Bunny Man


The Bunny Man is an
urban legend An urban legend or contemporary legend is a genre of folklore Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an attitude Attitud ...
that originated from two incidents in
Fairfax County, Virginia Fairfax County, officially the County of Fairfax, is located in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study ...
in 1970, but has been spread throughout the
Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The National Mall is a Landscape architecture, landscape ...
, and
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware ...

areas. The legend has many variations; most involve a man wearing a rabbit costume who attacks people with an axe or hatchet. Most of the stories occur around Colchester Overpass, a Southern Railway overpass spanning Colchester Road near
Clifton, Virginia Clifton is an List of towns in Virginia, incorporated town located in southwestern Fairfax County, Virginia, Fairfax County, Virginia, United States, with a population of 282 at the time of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, up from ...
, sometimes referred to as "Bunny Man Bridge". Versions of the legend vary in the Bunny Man's name, motives, weapons, victims, description of the bunny costume or lack thereof, and sometimes even his possible death. In some accounts, victims' bodies are mutilated, and in some variations, the Bunny Man's ghost or aging spectre is said to come out of his place of death each year on Halloween to commemorate his passing.

Origin and history

Fairfax County Public Library Historian-Archivist Brian A. Conley extensively researched the Bunny Man legend. He has located two incidents of a man in a rabbit costume threatening people with an axe. The vandalism reports occurred ten days apart in 1970 in Burke, Virginia. The first incident was reported the evening of October 19, 1970, by United States Air Force Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet Robert Bennett and his fiancée, who were visiting relatives on Guinea Road in Burke. Around midnight, while returning from a football game, they reportedly parked their car in a field on Guinea Road to "visit an Uncle who lived across the street from where the car was parked". As they sat in the front seat with the motor running, they noticed something moving outside the rear window. Moments later, the front passenger window was smashed, and there was a white-clad figure standing near the broken window. Bennett turned the car around while the man screamed at them about trespassing, including: "You're on private property, and I have your tag number." As they drove down the road, the couple discovered a hatchet on the car floor. When the police requested a description of the man, Bennett insisted he was wearing a white suit with long bunny ears. However, Bennett's fiancée contested their assailant did not have bunny ears on his head, but was wearing a white capirote of some sort. They both remembered seeing his face clearly, but in the darkness, they could not determine his race. The police returned the hatchet to Bennett after examination. The second reported sighting occurred on the evening of October 29, 1970, when construction security guard Paul Phillips approached a man standing on the porch of an unfinished home, in Kings Park West on Guinea Road. Phillips said the man was wearing a gray, black, and white bunny costume, and was about 20 years old, tall, and weighed about . The man began chopping at a porch post with a long-handled axe, saying: "You are trespassing. If you come any closer, I'll chop off your head." The Fairfax County Police Department, Fairfax County Police opened investigations into both incidents, but both were eventually closed for lack of evidence. In the weeks following the incidents, more than 50 people contacted the police claiming to have seen the "Bunny Man". Several newspapers, including ''The Washington Post'', reported that the "Bunny Man" had eaten a man's runaway cat. The articles that mentioned this incident were: *"Man in Bunny costume Sought in Fairfax" (October 22, 1970) *"The 'Rabbit' Reappears" (October 31, 1970) *"Bunny Man Seen" (November 4, 1970) *"Bunny Reports Are Multiplying" (November 6, 1970) In 1973, Patricia Johnson, a student at the University of Maryland, College Park, submitted a research paper that chronicled precisely 54 variations on the two incidents.

Colchester Overpass

Colchester Overpass was built in about 1906 near the site of Sangster's Station, a Civil War era railroad station on what was once the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. Because of its association with the legend, the overpass is a popular destination for paranormal enthusiasts (Ghost hunting, ghost hunters) and curiosity seekers (legend tripping, legend trippers). Interest increases around Halloween, and starting in 2003, local authorities began controlling access to the area during that time. During Halloween 2011, over 200 people, some from as far away as the Pennsylvania–Maryland state line, were turned away during a 14-hour traffic checkpoint into the area. File:Norfolk Southern freight train at Colchester Overpass aka Bunnyman Bridge.jpg, Norfolk Southern freight train at Colchester Overpass File:Train and vehicular traffic at Colchester Overpass aka Bunnyman Bridge or Bunny Man Bridge.jpg, Train and road traffic at Colchester Overpass File:Amtrak train at Colchester Overpass aka Bunnyman Bridge.jpg, Amtrak train at Colchester Overpass File:Night time traffic at Colchester Overpass aka Bunnyman Bridge.jpg, Nighttime traffic at Colchester Overpass

In popular culture

The 2011 slasher film ''Bunnyman (film), Bunnyman'' is an Exploitation film, exploitation-style version of the story. The 2017 Amazon original series ''Lore (TV series), Lore'', based on the podcast of the same name, uses the Bunny Man legend to introduce the second episode of Season 1. In episode "Let's Get Scared", host Chris Gethard dresses as the Bunny Man for the full episode. In 2015, non-fiction author Jenny Cutler Lopez published a full-length feature in Northern Virginia Magazine (readership 100,000 plus) title
Long Live The Bunnyman
On October 9, 2020, Adult Swim broadcast the story of the bunny man as a "bump" during an episode of ''Family Guy''.

See also

* ''Donnie Darko'' * Raymond Robinson (Green Man)


Further reading

The Bunny Man Unmasked: The Real Life Origins of an Urban Legend
from Fairfax County Public Library
Bunny Man: Artist's Rendition
from Braddock Heritage
Map: Braddock's Historic Sites
from Braddock Heritage showing location of Bunny Man incidents * *the description of "bunny suit" was removed, because it refers to what people wear to protect from biologic contamination, Cleanroom suit.

External links

Long Live The Bunnyman
by Jenny Cutler Lopez in Northern Virginia Magazine (October 2015)
Tales of The Bunnyman of Northern Virginia
from WeirdUS.com

from Castle Of Spirits
The Legend of the Bunny Man
from YouTube.com
Interview with the Bennetts
from YouTube.com * * {{Urban legends 1970 establishments in Virginia Urban legends Supernatural legends Virginia folklore Fairfax County, Virginia Creepypasta Rabbits and hares in popular culture