Headless Horseman

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MobHeadless Horseman
Image of Headless Horseman
Gender Male
Race Human (Undead)
Level 72 Elite
Resource Mana
Reaction Alliance Horde
Location Scarlet Monastery, Tirisfal Glades
Status Deceased (lore),[1]
Killable (in-game)
Hallow's End
The subject of this article or section is part of Hallow's End, a seasonal event that lasts two weeks. Once the event has run its course, this will no longer be available until next year, but there are no guarantees.
The Headless Horseman.
"Prepare yourselves, the bells have tolled! Shelter your weak, your young and your old! Each of you shall pay the final sum. Cry for mercy, the reckoning has come!"

The Headless Horseman is the boss of Hallow's End. In the open world, the shades of the horsemen terrorize six starting towns, three of each faction. The Horseman also appears as the sole encounter in a special version of the Scarlet Monastery Graveyard, queued for via Dungeon Finder.

The Horseman was once a Knight of the Silver Hand, but is now cursed. He is of the belief that he is alive, while those who face him are dead. When defeated, he is revealed as Sir Thomas Thomson.


The Headless Horseman encounter after the 2023 refresh
  • Spell fire incinerate.png Hot Head 200 yd range — Create flaming pumpkins that seek the head of each enemy. The pumpkins periodically ignite the ground, inflicting 16 Fire damage every 5.2 sec to enemies standing in the flames. 2.5 sec cast (10 sec cooldown)
  • Spell shadow ragingscream.png Insidious Cackle — Let out a terrifying cackle that echoes within all targets, causing them to suffer 28 Shadow damage and to flee if within range of each other for 6 sec. 4 sec cast
  • Ability rhyolith magmaflow wave.png Pumpkin Breath 45 yd range — Command a formation of Pumpkin Soldiers to spew a fiery Pumpkin Breath, inflicting 45 Fire damage to enemies affected. The effect repeats with a new formation. Additionally emit flames at the caster's location, inflicting 10 Fire damage every 0.5 sec to enemies in the flames. 1 sec cast (13 sec cooldown)
  • Inv misc thornnecklace.png Vine March — Call forth Pumpkin Soldiers that immediately attack nearby enemies. 1.5 sec cast (12 sec cooldown)

Hard mode

The wicker men to opt-in to hard mode

Added in patch 10.1.7 for the 2023 iteration of Hallow's End, players can speak with wicker men at the beginning of the instance before starting the encounter to engage in a personal hard mode. That is, any player that elects to engage in hard mode will not affect the difficulty of other players during the encounter.

The four small wicker men provide one curse each:

  • Trade engineering.png Cursed Hot Head — Cursed enemies suffer dark hallucinations manifesting in front of their location. Moving to the hallucination dispels it. Ignoring the hallucination inflicts two stacks of Wicker Man's Shadow to the enemy.
  • Ability creature cursed 03.png Ember Curse — Cursed enemies emit Shadowflame around their location periodically. Each blast inflicts a stack of Wicker Man's Shadow.
  • Ability warlock soulsiphon.png Shadow Curse — Insidious Cackle shackles the souls of cursed enemies in fear. The shackled soul slowly moves towards consuming flames. Souls that reach the flames before their shackles are destroyed inflict two stacks of Wicker Man's Shadow to the afflicted enemy.
  • Spell priest mindspike.png Thorny Surprise — Piercing thorns erupt under cursed enemies periodically. Enemies hit by the thorns suffer a stack of Wicker Man's Shadow.
The five wicker men (and Suzannah) after opting-in to hard mode

The central (larger) Ominous Wicker Man will apply all four debuffs at once!

Failing to dodge a cursed ability or properly execute a mechanic will add a stack or two of Wicker Man's Shadow:

Ability creature cursed 03.png Wicker Man's Shadow — The Wicker Men delight in the target's suffering, reducing the target's maximum health by 10% per stack.

Players cannot take too many hits or they'll run out of health. Should they "die", the wicker men will step in:

Spell shadow scourgebuild.png Wicker Man's Protection — The Wicker Men have prevented your death, reducing damage taken and restoring your health. Additionally, their curses have been lifted, forfeiting their rewards.

If players survive the encounter with all four curses still active, they will earn the  [Kickin' With the Wick] achievement, and have improved odds on loot from the  [Loot-Filled Pumpkin].

Is there an increased chance on the first kill of the day for the headless horseman mount?

Yes, and the first drop of the day receives a bonus likelihood that scales with the number of curses you apply.

Posted by Kaivax at 2023-10-18 13:31 PDT. View original post


The 2023-and-beyond version of the encounter is a single phase from 100% to zero with no invulnerable Head of the Headless Horseman intermissions.

The strategy boils down to "don't stand in bad". AoE down summoned adds, get out of the fire arcs, and spread out when circles surround each player.

Hard mode adds a few wrinkles, though they also mostly boil down to "don't stand in bad". Be on the lookout for a shade tethered to a fire pit that must die before it reaches it. Additionally, an obvious spot on the ground will light up that players should step in.


The Pumpkin Shrine to start the encounter.

The first time characters defeat the Headless Horseman each day, he drops a  [Loot-Filled Pumpkin] for level 60-or-above players, which contains 4-6x  [Tricky Treat], a Flimsy Mask, and rarely any of:

 [Loot-Filled Pumpkin]
Item Type
 [The Horseman's Reins] Mount
 [The Horseman's Sinister Slicer] One-hand sword
 [The Horseman's Horrific Hood] Plate helm
 [Magic Broom] Temporary mount
 [Sinister Squashling] Pet
 [Arfus] Pet
 [Windborne Velocidrake: Hallow's End Armor] Drakewatcher manuscript
 [The Scarlet Key] Scarlet Monastery of Old

Below that level, he instead drops a  [Loot-Stuffed Pumpkin], which contains most of the above loot pool, but not the mount.

The Horseman also has a chance to directly drop one of these rings each time he's defeated:


The Headless Horseman carving pumpkins.
The Headless Horseman action figure.
(Player) says: Horseman rise...
(Player) says: Your time is nigh...
(Player) says: You felt death once...
(Player) says: Now, know demise!
Headless Horseman says: It is over, your search is done. Let fate choose now, the righteous one.
  • Soldiers arise, stand and fight! Bring victory at last to this fallen knight! (Pumpkin Breath)
  • Come forth my minions, unleash your breath! Choke them with the stench of death! (Vine March)
  • Harken, cur! Tis you I spurn! Now feel... the burn! (Hot Head)
Your body lies beaten, battered and broken! Let my curse be your own, fate has spoken!
This end have I reached before. What new adventure lies in store?
A ghostly orb of light leaves the undead form and flies over in front of the ruined tomb behind the Pumpkin Shrine, revealing it to be the ghost of Sir Thomas. The ghost of Suzannah runs up to meet him:
Suzannah says: Thomas? Thomas...
Sir Thomas says: Suzannah! Beloved, I've searched for so long...

Pre-encounter gossip

Before the encounter, Suzannah Thomson has this gossip:


This is it. My husband... the Horseman lies just ahead.

Do what you must, but be careful. The Horseman is a formidable foe.

I'm afraid I would only get in the way during your battle. When you are ready, I will find somewhere to find until it is safe.

Good luck, hero.

From left to right, the five wicker men have this gossip:

<You feel an unbearable heat in your chest. The intensity increases, spreading throughout your body, like a flame turning you to ash.>

Accept my curse, and face my trial.

[Cursed Pumpkin Breath]: During Pumpkin Breath, cursed targets emit shadowflame blasts around their location. Each blast inflicts a stack of Wicker Man's Shadow.

<Your head throbs, a sharp stabbing sensation assaulting your psyche. It feels as though your mind itself is entangled in thorns.>

Accept my curse, and face my trial.

[Cursed Vine March]: During Vine March, piercing thorns erupt under cursed enemies periodically. The thorns inflict a stack of Wicker Man's Shadow.

<An eerie voice echoes in your mind.>

Our favor can be yours to earn, if you suffer through our trials...

Gossip What are your trials?

Each of my kin offer a curse--a challenge that altars the trial you will face in this graveyard. Should you succeed, we will grant you a boon. The rewards you seek may fall more easily into your hands.

But should you fall in battle while under our curse, you will return free from our burdens, our favor forfeit.

Your allies need not fear--only those with our curse will face greater difficulty.

[Wicker Man's Shadow]: Failing to resolve the Wicker Man curses in the upcoming trials inflicts stacks of Wicker Man's Shadow, reducing maximum health by 10% per stack.

If you would die while cursed, you instead lose all curses and restore health.

Gossip I accept all of your curses.

The accept option pops up a confirmation box:

Accepting this curse will add additional challenge in the coming battle.
Do you wish to continue?

<An oppressive darkness clouds your mind. An icy cackle pierces the air, overwhelming you with a fear that reaches deep into your core.>

[Cursed Insidious Cackle]: When Insidious Cackle is cast, cursed targets shed part of their soul. The soul is shackled, forced to slowly move towards the shadowy flames. Destroying the shackles frees the soul. Should the soul reach the flames, the target suffers two stacks of Wicker Man's Shadow.

<Horrific visions assault your mind. Obscured in the chaos, dark figures beckon. You reach out in desperation, seeking anything to cease the torment.>

Accept my curse, and face my trial.

[Cursed Hot Head]: During Hot Head, cursed enemies suffer from hallucinations. Moving to the hallucinations dispels them. Ignoring the hallucinations inflicts two stack[sic] of Wicker Man's Shadow.



  • [Cleave]: Standard cleave, hits for ~4k damage to plate.
  • [Whirlwind]: After losing its head, the body will AoE whirlwind for ~2k/sec.
  • Summon Flaming Heads: Several flaming jack-o-lanterns appear and move toward the party, exploding for ~100k damage when they hit a player.
  • Conflagration: An AoE DoT, can only be removed with a PvP Trinket or other similar abilities(Ice Block, Divine Shield, etc.). Ticks for a percentage of your maximum health every second and confuses the target. Lasts ~5 seconds. Feigning Death right before the conflag hits will cancel the fear effect, although the emotes and animations will still proc. You can attack/move as normal. Not sure if this also cleanses the DoT too. Also triggers Conflagrated Weapon.
  • Conflagrated Weapon: Gives the Horseman a chance to do extra fire damage on melee attacks. Allows the use of Fiery Cleave. Lasts 11 seconds.
  • Fiery Cleave: Deals 100k damage to targets in front of the Horseman.
  • Head of the Horseman: Active after the Horseman suffers 99% damage each phase. 63000 Health.
  • Pulsing Pumpkin: Tossed on the ground during phase three. Casts sprout after ~15 seconds. ~10k Health. If a pumpkin lands on a player, they get a disease named Squash Soul which is -18 Spirit for 20 minutes.
  • Pumpkin Fiend: Sprouted from the Pulsing Pumpkins. Deals ~650 base damage and has ~10k Health.

The Headless Horseman encounter is a three phase fight.

Phase one

The Horseman makes his entrance and engages whoever lit the candle. The tank should taunt immediately if they did not start the event. Watch out for [Cleave] and DPS him down.

At 1% the horseman will go immune, toss his head, walk around disoriented, and occasionally use a [Whirlwind] attack. The Head of the Horseman will become an active target while the body heals to 100%. All DPS should have a target macro for Head of the Horseman. After the party damages the head to about 60%, or the body heals to 100%, the head will rejoin the body and the next phase begins.

Pre-2023 quotes:

Lost Head
Head of the Horseman says: Get over here, you idiot!
Here's my body, fit and pure! Now, your blackened souls I'll cure!

Phase two

When the Horseman rejoins with his head, he targets the player with the highest threat. This is the same as phase one except he will randomly cast Conflagration on a random party member (not the tank). You can use a PvP Trinket to remove the Conflagration. Healers and ranged DPS should be alert to the location of both tank and Conflagration target; steer clear of these.

Phase two ends if the head reaches about 30% health, or when the body heals to 100%.

Phase three

The Horseman does not use Conflagration in Phase Three. Eventually he will toss four Pulsing Pumpkins, which sprout Pumpkin Fiends after several seconds, and they will completely heal. The fastest course of action seems to be having the tank stand in the middle of the pumpkins with focus abilities at the ready. The rest of the party continues DPS on the Horseman until his head is tossed. If the party has low DPS, a second or even third wave of Pulsing Pumpkins can be spawned before the head is tossed.

Tanking the Horseman on the steps to the underground area will cause all the spawns to land very close to the boss. This should make it very easy for the tank to pick them all up.

Once the Head of the Horseman dies, the Headless Horseman has been defeated, and the remaining pumpkins will die. If you don't kill the Head of the Horseman before the Horseman heals to 100%, Phase Three will repeat, meaning you have to nuke the Horseman again to get him to toss his head.


  • Having a Paladin or Death Knight tank makes this Phase much easier due to [Consecration] or [Death and Decay]. The rest of the party hugs the tank, inside the spell's range, allowing the tank to pick up the Fiends, thereafter the DPS can burn these down.
  • The key to the Headless Horseman is to find and DPS down the head as fast as possible when it is off the Horseman. The head does no damage so all DPS should feel free to unload on it. The macro "/target Head of" helps with this, as it allows you to pick up the head almost as soon as it detaches. To make certain that the macro does not inadvertently target the Headless Horseman, you can use "/targetexact Head of the Horseman".


Hearthstone This section contains information exclusive to Hearthstone and is considered non-canon.

The Headless appears as a neutral boss in his own Tavern Brawl released on October 17, 2017 during the Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion.

He reappears in Uldum during the Doom in the Tomb event, a Hearthstone event lasting from October 8th to October 30th, 2019. Based on previous years' Hallow's End event, Doom in the Tomb loosely ties into the ongoing narrative of the Year of the Dragon and features new Tavern Brawls, legendary quests rewarding gold and card packs, and temporary event versions of 23 Wild format cards added to Standard format and given out for free. The Wild event cards added during the event lasted beyond the event's time and were available until Hearthstone's next major content patch, which was on December 5, 2019.

The Headless Horseman makes a third appearance as a legendary death knight hero card in the Whizbang's Workshop expansion. The Horseman's Head is shuffled into the player's deck after it is drawn, it returns to the main body.


  • The Headless Horseman is voiced by Carlos Larkin.
  • The description of his LFG event is as such: Defeat the mad Headless Horseman before he burns down every last settlement in Azeroth.
  • Each year he can drop a variant of the sword he is actually seen using.
  • The Headless Horseman is a common character in European fairy tales and folklore.
The Headless Horseman as he appears in the Towers of Doom battleground in Heroes of the Storm.
  • The Horseman's steed appears as a mount in Heroes of the Storm.[2] The Horseman appears as a boss mercenary in the Towers of Doom map.



Patch changes

  • Dragonflight Patch 10.1.7 (2023-09-05): The Headless Horseman fight has been completely redesigned, and a hard mode has been added.
  • Legion Patch 7.2.5 (2017-06-13): The Headless Horseman now scales to the player's level, starting at 23.
  • Legion Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Level increased to 112.
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.2.2 (2015-09-01): Level increased to 102.
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.4.0 (2013-09-10): Summon Flaming Heads, Conflagrated Weapon and Fiery Cleave added to abilities. The encounter now occurs in the updated Scarlet Graveyard.
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Level increased to 92.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.2.0 (2011-06-28): Level increased to 85.
  • Wrath-Logo-Small.png Patch 3.2.2 (2009-09-22): Level increased from 70 to 80.
  • Bc icon.gif Patch 2.2.2 (2007-10-02): Added.


  1. ^ N [10-70] The Tale of Sir Thomas
  2. ^ 2015-09-21, In Development - Lt. Morales, Artanis, skins, and mounts!. YouTube, retrieved on 2015-09-27

External links

Classic Garrisons Retail