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The Bunny Man Cometh



The Bunny Man Cometh
Paul Dale Roberts, HPI's Esoteric Detective
Sacramento Paranormal Investigations
Halo Paranormal Investigations
The Bunny Man is an urban legend that originated from two incidents in Fairfax County, Virginia in 1970.  The story now has spread throughout the Washington, D.C., and Maryland areas.  The first incident happened on October 19, 1970. A U.S. Air Force Academy cadet and his fiancée were having a romantic rendezvous on the side of the road, when a man in a white suit with long bunny ears smashed their car window with a hatchet. The second sighting occurred on October 29, 1970, when a construction security guard encountered a man standing on the porch of an unfinished home wearing a strange bloody bunny suit. When those two incidents were reported, the story spread like an uncontrollable wildfire. An urban legend is born. There is a point of origin for this story and now witnesses say they sometimes see the Bunny Man at Colchester Overpass, also known as the “Bunny Man Bridge”.  The bridge spans Colchester Road near Clifton, Virginia.  According to the Bunny Man urban legend, this bridge is one of the most dangerous locations in Northern Virginia. Legend has it that if you are at the bridge at midnight, during Halloween night, you will be savagely killed by the Bunny Man. 

The Bunny Man has gotten so popular, it has been the inspiration for a major cult classic movie.  The movie is called Donnie Darko. In the movie, the enigmatic character known as Frank is indeed the “Bunny Man”.  Frank is portrayed as a towering unsettling figure clad in a grotesque rabbit costume. His presence is marked by an eerie bunny mask that obscures his face, giving him a sinister and otherworldly appearance. In the movie Bunny Man aka Frank guides Donnie Darko on a dark journey that involves time travel and parallel universes. The Bunny Man is a big influence in Donnie Darko's life.  

Every good superhero or super villain character has an origin story.  Bunny Man is no exception.  The legend takes place in 1904. There was an asylum not far from this bridge, now known as "Bunny Bridge". Clifton residents didn’t like the idea of mental patients near their new homes, so they got it shut down, and all the patients were taken by bus to Lorton Prison. The bus gets into a major accident and the inmates start running. All of the inmates are captured, expect for one. The escaped mental patient that got away is Douglas Griffon. Douglas survives in the woods by eating dead rabbits. Douglas also makes warm clothing using bunny pelts. Mutilated bunnies are found throughout the woods.  Of course, Douglas uses a hatchet. The urban legend gets far-fetched, as one story tells it, that on one Halloween night, a group of kids were hanging around the bridge. They reported seeing some sort of bright light or orb, and then in a flash, the kids all got strung up on the bridge. When the local sheriff was inspecting the bodies, he noticed that all of the kids were gutted. The kid's intestines were exposed to the elements. There is no proof that this story actually happened. The urban legend of the Bunny Man evolves into something more sinister. Stan Michaels claims he was driving down State Route 286 at 2a.m. and what looked like the Bunny Man stepped out in the highway and Stan drove right through the Bunny Man. Stan pulled his vehicle over and there was no person lying on the highway injured from Stan's vehicle.  Stan believes that Bunny Man is a ghost. My sister who has been to Virginia visiting friends tells me that her friends believe that Bunny Man is a cryptid. My sister's friend says that her father went hunting and saw the Bunny Man trying to hide behind a tree.  Bunny Man ran off and rabbit pelts dropped off his back. My sister's friend's father believes the Bunny Man is a flesh and blood creature, not a ghost.  

Another spin on this legend is that some local parked his vehicle in someone's driveway that is near the bridge, and that someone came running towards his vehicle. The unidentified man was yelling about "trespassing" and threw a hatchet at the vehicle.  The local told the police that the man was dressed in light-colored clothing and had something on his head. That something was identified by a news reporter as "bunny ears". That was the beginning of a legend.  The story of the Bunny Man evolved in which children were swapping stories about a man in a bunny suit chasing kids through the woods with a hatchet. The Bunny Man was also eating a bunch of bunnies. The story was passed down from person-to-person and it appeared that every person telling the story, placed their own spin on the story. Paranormal investigators to this day still investigate the Bunny Man bridge, hoping to find some kind of evidence of the existence of the Bunny Man.



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