For my next few articles I’ll be posting about some urban legends! I’m sure many of you have heard somewhere down the line about the Bunnyman or the Bunnyman bridge. If not then allow me to introduce you to one of West Virginia’s most notorious urban legends. No, this is not the Easter Bunny and he won’t leave you a basket full of candy, maybe fingers though.
There are several different ways the story goes, the first being the man himself was a mental patient that escaped when a bus transporting patients from the the asylum crashed near the bridge. Authorities searched for the man relentlessly but he was was never found, then at some point later dead rabbit carcasses started showing up around the bridge itself indicating the escaped mental patient had been surviving off of the rabbit meat while living by the bridge… until a couple of gutted teenagers were found hanging in the bridge later. This of course caused a massive uproar of upset townsfolk so the local authorities went on a manhunt for the Bunnyman as they began calling him, when they eventually caught up with him, the legend says he hopped (no pun intended ha!) out in front of a train that was speeding down the tracks and was never seen again. Ever since then it is said that the Bunnyman haunts the bridge and on Halloween at midnight his spirit becomes visible just over or inside of the bridge. This is the one version I have heard myself in the past and also the most common. The second legend is that a deeply disturbed teenager dressed himself up in a bunny suit on Easter and murdered his family, and in his guilt hanged himself from the bridge and now haunts it and terrorizes children most of the time with either an axe or a hatchet.
The legend itself probably originated from two incidents that occurred in Fairfax County in the 70’s. One I actually stumbled across in an old news article from the Washington Post while I was doing some research. On October 19th, an Air Force cadet and his fiancee were on their way home from attending a football game, they parked their car near his uncle’s home, and noticed something white moving out in the bushes along the side of the road, when suddenly a man in a rabbit suit threw a wooden handled hatchet through the car window and yelled at them saying “you’re on private property and that he had their tag number”. They reportedly told police he then “skipped” off into the night. I’m not kidding the article really did say they claim he skipped!
The second reported sighting occurred just ten days later on October 29th, when a construction security guard on his patrol of the vacant properties noticed a man standing on the porch of one of the unfinished homes. When he approached him he said the man was wearing a grayish white bunny suit and had been talking to himself in what seemed to be an agitated state. The Bunnyman then started chopping erratically at a portion of the porch of the house with a large axe and started screaming “all you people trespass here and if you don’t leave I’m going to bust you on the head!” Yikes.
The Fairfax County police did have open reports on the incidents but later closed them due to lack of evidence so no one was ever found and charged with any kind of crime. Within the weeks to come they received many calls and reports of sightings of the Bunnyman, one in which a person claimed they had seen him eating a dead cat by the side of the road near the bridge itself.
So you can see how this could get all twisted and turned around into multiple legends from a disgruntled man who was sick of people being on his property in the wee hours of the night and maybe terrorized some people, or maybe he really was an escapee from a mental institution wearing a bunny suit and threw hatchets at people. I guess you’ll never know… that is unless you go to Bunnyman bridge at night and call out to him and see. Apparently this seems to work and you will hear his voice echoing through the bridge!
Give it a shot and see if you live near the area.
Let me know if you make it out with all your limbs intact!,