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Virgin Mary Image Draws Crowds In Sleepy Hollow

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Residents and visitors are flocking to an image of the Virgin Mary they say has appeared in a small tree near Cortlandt and Chesnut streets in Sleepy Hollow.

Now village officials are wondering what to do next.

“I came over to see it, and it's actually pretty interesting,” Ossining resident Jennifer Carchipulla said.

Widespread notice of the image began this week when people took note of a figure shaped like a woman praying in a knot in the tree across the street from Holy Cross Church. After a large crowd gathered, police installed barriers around the tree to protect visitors from traffic.

Those who have flocked to the Virgin Mary have left prayer candles and flowers at the tree, creating a makeshift shrine. Many visitors are quick to whip out their cell phones to take pictures of the image.

Village officials have no immediate plans for the tree. Village Administrator Anthony Giaccio said the interest had happened so fast that Sleepy Hollow doesn't have a plan for the Virgin Mary image.

Carchipulla visited the tree Tuesday morning after she heard about the Virgin Mary image on TV.

“At first when I saw it, I actually didn't see it. I didn't see the resemblance that much," Carchipulla said.

Carchipulla said getting closer to the tree made her think it might be the Virgin Mary after all.

“I could kind of see the resemblance,” she said.

Click through our photo gallery above to see a closeup shot of the Virgin Mary image. Then take our poll to tell us what you see.

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