandora tries to pass him off by saying that she has easily defeated him before, but Ichabod then offers the Horseman his head back so he will be at full strength against Pandora. Despite having his head back, though, the Horseman is unable to defeat Pandora on his own and she begins to take him back into her box. However, Ichabod comes to his aid and throws him his broadax. The Horseman then strikes down Pandora and leaves her there to die, but not before his head is sucked into the box. He is about to kill Ichabod, but Crane convinces him otherwise.

Personality Edit

In his human life, Abraham was a proud man and a clear product of his time and family. He would go to extremes when buying gifts for Katrina while Ichabod was more subtle. While initially a good man, he was devastated and angered by Katrina's decision to leave him upon the discovery that Ichabod had been the true love of her life. Abraham challenged his friend to a duel and when he apparently won, he was mortally shot by a Hessian soldier. Moloch then approached him and offered Katrina to him in exchange for him becoming the Horseman of Death, an offer he accepted without question, as it also gave him what he wanted in the process: Revenge, though what he truly wanted was to be with Katrina once more.

As a Horseman of the Apocalypse, his anger and hatred may be further augmented toward Ichabod Crane and anyone else that stands in his way of his objective, though without his head or a necromancer, his only means of expressing himself are through his physical actions.

While able to hold grudges and the desire to obtain revenge, Abraham still demonstrates that his desire for Katrina to love him the way that he loves her is still strong, and that he would do nearly anything to see her happy to be at his side. In The Weeping Lady, he asked War to strengthen the protective spells over the house where they kept Katrina to ensure that she couldn't get out, but when he discovered that she had been captured by the Weeping Lady (a fact that he may not have known who was responsible for this), he left out to find her, a sign that he views her safety as one of his priorities, even as one of the Four Horsemen. He even spared Ichabod when Katrina revealed who the culprit was when he found them together.

With the death of Moloch, Abraham's more human traits have begun to slowly resurface; a fact noted by both Katrina and Ichabod. He was willing to consider Katrina's offer to find a spell to separate him from his Horseman aspect but refused to return with the group after the fight with Orion; wishing to live freely.

Abilities Edit


Being one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Abraham was practically granted immortality and possesses minimal invulnerability. He is capable of withstanding multiple gunshots and isn't fazed after being hit repeatedly with a shovel. However, gunshots do seem to temporarily stun him in his tracks. [7] It's possible that the Horseman may possess a limited healing factor (hence him surviving various injuries, though he may not be able to regenerate severed limbs). He also appears to have enhanced strength. The moment a spell that was preventing him from escaping was broken, he was able to rip apart several large chains that were restraining him with ease. The Horseman has also demonstrated the ability to utilize Andy Brooks as a translator, being able to communicate through him.[1]

One of the Abraham's only known weaknesses is sunlight. He immediately flees on his horse when the sun begins to rise, causing his uniform to sizzle when touched by its rays.[7] [8] Artificial sunlight also seems to have the same effect; whereas Abbie and Ichabod once used ultraviolet lights to apprehend him.[1] The Sword of Methuselah is also deemed capable of killing Abraham, since the sword can destroy any demon that it pierces or slays. Abraham may be only at less than half his true strength. His skull has the potential to grant him full power and hasten the Apocalypse by bringing the other Horsemen.

Weapon proficiency Edit

In his early life, Abraham took interest in fencing, and was a exceptionally skilled swordsman and accomplished duelist.[8] However, after becoming a Hessian, the broadaxe became Abraham's primary weapon. The axe is known to heat up to 500 degrees at the Horseman's will in order to cauterize the wound of the victim's head every time the Horseman decapitates his victims. When it came to discovering modern day firearms, Abraham would simply fire wildly at his targets. However, he has gotten better at aiming overtime.

Abraham is also very good in unarmed combat, as well. Utilising a combination of grappling procedures and powerful blows.

It's implied the horseman has the power to kill nearly any being (being Death itself), as the angel Orion, fled after his weapon was destroyed rather than face the horseman.

Relationships Edit

Abraham, being a Horseman of the Apocalypse, is a non-social individual, preferring to work alone. He will work with other people, but only for as long as Moloch requires him to. The only possible beings he might be willing to work with on a long-term basis are the other three Horsemen of the Apocalypse and Moloch himself. However, due to The Weeping Lady and Deliverance, he may not work well with War.

So far, he has shown utmost loyalty to Moloch and his goal of starting the Apocalypse.

As the Horseman of Death, Abraham Van Brunt is to be considered an enemy of all people living. He seems to hold special resentment towards Ichabod Crane as Crane was responsible for him losing his fiancee, his defeat during the American Revolutionary War, and his subsequent decapitation. It was later revealed in "Necromancer" that he was once Ichabod's friend and Katrina's former fiance until Katrina chose to be with Ichabod instead of him, which led him to assume that Ichabod had stolen Katrina from him.

In his human life, Abraham was a proud man and a clear product of his time and family. He would go to extremes when buying gifts for Katrina while Ichabod was more subtle. While initially a good man, he was devastated and angered by Katrina's decision to leave him upon the discovery that Ichabod had been the true love of her life. Abraham challenged his friend to a duel and when he apparently won, he was mortally shot by a Hessian soldier. Moloch then approached him and offered Katrina to him in exchange for him becoming the Horseman of Death, an offer he accepted without question, as it also gave him what he wanted in the process: Revenge.

He also has displayed a great amount of animosity towards anyone who he sees as an obstacle in retrieving his skull and completing the Apocalypse such as Sheriff August Corbin (for reasons currently unknown), Captain Frank Irving, Reverend Alfred Knapp (who wouldn't tell him where his head was located), and Abbie Mills. He has displayed great animosity towards Ichabod as he took Katrina and his head from him.

As a result of the Wepping Lady's attack, Abraham may possess some resentment toward Jeremy Crane, as he was the one behind the summoning of the Weeping Lady that endangered Katrina when all he asked of him was to strengthen the protective spells over the house they had her confined to in order to keep her from escaping.[9]

After Deliverance, Abraham may see Jeremy as an enemy and question Moloch's own role in endangering Katrina, who was made sick[10], as he was forced to contend with Jeremy's men to free Katrina from them.

Appearances Edit

Season 1
Pilot Blood Moon For the Triumph of Evil... The Lesser Key of Solomon John Doe
The Sin Eater The Midnight Ride Necromancer Sanctuary The Golem
The Vessel The Indispensable Man Bad Blood
Season 2
This Is War The Kindred Root of All Evil Go Where I Send Thee... The Weeping Lady
And the Abyss Gazes Back Deliverance Heartless Mama Magnum Opus
The Akeda Paradise Lost Pittura Infamante Kali Yuga Spellcaster
What Lies Beneath Awakening Tempus Fugit

Trivia Edit

  • In the actual Book of Revelation, Death is the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse, who rides a pale horse with Hell right behind him. In the series, Washington's Bible has the Headless Horseman as the First Horseman of the Apocalypse with the description of what in the actual Book of Revelation is Conquest. Though they have changed the description of Death in Washington's Bible with what is accurately stated in the Book of Revelation in newer episodes, his horse is still white and he is still the First Horseman of the Apocalypse.
  • As a result of the revelation behind the origins of the Headless Horseman/Death being a former human[1], it's possible that the other three Horsemen of the Apocalypse are former men from different times and parts of the Earth made into the Horsemen they would become later on by Moloch after each encounter with him. This seems to be true as War also made a deal with Moloch.
  • As a result of The Kindred, Death may not be able to reclaim his skull unless the Kindred is decapitated, which could prove difficult.
    • After The Kindred's destruction, Death got his head back to fight Pandora, but in an effort to get him back in the box, his head was sucked in it. With the box destroyed, is possible that the head was destroyed as well.
  • It's been implied that Abraham can heat the blades of other weapons other than his broadaxe.
    • When facing Ichabod, he happened to throw a hatchet with an intentional heated blade.[7]

References Edit

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