Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Urban Legends of Maryland, Part III: Bunnyman

What has to be one of the more laughably-named urban legend figures out there hails originally from the area of Fairfax, Virginia although stories of the axe-wielding, bunny-suit bedecked psychopath range into suburban Prince George's County, Maryland, home of the Goatman (with whom stories of the Bunnyman are confused).

Incredible as it may seem, the Bunnyman stories may have been based on real events. The Washington Post ran two articles detailing things that happened near Fairfax, Virginia in October, 1970; in one, an Air Force cadet reported that he had been visited by a man in "a white suit with long bunny ears" who ran out of some bushes, shouted a warning about trespassing on private property, and threw a hatchet at the car. Later that month, another article detailed a bunny-suited man wielding a long axe chopping at a home under construction, also near Fairfax. A security guard distinctly reported a figure about 5'8" and about 160 lbs. in his early twenties.

The Bunnyman was reported to have assaulted a church sign near Greenbelt, Maryland in the 1970s. Supposedly, in 1971, a young man in Hyattsville reported that a white bunny-suited man pounded on his door one evening and used an axe to attempt to gain entry. He also chopped two pillars on the porch. He was also reported from another home nearby.

Legends from Harford County tell of a ghostly rabbit-type creature, called the Witch-Rabbit, which haunted Rocks. In the manner of the Celtic pooka, it was reputed to shift shapes from one animal to another and thus to elude hunters. Could the Bunnyman be a similar "Witch-Rabbit"?

Check out the rest of the Urban Legends of Maryland mini-series:

Part One: Pigwoman
Part Two: Goatman


  1. This is one of my favorite subjects. I grew up in Fairfax and in 1970 when I was sleeping in a tent in my backyard, a man living in one of the cottages on our property told me and my brother that story. In his story, it was a man in a bunny suit, 6-feet tall, who went around with an axe and like to hack up couples who were parked. I have to say, that story not only kept me up the entire night, but changed the way I saw my hometown and the Easter bunny. Urban legends are wonderful cautionary tales, but I'm not sure what this one cautioned people about, except that men in costumes might weild axes. Yikes!

  2. I think it's neat how it apparently overlaps with the Goatman stories a bit. I'll be posting about Goatman here shortly. I think that a lot of urban legends are "grown" out of things that actually happened - for example, Goatman for instance is likely "born" from some real sightings of Bigfoot-types in Prince Georges back in the 1950s.

  3. I personally saw the Bunny Man in Greenbelt Maryland when I was 5 years old...I will NEVER forget...he was in a field,running, and I screamed BunnyMan!! I'm not joking this is for real. My mom and dad and siblings were in the car too.