The Headless Horseman V. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde: Who Will Win?
Happy Halloween, Book Nerds! Welcome back to Reading Has Ruined My Life or welcome if you are new. As always, my name is Hannah but today you can call me the Master of Ceremonies.
Last year you saw Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster fight to the death in a Battle Royale to end all Battle Royales! You watched as Frankenstein’s Monster emerged victorious, but the fighting does not stop there. We're back, baby! Who is fighting to the death this year? Who will make it out alive? Who is the stronger gothic creature between The Headless Horseman and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!? It’s time for a Versus Match, baby!
Please give a warm welcome back to my friends Amanda, Katie, and Frankie. You know them, you love them, I love them; and you know what this means! Get ready for a laugh out loud funny conversation where you question what exactly lead you to this site.
My friends have been provided with a handy-dandy list of the strengths and weaknesses of both creatures. They know this is a death match. They’re prepared. They’re ready. They know who will win between The Headless Horseman and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
As for the rules, they are simple. Our two gothic characters are in a Battle Royale style fight. Around the arena are a few small, helpful objects that may aid our two fighters. These items could also be a hinderance, who knows. Spectators have paid good money to come watch this fight. Two famous gothic characters enter, only one may exit. This is the fight to the death. Each competitor has strengths and weaknesses that can help or hurt them in this competition. But who shall win? Well…you’re about to find out.
Hannah: Welcome to the cage match, the Battle Royale, to end all fights. It is the battle between The Headless Horseman and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Who will win? The goal is simple: convince me who is stronger, who will be triumphant?
Katie, Frankie, and Amanda: Woo!
Hannah: I would like to make it known that so far Frankie has won two-out-of-two versus matches.
Katie: Oh, you know, the lawyer boy! The lawyer boy won the arguments.
Frankie: Hey, hey, hey! I’m not a litigator. I’m not gonna go into litigation, so I don’t know what you’re doing.
Katie: Ok, Mr. Debate Club won the debates.
Frankie: I was never in Debate Club. We didn’t have Debate Club.
Amanda: No, it was basically Debate Club, it was just called something else. What was it called?
Katie: Were you in the UN thing?
Amanda: No it wasn’t Model UN, it was something else. You would go into the auditorium or whatever and you’d get a packet and you’d be told, “you’re for apples, the other team is oranges.” And you’d have so many minutes to come up with an argument.
Frankie: That’s debate!
Amanda: Yeah, but it’s not called Debate Club. It also involves acting and stuff. I’m looking it up, man.
Frankie: Hannah, I’d like to say first of all, this is a death match, right?
Hannah: Yes, we are fighting to the death.
Frankie: This is the hardest one you’ve sent us.
Hannah: This is!? Really?
Frankie: It is. I’ve read “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” I’ve read one and a half of these books.
Hannah: I’m proud of you.
Frankie: I’ve read the Wishbone version of Jekyll and Hyde.
Frankie: You don’t know Wishbone?
Amanda: Isn’t it the thing you get out of the turkey?
Frankie: You don’t know Wishbone the dog!?
Katie: I don’t know what we’re talking about anymore.
Frankie: Wishbone was a little dog on PBS who would do books. And he would be in character in the books.
Katie: Some of us didn’t watch PBS, some of us had cable. So we watched Pokémon.
Frankie: You still could have watched PBS. You could have watched Reading Rainbow.
Katie: I didn’t
Frankie: Well they did a version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with Wishbone.
Hannah: Unfortunately that’s not the version we’re debating.
Frankie: This version was called Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Dog.
Hannah: Oh my god.
Katie: That is not a classic literature piece you should be sharing with children yet.
Frankie: The plot of this one was one of the characters fell in love with an Elvis impersonator.
Hannah: An Elvis impersonator!?
Katie: What the heck was PBS doing?
Frankie: Yeah, this woman fell in love with an Elvis impersonator, but she was already in a relationship, and Wishbone goes: “wow that sudden change in behavior really reminds me of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” So he starts telling the story. Except Dr. Jekyll turns into a dog instead of Mr. Hyde.
Hannah: What was PBS on when they made this?
Frankie: This wasn’t a TV show. Wishbone had a show, but they had a whole book series too. Jekyll and Hyde was one of the books. They did weird books. They did Beowulf.
Katie: That is definitely not a little kid’s story.
Amanda: I love Beowulf.
Katie: I hate that book. I hated Beowulf so much.
Frankie: They did a lot of weird ones. They did Wars of the Roses. They did Murder on the Orient Express.
Katie: Why! Oh my god, this is just…I’m getting hives just hearing this.
Frankie: So that is how I read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Dog. Also the first book was Dog Quixote.
Katie: Of all the books.
Hannah: Did he fight milk bones instead of windmills?
Frankie: I have no idea, I don’t really remember that one. Ok, sorry, I’ve derailed this whole thing.
Hannah: It’s ok. Amanda, did you ever figure out the word you were looking for?
Amanda: No, I’m still looking it up. (Spoiler alert, she never figured out what she was talking about.)
Katie: Well, for me at least, I thought the winner was pretty clear cut.
Hannah: Whose side are you on?
Katie: I’m on the Headless Horseman’s side. He’s a big mother-fucking ghost with a ghost horse and a sword against a serial killer. Just like a normal serial killer. He’s not even that much of a serial killer. I don’t think he killed that many people from what I remember.
Hannah: I think he only got three people.
Katie: Right. That’s the bare minimum to be considered a serial killer.
Frankie: That’s still a lot of people.
Katie: Only three? That’s pathetic.
Frankie: And how many people have you killed?
Katie: Zero because I’m not a serial killer.
Frankie: He’s killed more than you!
Hannah: We technically don’t know the Headless Horseman’s body count. We don’t know how many people he’s killed. Or if he's killed anyone at all.
Katie: Yeah, but he’s a fucking spirit, in the woods, riding his horse, scaring everybody, cutting heads off when someone pisses him off, doing whatever the hell he wants on his own turf, is probably hundreds of years old. He’s not Mr. I-Took-A-Potion-And-Now-I’m-A-Serial-Killer-But-I’ve-Only-Killed-Three-People-And-Then-I-Died.
Amanda: That’s how it went, huh?
Hannah: He committed suicide. He unalived himself.
Amanda: Yeah, he starved himself.
Katie: He couldn’t even get behind it enough to go all in. The Headless Horseman knows what he wants to be and does what he wants; I respect that.
Frankie: I feel like we’re all on the same team this time.
Hannah: So you’re also on Team Headless Horseman?
Frankie: Yes, he’s got mythical powers.
Katie: Right, he’s a supernatural entity.
Frankie: Mr. Hyde is just a strong man.
Katie: He’s just a guy with a chemically induced personality disorder.
Frankie: Hang on, give him some credit, he’s pure muscle.
Katie: Sorry, he’s a well-built man with a chemically induced personality disorder.
Frankie: He’s like the Rock on steroids. That’s how I imagine Hyde at least.
Katie: He’s not that well-built.
Hannah: Hyde definitely becomes a different stature. Jekyll is described as very trim, very much a scientist in the Victorian era, like he’s a beanpole. That’s what I got, while Hyde is physically imposing. You [Frankie] said he’s [Hyde] basically the Rock? So yeah, probably.
Frankie: It’s hard to take the Rock out. That’s a difficult fight.
Katie: Yeah but he’s fighting a ghost on a ghost horse with a ghost sword and a flaming pumpkin head.
Frankie: That’s what I’m saying, at the end you got people with pumpkin heads and ghost powers running around.
Katie: Ancient Halloween entities.
Frankie: And the Horseman’s a soldier so he knows how to fight.
Hannah: He died in battle. Does he really know how to fight?
Frankie: He got decapitated by a cannonball!
Hannah: Okay, fair.
Frankie: No one’s coming back from that.
Hannah: Amanda, are you on the side of the Headless Horseman?
Frankie: You know what makes this fight difficult? The fact that there is no confirmation that he [the Headless Horseman] is a ghost.
Hannah: Yes, that’s my main point against the Headless Horseman.
Frankie: We don’t know a hundred percent if he’s a ghost. He could be, as Hannah put it, a fuckboy.
Hannah: A fuckboy in a costume. Do we think the Headless Horseman is real? Do we think that in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" there is an actual ghost running around, throwing flaming pumpkins at people? Or do we think it’s a fuckboy in a costume trying to scare away another suitor so he can marry the prettiest woman in town?
Katie: I think it’s a ghost.
Amanda: Yeah, I think it’s a ghost too. I watched the Disney version, and it was pretty ghostly.
Hannah: Well too bad, we’re not talking about the Disney version, Amanda.
Amanda: I’m going to base my answer off the fact that Disney made their version pretty scary.
Frankie: You can’t base it off of Disney, what is this!?
Hannah: This is the original gothic literature characters only! We've been through this!
Amanda: I get it, but Disney did a pretty good job at putting in together. They made Bram Bones look like a fuckboy too alright, Disney did pretty damn good at keeping to the literature.
Katie: I’m going from the perspective that there have been a lot of legends of Dullahans. There have been a lot of myths about headless horse riders so I think that in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" the Headless Horseman is not a myth.
Amanda: I’d like to interject. In the original literature, the townspeople don’t seem all that smart. We don’t hear a lot about them, but from what we do know, they don’t seem to know a lot.
Katie: From that logic I’d say your argument leans towards the other direction. That it’s Bram Bones fooling everyone. They’re so stupid that they don’t know it’s actually a guy in a costume.
Amanda: No, no, no. What I’m saying is the townspeople weren’t smart enough to create a myth like this. They weren’t smart enough to create a legend. That’s why I think he is a ghost. For the era, it’s a compelling story/legend that I can’t imagine someone making up.
Frankie: I’m gonna be honest, that made no sense. I don’t know where you started or where you ended. You’re saying that no one is smart enough to make up the legend, but someone had to tell the story originally.
Hannah: So you’re saying the townspeople aren’t smart enough to create the legend?
Hannah: Well they didn’t. In the story, the legend is being passed down.
Amanda: You know what I meant.
Hannah: No, I do not know what you meant!
Amanda: I’m saying their ancestors didn’t make it up either. I’m saying the ghost person just showed up one night after the horrible stuff that happened to him. He was in a war, that probably wasn’t great for him.
Frankie: The America Revolution to be exact.
Amanda: Oh, also go support Ukraine, all of Hannah’s readers. Anyway, it’s hard for me to imagine somebody back in that time creating a horror story as compelling as this is. Like Edgar Allan Poe created many scary horror stories.
Hannah: Our Lord and Savior Edgar Allan Poe who we stan on this blog!
Amanda: It’s Poe Season, everybody! Anyway, he created a lot of spooky stories, and for that era they were super scary, but you bring them into our era and they aren’t as scary. They were probably scarier back then.
Katie: I think they’re still spooky, they’re just a different flavor of spooky.
Amanda: I’m saying that for the flavor of spooky of the time, the Headless Horseman was too much for them.
Frankie: Hold up, I’m sorry, are you saying that you think the Headless Horseman is real? Like in real life?
Amanda: No! I know Washington Irving created this story.
Katie: I’m so confused. You’ve lost me at this point Amanda.
Hannah: Let me see if I got this right. The fictional citizens did not, did not, create the legend of the Headless Horseman, it was a real story, and it just got passed down perfectly for two to three generations to the point in which we see it in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow."
Frankie: Amanda, please clarify something.
Amanda: Please note that I will hang up on you guys if you make fun of me. I’m not in the mood.
Katie: You’re not in the mood to be debated upon this debate show. Amanda: Correct.
Frankie: Amanda, you’re saying that the citizens at the time the book was written, in real life, were not smart enough to come up with the legend of the Headless Horseman, and Washington Irving based his citizens off of real people.
Frankie: But Irving came up with the story.
Frankie: So wouldn’t that make them smart enough to come up with the Headless Horseman?
Hannah: Did we break her?
Amanda: I’m trying not to say a certain word that I don’t like to say.
Frankie: Am I going to get assaulted now?
Hannah: Katie, did you say you think the Horseman is real?
Katie: Not in real life, but in the story I think it’s a real ghost.
Hannah: Ok, so you and Amanda both think that. Frankie, do you think it’s a ghost or a real person.
Amanda: I don’t want to hear Frankie’s input, why did we invite him?
Frankie: Jesus Christ!
Frankie: Ugh, this is so difficult now that I think about it. We have an unreliable narrator, the ending is ambiguous where some people think it was Bram who did it while the old wives believe that it’s a ghost.
Hannah: I mean, it’s ambiguous for a reason.
Katie: That’s part of the horror. You don’t really know what happened.
Hannah: It’s spookier that way. But for the sake of the battle are we going with the decision that the Headless Horseman is a ghost?
Katie: Yeah, I say so. There are enough similar legends from around the world to say so.
Frankie: I don’t think Mr. Hyde has a chance now.
Hannah: Ok, so it’s flesh and blood v. supernatural.
Frankie: I have a question about the fight now.
Hannah: I have an answer.
Frankie: You said that the longer the fight goes on, Jekyll and Hyde can switch at any time, but when it starts Jekyll has to take a potion to change into Hyde?
Hannah: Yes, it’s my belief that he needs to inject himself.
Frankie: Well he’s fucking done then.
Frankie: Yeah, he’s screwed. Jekyll could take the potion and then the Headless Horseman could just hit him with a flaming pumpkin.
Katie: While Jekyll's taking his medicine, he’s gonna get his head chopped off. Even if the Headless Horseman isn’t a ghost, I assume he still has a sword.
Frankie: Or hatchet.
Hannah: Let’s say for the sake of this fight, Jekyll has time to change into Hyde. What happens then?
Katie: The Headless Horseman chucks a flaming pumpkin at Hyde. We have the long range.
Hannah: Do you think Hyde would be scared or would he hit it away and laugh?
Amanda: Hyde isn’t afraid of anything but death.
Katie: But now he’s burned because he hit it with his hand.
Hannah: Let’s say he just side steps it then.
Katie: Well I guess he has to face a ghost on horseback with a sword.
Frankie: Hyde could get a few shots in. Let’s say Hyde can knock the Horsemen off his horse and levels the playing field. He’s still not going to win because he’s gonna be taken out by a sword.
Katie: You think it’ll be a difficult match, but the Horseman prevails nonetheless?
Frankie: Yeah. I think self-preservation is a strength, but he’s gonna get tired. Hyde can run around all he wants, but eventually he’ll wear out, especially if he’s fighting a ghost.
Amanda: A ghost can still exhaust. The Headless Horseman is still using energy, he’ll eventually fade as well.
Katie: Can Hyde even hit the Headless Horseman if he’s [the Headless Horseman] fading in and out?
Amanda: It be a power move.
Frankie: I have a question. Where is this fight taking place?
Hannah: The same arena as last year. We made so much money that we were able to rebuild the arena that Frankenstein’s Monster burned to the ground.
Frankie: Is there running water? It’s one of the Horseman’s weaknesses
Hannah: Yes, we were able to put that in. It is one of the few weaknesses the Horseman has, so we added it in.
Frankie: I would say Hyde could cross that, but the Horseman has flaming pumpkins that he can keep throwing.
Katie: Yeah, it be like dodge ball.
Hannah: Do you think Hyde himself is smart enough to cross the running water?
Frankie: Maybe Jekyll would realize and cross, but at that point he’s Jekyll and is weak.
Amanda: Is there a point where Jekyll and Hyde can switch on command and talk to each other? Like in the musical adaptation during “Confrontation”?
Hannah: Eventually yes, but when I was writing the notes I thought that the longer the battle goes on, the longer Hyde has.
Amanda: My question is are they talking to one another.
Hannah: I’m gonna say no. I think Jekyll is smart enough to use context clues to figure things out but he doesn’t know exactly what he’s done as Hyde post events.
Frankie: That makes it so much worse for Jekyll and Hyde. Man, they suck. Now, in the book, when Hyde fully takes control, doesn’t Jekyll try to fight it off?
Hannah: It’s more an internal battle than anything else. He realizes just how much damage he’s done, and says he’s going to stop but he eventually messes up and transforms.
Frankie: If they’re fighting internally, they won’t get anything done. Man, they suck. I was wrong in my first opinion that this would be a hard fight.
Amanda: My thing is, Jekyll is in here too. He knows this is a fight to the death, so wouldn’t he want to let Hyde out.
Hannah: That’s my thought too. They know this is a fight to the death. So he’s gonna want to survive.
Frankie: But he eventually turns back into Jekyll.
Hannah: Yeah, so say this match lasts at least 24-hours. It would be 12-hours as Hyde, 12-hours as Jekyll. And every time he takes a potion, Hyde gains an extra hour. Just to be fair.
Frankie: Yeah, that’s fair. But the Headless Horseman still has more energy than Jekyll and Hyde.
Katie: Yeah, I think the Horseman is just out of his league.
Hannah: At least the ghostly Horseman. This is why I wanted to see if you thought it was Bram in disguise. Cause that’s more of a fair fight.
Frankie: A hundred percent.
Amanda: Bram v. Jekyll and Hyde, much more fair.
Hannah: But you guys decided ghost, so now it’s not fair.
Frankie: Controversial statement: even if it was Bram, I think Bram would win.
Katie: He’s got a sword and a horse.
Amanda: And a pumpkin!
Katie: He’s got weapons, he’s got reach, he’s got pumpkins to throw.
Amanda: He definitely has one pumpkin that he can light on fire and throw.
Frankie: He’s got one pumpkin on fire so he has that ranged attack, he’s got a sword or a hatchet, Bram is fucking jacked!
Hannah: Yeah, he’d just need to last 12-hours for Jekyll to appear.
Amanda: Hyde I could picture going up to the horse and going Godfather style on it.
Frankie: Then Bram comes out of nowhere and ends Hyde. He’d [Hyde] be distracted.
Katie: That sword, it’s got reach. Reach will always win.
Hannah: So… it’s pretty unanimous that the Headless Horseman is the winner. Would anyone like to tell me exactly how the Headless Horseman wins?
Amanda: A flaming pumpkin to the face and a sword stab to the side.
Hannah: Nice and simple.
Katie: I think, he starts off by throwing pumpkins but realizes they aren’t working too well so he rides in there. Maybe Hyde gets one or two punches in on the horse and it dissipates or whatever forcing the Horseman to dismount, and then Hyde has to dodge the sword. But he gets too tired and gets cut in half.
Hannah: Very nice.
Frankie: I like Katie’s idea, like that Hyde gets a few punches in, but he’s fighting a ghost.
Hannah: He is fighting a ghost. So that concludes Halloween Death Match 2022. The Headless Horseman is the winner! Tune in January 1, 2023 to see the Headless Horseman fight Frankenstein’s Monster to the death.
Thank you so much for joining me today. I do hope you’ve enjoyed your time here today. This was once again one of the funniest conversations I’ve had with my friends. I wish I had a better recording but alas I don’t. So sorry that you’ve missed out on all the Disney references, which song the competitors enter in to (by the way, the Headless Horseman’s is “Wanted” and Jekyll and Hyde’s is a mixture of classical music and emo screams), Final Fantasy VII and its characters, as well as the discussion on the Disney adaptation of The Legend of the Sleepy Hollow. With or without these topics of conversation, this versus match is a wildly good time.
Once again, a huge thank you to Amanda, Katie, and Frankie for helping me out with this post. Please give them some love cause they really made this post. Amanda and Katie didn’t want their socials linked so give them some love on Reading Has Ruined My Life’s Twitter page: @RHRMLBlog. I’ll pass along all your messages. If you wanna give Frankie some love then you can check out his podcast, The PACRats, on YouTube, Spotify, and Twitch.
I always love doing these versus match posts, so please give it some love as well while you’re here. Like and share it with your friends. Happy Halloween, y’all. I hope you enjoyed your little treat, and I’ll see you again on Wednesday with another new review.
Until then stay safe, stay spooky, wash your hands, and read some good books for me.