Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Favorite Urban Legends: Shadow Manor

Jenna of Shadow Manor just absolutely rocks. Love her, love her link dumps, love her love for Hallowe'en. And I love the way she tells a tale. Especially urban legends...

Some places get vanishing hitchhikers. Some get ghosts that warn trains of an impending crash. The terrifying local legend where I live? A guy in a bunny suit.
No, not this kind:
 This kind. 
 I've been ripped off.
Bunny Man Bridge is a small railroad overpass near Clifton, VA. It is supposed to be stalked by a man wearing a bunny suit. Yes, he's usually said to be carrying an axe or similar weapon, and yes, the legends say that he attacks and mutilates anyone foolish enough to be near the bridge after dark, but I really can't get past the outfit. Being murdered by someone dressed like a giant rabbit isn't terrifying, it's embarrassing.

The bunny in question is variously reported to be an escaped convict, a refugee from a nearby (non-existent) insane asylum, or a local lunatic who graduated from mutilating wildlife to murdering children. Since "rabbit" and "insane murderer" don't seem to have any obvious link, the lapin connection is usually explained by tacked-on details such as numerous remains of snacked-upon rabbits being found in the area (or, in the case of the asylum escapee, that he was originally committed for murdering his family on--dun dun dun!!!--Easter Sunday). Nobody explains where he got the suit.

A local historian has identified the probable origin of the legend: In 1970 there were two incidents involving a man--dressed, yes, in a bunny costume--who threatened people with a hatchet whilst yelling at them for trespassing. Over the past 40 years, generations of teenagers have expanded and distorted and added details until what was probably a Furry annoyed at having his private sexytimes interrupted is now a horrible spectral murderer who...is still wearing a bunny suit. Dammit, I really can't get past the bunny suit.

Particularly annoying is that this legend has gained enormous traction throughout the Washington DC area. Civil War battles were fought all over this region. We could have legends about ghostly armies locked in eternal combat, or bloody Confederate soldiers who attack campers, or phantom funeral trains carrying rows of soldiers' coffins.

What are we actually known for? A big cranky rabbit.
Dammit, dammit, dammit....
Well, Jenna, you do know what they say. "If the suit fits..." ;o)


  1. I am lucky. I live just outside Nashville in the land of the Bell Witch. Go to YouTube and have a look at Fewdio's video "The Easter Bunny is Eating My Candy" It fits your local legend. It is scary enough in my opinion.

  2. I personally think Jenna is on to something here, with her theory that it's some sort of Furry who just got pissed that those damned kids wouldn't get off his lawn! Either that, or the kid from A Christmas Story finally snapped when his aunt made him another one of those sets of bunny pajamas!


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