Chinook’s Headless Horseman set to ride for 12th Halloween

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The more than a decade-old Halloween tradition has many hoping to catch a glimpse this year

CHINOOK, Wash. (KOIN) — There are ghosts, goblins and ghouls—and then there’s Chinook, Washington’s Headless Horseman who gallops through the small community every year on October 31st.

The more than a decade-old Halloween tradition has many hoping to catch a glimpse this year.

“I just love it here, and I do it all for the people—it’s for them,” said Nancy Avey. She has lived in Chinook for 17 years.

Nancy Avey, Chinook’s Headless Horseman. Oct. 30, 2020 (KOIN)

She and her 26-year-old horse Comanche are saddling up to ride again! Come Halloween, she’ll toss on her costume that she made and the two will head down the highway through town. This year will mark the 12th year of the tradition.

“One day, I was riding down the highway and I was in a black hoodie sweatshirt, and I thought, well, we need a headless horseman around town,” said Avey. “And I started doing it every year.”

And contrary to the legend of Sleepy Hollow, rather than searching for a head, Avey said she looks forward to friendly waves, double-takes, and posing for pictures.

“I have one little boy—he stopped me and he was looking up in there and he goes, ‘Can’t you talk?'” said Avey.

She said, over the years, many in the community have discovered who is behind the costume, which, by now, has garnered quite the fan base.

“Everybody looks forward to it. They go, ‘Is she going to ride this year? Is she going to be here?'” exclaimed Avey. “What’s good about this is I do not have to wear a face mask because I have no head!”

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