Horseless Headless Horsemann

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Horseless Headless Horsemann
Horseless Headless Horsemann
Kill Icon
Killicon horseless headless horsemann's headtaker.png
Basic Information
Health: 3,000 +200 for each player in the server
Damage Done: 80% of the victim's base health
Affected By:
• Battalion's Backup: No
• Bonk! Atomic Punch: Yes
• Candy Cane: No
• Chargin' Targe: No
• Dead Ringer: Yes
• Gunboats: No
• Mini-crits: No
• ÜberCharge: Yes
Found On: Mann Manor, Bloodwater, Carnival of Carnage, Hellstone, Brimstone, Gravestone, Graveyard, Slasher, Bonesaw
Listen closely! What's that you hear? Is it the clip clop of haunted hoofs? Nope. It's the terrifying, completely foot-generated clomping of the Horseless Headless Horseman! He's come to steal your soul! And, if you have one, your horse!
— The TF2 Blog

The Horseless Headless Horsemann, the undead form of Silas Mann, is a neutral enemy that first appeared in Mann Manor and can now be found in several Halloween maps, both Valve-made and community-created. In Mann Manor, approximately every 8 minutes, he spawns at the currently contested control point and hunts down players from both teams, provided there is at least 10 players in the server. He has a great deal of health, deals devastating damage in a single attack, and continues to rampage until defeated by the players. In Carnival of Carnage, he spawns in the Bumper Car Soccer and Falling Platform bumper car games after a certain amount of time, carrying the Necro Smasher instead of his normal weapon. On Hellstone, he spawns when the BLU team captures the second point, and there is a modest chance of him spawning in any game on Brimstone, Gravestone, and Slasher.

The Horseless Headless Horsemann is referred to as "Team Fortress's first boss monster" on the official Scream Fortress Update page.


Damage graph showing the number of players vs. the health of the Horseless Headless Horsemann.

NPC entity

The Horseless Headless Horsemann is classified as part of the map's environment; any kills made by him count as environmental deaths for the victim. On-hit effects, such as the charging of the Buff Banner, healing provided by the Black Box, or the L'Etranger refilling Cloak, do not trigger upon a successful attack against the Horsemann. Additionally, the Horseless Headless Horsemann is completely immune to all status ailments, such as Jarate, slowdown, or bleeding. He is, however, affected by critical hits and damage ramp up/fall off.

If the Horseless Headless Horsemann is under half health, he will hold his axe in one hand instead of two-handing it.[1]

Player targeting

The Horseless Headless Horsemann designates any player on RED or BLU as "it" if they are within 1500 Hammer units of the current Control Point that BLU needs to capture. If there are no players within this 1500 Hammer unit range, he stands at the Control Point.

The player designated as "It" is notified via an on-screen message and marked with a floating white skull and crossbones icon. The Horseless Headless Horsemann changes targets if "It" is killed, to whoever killed "it", unless they are far away enough, is more than 2000 Hammer units away from the currently contested Control Point, gets Übered, or is in an area inaccessible to the Horseless Headless Horsemann, such as the respawn room. Additionally, a player can hit an enemy with a melee weapon to pass the "It" status to them, in a manner similar to tag.

Every now and then when attacking players, the Horseless Headless Horsemann may spread his arms and release a loud "Boo!" Any players within 500 Hammer units are stunned and placed into a state of fear. Players wearing the Horseless Headless Horsemann's Head or Saxton Hale Mask are immune to being stunned by the Horseless Headless Horsemann's taunt.


The Horseless Headless Horsemann has a base health of 3000 that increases by 200 for each player in the server. His actual minimum possible health is 5000, as he does not spawn if there are fewer than 10 players in the server, while his maximum possible health is 9400, in an increased slot 32-player server. With the addition of -unrestricted_maxplayers in the July 25, 2023 Patch, the maximum may be even higher (up to 23000 max with 100 players).


The Horseless Headless Horsemann begins to "shiver" when he has been defeated before exploding shortly afterwards. His defeat is announced via a sound and on-screen message to all players on the server. The last three players to damage the Horseless Headless Horsemann are credited with killing him.

Audio cues

These sounds play during the event:

Accompanied by a notification Popup.

Shown through in-game chat.

Holiday items

Contributing to killing the Horseless Headless Horsemann awards both the Sleepy Holl0wnd Ghostchievement and the Horseless Headless Horsemann's Head cosmetic. If a player is credited with killing the Horseless Horsemann with a melee attack, the player receives an Unusual Haunted Metal Scrap and the Gored Ghostchievement.


Main article: Community Mann Manor strategy
Main article: Horseless Headless Horsemann match-ups

Related achievements

Pumpkin.png Scarechievements

Scared Stiff
Scared Stiff
Kill a player scared by a ghost.

Ghostchievements icon.png Ghostchievements

Sleepy Holl0WND
Sleepy Holl0WND
Kill the Horseless Headless Horsemann.

Reward: Horseless Headless Horsemann's Head

Collect the Horseless Headless Horsemann's Haunted Metal Scrap.

Leaderboard class scout.png Scout

Foul Territory
Foul Territory
Cause an environmental death by stunning or slowing an enemy.
Fall Classic
Fall Classic
Cause an environmental death or suicide using the Force-A-Nature's knockback.

Leaderboard class demoman.png Demoman

He Who Celt It
He Who Celt It
Use the Sticky Launcher to kill an enemy player via environmental damage.

Update history

October 27, 2010 Patch (Scream Fortress Update)
  • Introduced the Horseless Headless Horsemann to the game.

October 28, 2010 Patch

  • The Horseless Headless Horsemann can now climb the ladder at point B.

November 1, 2010 Patch

  • Fixed a minor issue with the Horseless Headless Horsemann.

May 5, 2011 Patch (Replay Update)

  • Fixed the Horseless Headless Horsemann displaying the burning material in DirectX8.
  • [Undocumented] Sentry Guns and Bots now properly target the Horseless Headless Horsemann as an enemy.

October 27, 2011 Patch (Very Scary Halloween Special)

  • [Undocumented] Damage notifications and hitsounds now appear when damaging the Horsemann, if they are enabled.

October 29, 2014 Patch (Scream Fortress 2014)

October 30, 2014 Patch

October 28, 2015 Patch (Scream Fortress 2015)

  • HHH's axe has dulled a bit and no longer guarantees death, but is still very lethal.

June 21, 2022 Patch

  • Fixed laggy animations on Halloween bosses, skeletons, ghosts and other ghoul-like beings.

October 9, 2023 Patch #1 (Scream Fortress 2023)

  • Fixed ghost_pumpkin effect not playing correctly for the Horseless Headless Horsemann.

Unused content

  • The Horseless Headless Horsemann has several unused animations that can be found in the game files. These include the "Cheers" thumbs up action and Medic calls. This is due to the Horseless Headless Horsemann using many of the Demoman's original animations.
    • Even though the Horseless Headless Horsemann never jumps, an unused jump animation exists from the original Demoman animations. The Horsemann walks around high obstacles or changes his target if confronted with an enemy on a higher ledge.
  • Aside from animations borrowed from Demoman, there are 2 unused animations for "failing" a hive five taunt, which only the Horseless Headless Horsemann has.
    • The names of the unused taunt files are taunt_highfivefail and taunt_highfivefailfull.


  • The Horseless Headless Horsemann may, in semi-rare cases, move right into players, rendering them completely stuck and vulnerable to a quick and painful death.


Presumably Silas Mann in the Mann family portrait. Notice that he is holding keys and that something is burning in the fireplace.
  • The Horseless Headless Horsemann is a parody of the Headless Horseman from the story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving.
  • The Horseless Headless Horsemann's kills count as environmental deaths. Therefore, achievements such as Foul Territory for the Scout can be achieved by stunning someone about to be killed by the Horseless Headless Horsemann.
  • Despite avoiding hazards such as pits, the Horsemann can be killed by other environmental hazards if he is spawned somewhere other than Mann Manor. He is killed in one hit by the trains on Well, for instance.
  • If The Horseless Headless Horsemann is spawned with other bosses (Merasmus or Monoculus), he still kills them in one hit.
  • In Carnival of Carnage, Merasmus frequently refers to the Horseless Headless Horsemann as the "Headless Horseless Horsemann".
  • The internal name of the Horseless Headless Horsemann is headless_hatman.


See also


  1. game\server\tf\halloween\halloween_behavior:L432-448