Since his death, on the nights leading up to Halloween, he is seen in the area dressed in a bunny suit. This may sound somewhat corny but there may be some truth to this urban legend.
The Bunny Man
The tunnel is named after the 'Bunny Man', a man in a bunny suit that terrorises those who visit the area.
In the early 1900's, a lunatic asylum in Virginia was closed down with many of the criminally insane being transported to other asylums in secure buses / carriages. One of these transports violently crashes, killing many of the inmates and seeing the rest escape. All of the escapees are eventually rounded up except for one.
A search of the local area and beyond was conducted in order to apprehend the escaped lunatic but after several weeks it was called off... he was either dead or had moved on.
However, within a matter of months, hundreds of skinned rabbits are found in the woods near Colchester road. They hang by their back legs, much the same way as a trapper would hang them, however many of the rabbits are mutilated beyond being skinned – heads ripped off, spines removed, limbs missing and partially eaten.
The local papers got wind of the story and soon named the rabbit killer as the Bunny Man.
It was feared that the lunatic had survived in the wilderness or had returned from wherever he had been in hiding.
This time the search ended differently. In late October of that year they tracked down the killer and chased him to the tracks near the Colchester overpass. A bit of a stand-off takes place before the Bunny Man leaps in front of a oncoming train and is killed instantly.
The legend concludes that in the final days of October every year, new rabbit carcasses are found in the woods near the overpass and that a man in a rabbit suit is seen in the tunnel that runs through the Colchester Overpass/bridge. If he gets you alone he will kill you, skin you and hang you from the nearby trees.
There is Some Truth to This
In October, 1970, there were two verifiable reports of a man in a bunny suit that terrorised people going about their business. The reports both take place in Burke, Virginia – not too far from Clifton – and both take place just before Halloween.
In the first report an army cadet and his girlfriend had parked their car at around midnight to 'talk'. It was around midnight and they were just coming home from a football game. Soon after they began to get to 'talking' they noticed movement outside and to the back of their car before the passenger window smashed showering them with glass. A man in a bunny suit yelled at them, telling them they were on private property.
The couple sped off and later found what had smashed the window – a hatchet lay on the car floor.
Two days before Halloween, in a nearby area, a security guard was doing his rounds of a new construction area when he was startled to find a man, in a bunny suit, hacking away at a wooden post. As he approached, this strange man looked at him and told him that he was trespassing and that he was going to smash his head in.
Another note of interest is that at the same time people were finding their pets dead and partially eaten.
So was this mysterious stranger in a bunny suit the inspiration for the legend or was he in fact the one and the same Bunny Man?
(Bunny Man is not just seen in Virginia but the legend seems to have spread to other nearby states as well. The telling of the tale changes somewhat with some version involving a lot more death. I chose this version as it seems to be the closest to the verifiable 'Bunny Man' reports.)