Michelle Trachtenberg Guest Stars on Sleepy Hollow as Abbie No. 2

Sleepy Hollow
Sleepy Hollow

Most TV shows avoid having two characters with the same first name. But genre-bending Sleepy Hollow–which follows contemporary cop Abigail “Abbie” Mills (Nicole Beharie) and 18th-century war hero Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) as they battle biblical demons in contemporary Westchester County, New York–flouts rules. To wit: Buffy the Vampire Slayer vet Michelle Trachtenberg is guest starring as real-life First Lady Abigail Adams. Bride to POTUS No. 2, John Adams, mother to POTUS No. 6, John Quincy Adams, and an early women’s rights crusader and abolitionist, this Abigail was apparently also a key ally of Ichabod’s good-witch wife, Katrina (Katia Winter), in the series’ secret war against unholy evils.

“We know how important Abigail Adams’s contribution was to the real history of our country,” executive producer Mark Goffman says. “So we took the opportunity to turn that on its head and retell it through our show’s twistory.” Here, Abigail and Katrina worked closely as a covert team during the 1770s. Unfortunately, one of their missions ended unresolved. In the present day, Katrina begins to notice links between the details of that old case and Ichabod and Abbie’s current investigation into the murder of a local Sleepy Hollow art restorer. And that gets Katrina reminiscing about her old friend. “Usually, Ichabod’s connected to the real-life historical figure in the flashbacks,” Goffman says. “But this time, John and Abigail Adams were Katrina’s friends. They were close.”

For Trachtenberg, taking on the former First Lady was a revolutionary experience. “Abigail Adams was this powerful woman who left her mark, and it was exciting to bring her to life,” the actress says. “But hands down, my favorite part was getting to wear her beautiful costumes. Even with the corsets!”

Sleepy Hollow, Mondays, 9/8c, Fox