Located in Fairfax Virginia, the Bunny Man Bridge is an urban legend that began in the 1970 with several different variations of the tale. This bridge located at 6497 Colchester Road is also an overpass for trains which was built in 1906, part of the Civil War era of railroad stations. While there is not much history of the bridge itself, the tale of the Bunny Man is the main reason why this bridge overpass has had so much attention.
As stated above, the urban legend has several variations to the tale and an exact one has not been proven. The Bunny Man, a man in a bunny suit wielding an axe; has been a legend since the 1970s, have claims in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC. This story has been kept alive by children and teenagers, passing the story along to each other as dares to visit the bridge and to survive the wrath of the Bunny Man on midnight on Halloween! It is said that if you speak his name three times, he will slash your throat and leave your body hanging by the bridge. Fairfax County Archivist, Brian Conley, heard the tale of the Bunny Man his whole life and he set to find out the truth of what happened. He looked into Fairfax county police records and more to find out what exactly happened and who this Bunny Man was.
The most popular legend goes: that in the early 20th century, there was an asylum for the mentally insane in the woods near the bridge. Residents of the town did not like the idea of the asylum so close to their town that they had it shut down and the patients were to be transported to a local prison instead. Loaded onto a bus, most of the patients and the driver were killed when the bus crashed. While most of the patients on the bus perished, some of the lived and escaped, though getting caught soon after. It is suspected that one patient was not caught – Douglas Grifon. While local authorities were searching for him, they found half-eaten bunnies hanging from the bridge. On Halloween that year, teenagers were hanging out under the bridge and at the stroke of midnight, they were found hanging from the bridge, just like the bunnies. It is said that authorities searched for Grifon, but they were unable to locate him while another version says that as the police chased him, he was hit by the train on the bridge, haunting it forever. In another version of the story that Conley had found while looking through police news clippings was dated in 1970: an Air Force cadet and his girlfriend were in their car in the area when a man in a white suit “with long bunny ears” threw a hatchet into the car’s windshield! The Bunny Man made another appearance in the paper with reports of people seeing a man in a bunny suit destroying property with a hatchet.
To this day, no one knows who exactly the Bunny Man was and one of the main suspects that remains was Grifon. Conley’s research has helped spread the word of Bunny Man and has uncovered some information into this urban legend… but he may still be lurking under the bridge today.
My Findings and Final Thoughts
Growing up in Virginia, I have heard the tale of the Bunny Man all my life and several different variations of it as well with both the stroke of midnight on Halloween or just going at night… the bunny man is said to strike. When I was in high school, my friends and I planned every year to go, but we never did… no one wanted to admit they were scared, we just made excuses not to go. There have even been TV shows, movies, and songs about the Bunny Man that have played throughout the years, giving more spotlight to this tale, and continuing the curiosity of teenagers.
I have not gone to the bridge nor do I plan to; locals will call the police on you and the police will turn your car away, especially on Halloween. Ever year on Halloween, police turn away hundreds of people who hope to catch a glimpse of the Bunny Man. Though if you are hoping to make it to the bridge, there has to be said something said first: there was no murders or asylum. Sometimes the bridge is even listed wrong on Google… and it is not really a bridge, just an old train overpass. As Conley said, “It’s our own homegrown urban legend.”
My Tips for Visiting
-I would not recommend going to the area, especially on Halloween. As stated above, local law enforcement frequents the area and you will be turned away.
-Check out some of the pop culture media such as the movies and TV shows released on the Bunny Man!
*A lot of information has come from my knowledge and various tales I have heard growing up in Northern Virginia*