Folklore Friday-Part One: Bunnyman

Alexis Smith, Writer

WARNING: This content may not be suitable for some viewers. 

Bunny Man 

In Fairfax County on Colchester Road, VA, there is one of the most dangerous locations in Northern Virginia: Bunnyman’s Bridge. The name doesn’t sound all that scary, but the backstory includes gruesome details that will make anyone’s skin crawl. Legend has it that in 1904, there was an asylum close to Colchester Road, and 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. ( Ally Schweitzer)

On the way there, the bus swerved and crashed, and they were able to locate all the inmates that were on that bus, except for one. The escaped mental patient was named Douglas Griffon. Weeks passed, authorities had been searching everywhere and yet there was no sign of the escapee. Eventually, mangled corpses of rabbits were discovered all over the woods. People in the town began to believe that Douglas was eating the rabbits to stay alive and placing them around the woods as a warning to be left alone. 

Then one Halloween night, a group of kids were hanging around the bridge. The next morning, they were found hanging upside down on the bridge by dirty rope. There were huge slits in each of the children from their collar bone, all the way down to the bottom of their stomachs. They had been strung up like bunnies, gutted, entrails now out, and no one to blame for this horrible act. The missing mental patient was, of course, assumed to be the killer.

The rumor goes that, “If you come here on Halloween night at midnight, you’ll end up just like those kids and those bunnies.”

Although this urban legend might not be true, previous records in the town show that in 1970, a couple had a terrifying experience not far from the train overpass. Reports say that someone emerged from the bridge yelling something about them trespassing, and chucked a hatchet at the car’s front windshield. It split through the glass and remained there while the couple tried to get a good look at the person. 

They couldn’t see much past the spider web-like broken glass, but they saw a man dressed in light colored clothing, and there appeared to be something on his head. When the story made it to the news, the object on his head became bunny ears. A few years later, kids would tell scary stories to their friends about a man in a bunny suit that chases you around with a hatchet and eats the carcases of rabbits. 

There’s no telling if this Bunnyman is real, but residents are still weary of mentally ill men in costumes running around the forest.