Andy Patel admits to knowing practically nothing about Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod Crane or the Headless Horseman, but he was glad when a television crew filming a reincarnation of the classic story called to shoot scenes at his motel.
“They called a couple of days ago and said they liked the location,” Patel said.
Patel owns the Sherwood Motel at 318 West Main St. in Havelock, where it was lights, camera, action all day long Monday.
A Wilmington freelance film crew under contract with 20th Century Fox is filming scenes for the television show "Sleepy Hollow" that stars Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie, Orlando Jones and Katia Winter. The show will air on the Fox television network at 9 p.m. Mondays and premieres on Sept. 16.
“They are filming in one room but they blocked about 30 rooms,” Patel said.
The crew came in with trucks and trailers and virtually filled the parking lot with gear.
“Anything and everything they brought on their own. They brought their own catering,” Patel said. “They didn’t even need to go to the hardware store. They brought everything they need. They said they even bring the circus with them if they need it.”
All the trucks, lighting and equipment created quite a stir in Sleepy Havelock.
“It’s interesting,” said Alan Gephart, a hotel guest. “We came down for a vacation and get to see this. Supposedly they are filming the first one here. That’s what they told us.”
One of the scenes involved a couple of sheriff patrol cars, complete with Sleepy Hollow emblems and actors dressed up as deputies, prompting a call to the Havelock News asking what was going on at the hotel and why deputies were there.
For their part, the crew remained silent. An actor in a Sleepy Hollow Sheriff’s Deputy uniform waiting for a scene to start said he was not permitted to talk to the press.
The filming brought Shirley Kendell and Gloria Jensen out to the hotel.
“We’re here to watch the show and to see my favorite hotel is on TV,” Kendell said. “What we’ve seen is people bringing cameras in and out and some boards. So far, we haven’t seen anybody dead yet.”
They said seeing a little bit of Hollywood come to Havelock was neat.
“We don’t see this every day here. It’s cool. It’s kind of exciting,” Kendell said. “The security people are very nice to let us sit here and see what’s going on. We’re trying to see if we see anybody famous.”
Patel said the crew was to wrap up work by Monday night, when the scene was expected to shift to Tryon Palace in New Bern.
“They’ve been good,” Patel said. “It’s good for business. Hey, it’s good for Havelock.”