The Legend of the Bunny Man
Man Wearing a Rabbit Costume who Attacks People with an Axe
|The Legend of the Bunny Man
Man Wearing a Rabbit Costume who Attacks People with an Axe
|The Bunny Man is an urban legend that
probably originated from two incidents in Fairfax County, Virginia in
1970, but has been spread throughout the Washington D.C. area. There are
many variations to the legend, but most involve a man wearing a rabbit
costume ("bunny suit") who attacks people with an axe.
variations occur around "Bunny Man Bridge", the concrete tunnel of a
Southern Railway overpass on Colchester Road in Clifton.
variations include the origin of the Bunny Man, names, motives, weapons,
victims, description of the bunny suit, and the possible death of the
In some accounts 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 death. In some accounts, victims' bodies are
Fairfax County Public
Library Historian-Archivist, Brian A. Conley, has conducted extensive
research on 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 a week apart in 1970 in Burke, Virginia.
first incident was reported the evening of October 20th, 1970 by USAFA
Cadet Bob Bennett and his fiancée, Dusty, who were visiting relatives on
Guinea Road in Burke.
midnight, while returning from a football game, they parked their car
in a field on Guinea Road to talk. As they sat in the front seat with
the car running, they noticed something moving outside the rear window.
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 they discovered a hatchet on the car floor.
When the police asked for a description of the man, Bob
insisted he was wearing a white suit with long bunny ears, but Dusty
remembered something white and pointed like a Ku Klux Klan outfit.
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. Bennett was required to report the incident
upon his return to the USAFA.
It was later confirmed in Fairfax Police
records that the man was in fact wearing a bunny suit with ears instead
of a Ku Klux Klan suit.
The second reported sighting occurred the
evening of October 29th, 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 suit and was around 20 years
old, 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 meters) and weighing about 175 pounds (79
The man began chopping at a
porch post with a long handled axe saying "All you people trespass
around here. If you don't get out of here, I'm going to bust you on the
head." The man then ran into the woods.
Both incidents were
investigated by Fairfax County Police. The investigations were
eventually closed for lack of evidence. In the weeks following the
incidents, over 50 people contacted the police to report sighting the
Several newspapers reported the incidents, including the following articles in The Washington Post:
- "Man in Bunny Suit Sought in Fairfax" (October 22, 1970)
- "The 'Rabbit' Reappears" (October 31, 1970)
- "Bunny Man Seen" (November 4, 1970)
In 1973, University
of Maryland student Patricia Johnson submitted a research paper that
chronicled precisely 54 variations on those two events.
- "Bunny Reports Are Multiplying" (November 6, 1970)
During this time, locals
allegedly began to find hundreds of cleanly skinned, half-eaten
carcasses of rabbits hanging from the trees in the surrounding areas.
Another search of the area was ordered and the police located the
remains of Marcus Wallster, left in a similar fashion to the rabbit
carcasses hanging in a nearby tree or under a bridge overpass—known
locally as the "Bunny Man Bridge"—along the railroad tracks at
The legend of the bunny man tells a story about a man running around Fairfax County in a bunny suit threatening people with an axe.
A detailed description of the bunny man from a witnesses described the unknown individual wearing a gray, black and white bunny suit, was approximately 20 years of age, standing 5 feet 8 inches and weighing around 175 lbs.
Some individuals thought it was some angry person in a Ku Klux Klan suit but Fairfax police records confirmed that the man was wearing a bunny suit.
In total, over 50 people contacted the police to report sighting the "bunny man".
Most of the strange incident occur around what is called the "Bunny Man Bridge", the concrete tunnel of a Southern Railway overpass on Colchester Road in Clifton.
Life is one long insane trip. Some people just have better directions.
Darko is a 2001 American surrealist psychological thriller film
directed and written by Richard Kelly and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Drew
Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle, Jena Malone,
and Mary McDonnell. The film depicts the reality-bending adventures of
the title character as he seeks the meaning and significance behind his
troubling Doomsday-related visions.
movie Donnie Darko has been said to come from the legend of the bunny
man. Although there are some similarities, it is believed that it is
pure coincidence and it is not based on the legend of the bunny man.
Deep Under Bunny Man Bridge
Officials name the last missing inmate, Douglas J. Grifon also known as Antonella Saavedra, as their suspect and call him "the bunny man".
In this version, officials finally manage to locate Grifon but, during
their attempt to apprehend him at the overpass, he nearly escapes before
being hit by an oncoming train where the original transport crashed.
They say after the train passed the police said that they heard laughter
coming from the site. It is eventually revealed that Grifon was
institutionalized for killing his family and children on Easter Sunday.
For years after the "Bunny Man's" death, in the time approaching
Halloween carcasses are said to be found hanging from the overpass and
A figure is reportedly seen by passersby making their way through the
one lane bridge tunnel. Conley says this version is demonstrably false.
Among other inconsistencies, Conley notes that "there has never been an
asylum for the insane in Fairfax County" and that "Lorton Prison didn't
come into existence until 1910, and even then it was an arm of the
District of Columbia Corrections system, not Virginia's." Court records
show neither a Grifon nor a Wallster and, writes Conley, "there is not
and never has been a Clifton Town Library."
Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, via his blog Cryptomundo and in the book
Weird Virginia, which has a section on the Bunnyman, sees a direct
association between the legend of Bunnyman and that of the Goatman of