The Headless Horseman is a headless ghost riding a spectral horse who roams around Skyrim at night. If you follow him, he will lead you to Hamvir's Rest, making various stops along the way. He can easily be followed on horseback, and will sometimes interact with you and his surroundings. He is difficult to keep up with if you are not mounted, but it is possible: sprint whenever you can, and if you have access to the Whirlwind Sprint shout, you can use it to easily catch up to him.
When following the Headless Horseman through his nightly travels, if any NPC kills a nearby enemy (such as a wolf, spider, or bandit), you can hear the Horseman whispering in response—commonly the phrase: "Finality." Other times, he will begin speaking in full sentences, but this is generally when you are too far away to hear the conversation clearly. One such phrase, "Such an abrupt end to our game.", is often heard if the Headless Horseman fails to reach his final destination before sunrise.
His horse has a RefID of
0010BF90, and is simply named 'Horse'. It is ethereal (weapons/attacks pass through it) and leaves a smoky blue trail behind it. It can be ridden like a normal horse but cannot be interacted with in any other way. If you are attacked while not mounted on the horse, it will attack the aggressor as other horses do when not being ridden. It does damage like a normal horse, but cannot be hurt, and has infinite stamina. The horse will also behave like a wild horse, meaning you can make it fast travel with you, but it will start heading back to where it spawned once you dismount. The horse reacts with the normal horse sound effect when it would normally take fall damage, but does not actually take any damage.
- The Horseman will always start his ride between the hours of 10pm and 5:30am; however, he can be encountered during the daytime on his way to Hamvir's Rest.
- The Horseman is flagged as a ghost in the game data, making him immune to any attacks or spell effects.
- Sometimes the Horseman can be found chasing his horse instead of riding it.
- The Horseman may glitch into an erratic motion sequence, in which he literally flies around in a seemingly random manner. This may occur if he is way behind his normal travel schedule, such as being encountered during the day. He can sometimes be found stuck in trees.