The simple one-lane concrete tunnel in Clifton, Virginia known as the Colchester Overpass can look more than a little sinister on a moonlit night, so it’s little wonder that it has cultivated a creepy legend surrounding the specter of an axe murderer known as the Bunny Man.
Now known to most as the Bunny Man Bridge, the overpass has become a favorite spot for teenagers and the superstitious to give themselves a bit of a scare. As the legend goes, a group of convicts were being transferred from a nearby insane asylum when their bus crashed, releasing the crazed criminals. While most were found dead or recovered, two managed to escape. For a time. Not long after the crash, the body of one of the convicts was found hanging from the Colchester Overpass, and according to some accounts had a note attached signed, “The Bunny Man.” The search continued for the second convict and a number of half-eaten rabbits were said to have been found hanging in the trees in the area. Finally the killer was cornered, but was hit by a passing train before he could be apprehended.
Of course there was never any insane asylum in the area, but the story has managed to stick. In the 1970s there were some reports of a crazed man in a white outfit — which was alternately described as a rabbit costume and/or a Ku Klux Clan robe — who would harass and threaten people for trespassing on his property. No one was ever convicted for the attacks, but this is likely the true source of the tales of the Bunny Man.
No matter where it originated, the tale of the Bunny Man continues to this day, and now it is said that if one crosses through the tunnel at midnight on Halloween, the hatchet-bearing killer will appear and murder such bold intruders, hanging them from the bridge.
Know Before You Go
Best way to get there is to take Chapel Rd west off VA Route 123. In Clifton, turn right on Main St/645, and then after crossing the RR tracks bear right onto Newman Rd. Turn right onto Fairfax Station Rd/660, and then a right onto Colchester Rd/612, and the bridge is about 200 yards ahead. The trip requires caution. The roads are winding, hilly and dark with sharp drop-offs on either side. The tunnel itself is single car and it is difficult to see cars coming from the other side. Pause before driving through, maybe even toot the horn. There is no shoulder on the road and parking is not allowed. People in the neighborhood walk along the road so be careful when passing. The road itself is a dead end, after passing through the bridge you will have to go to the end and drive back through again. Residents do not want tourists stopping and taking pictures.