In the latest episode of Sleepy Hollow, the series took on one of history’s most frightening legends — and their version was a whole lot scarier than the real thing.
Man vs. supernatural knife-monster
The real Jack the Ripper was just a man. He may have done some heinous things, but he (or maybe even she?) was just a human being. But in the Sleepy Hollow version, a man was turned into a supernatural beast after becoming one with an ancient knife. In the episode, Ichabod (Tom Mison) and Abbie (Nicole Beharie) confronted the man/monster and discovered that he wasn’t easily killed at all. He was shot, fell out of a window and landed on a car, but he still managed to walk away with a smile on his face. I’d call that scarier by a mile.
5 Murders vs. numerous
It’s a long-held belief that Jack the Ripper killed five women. Though, if you go poking around on the Internet long enough (guilty), you’ll also find theories pointing to as many as 10 or 11 killings. That is a scary thought, but nothing compared to the idea that the killings have happened time and time again throughout history. The facts tell us that there were less than a dozen people killed; Sleepy Hollow‘s fiction could put that number into the hundreds. Once again, fiction wins.
Powered by insanity vs. influenced by Pandora
Whoever Jack the Ripper was in the real-life legend, everyone can pretty much agree that he was driven by insanity. But this recent fictionalized version was powered by something more terrifying: Pandora. What makes her scarier is the simple fact that she has it in for Abbie and Ichabod and, as formidable as Jack the Ripper was, it makes me wonder what else she has up her sleeve — and that is a truly frightening thought in itself.
Hating women vs. hating anyone
Jack the Ripper, the real version, only killed women. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, but the truth is that if he was only killing females, then half the population could potentially feel safe. But Jack the Ripper in Sleepy Hollow was not discriminatory. Whoever was embodying the killer took their aggression out on anyone they felt wronged them — male or female. Once you raise the stakes like that, you instantly make the monster more horrifying.
Killings stopping due to death vs. due to disease
After killing five people (or 10 or 11, depending on which story you believe), Jack the Ripper suddenly disappeared. The abrupt way in which the killings stopped led some to think that maybe he died or was jailed for another reason or just decided to stop for whatever reason. The fictional Jack the Ripper stopped only when the blood the knife fed upon was poisoned with an epic disease. So the only way to kill the monster was to dose yourself up with some tainted blood and let the monster stab you. Having a guy just disappear is nothing compared to knowing that the only way to kill something is to potentially kill yourself.
In short, this version of Jack the Ripper was way and above scarier than the real thing.