I am a child of suburbia. I lived in a three bedroom, two bath house with my parents and two sisters. I was the middle child and laid claim to the top bunk in the room that I shared with my younger sister. Our backyard was huge and led right into the woods, that is, until a developer cut down the forest leaving a lovely view of the cemetery.
As with most young families, holidays were exciting times. Easter was no exception, but one year in particular is most memorable. I was about nine years old, we dyed our eggs and left carrots out for the Easter Bunny before going to bed. I remember waking up in the middle of the night looking down from my bunk to see the Easter Bunny standing beside the bed. I would like to clarify that by Easter Bunny I mean one of those weird white costumes. If you have ever been around a pet rabbit you probably remember that smell they have, it is very distinct and can best be described as wet hay. I remember seeing the bunny and catching the overwhelming odor of wet hay.
I wasn’t scared, it was just the Easter Bunny visiting me, so I went back to sleep. In the morning, we all woke up and searched for the eggs that my parents had hidden. My somewhat neurotic mother had a list with the exact location of each egg and we were to call them out as we found them. I remember yelling that I had found one in the medicine cabinet, but after looking at her list she told me that she didn’t hide one there. After we retrieved all of the eggs and set them down, there was one extra egg hidden. My mom just chalked it up to her not writing it down, and so did the rest of us.
I didn’t talk about seeing the Easter Bunny to either of my sisters or my parents, my assumption was that it was a dream. The only thing that ever convinced me that it was real was the smell of wet hay because I have never had a dream where I could smell something, let alone something so strong. Either way, I had repressed this until about five years later when I was at a sleepover and a friend told a scary story about The Bunnyman (long story short: an urban legend about a man that escaped from an asylum and killed people with an axe while wearing a bunny costume).
That Easter, we were sitting down to eat breakfast and I asked my parents if they had ever dressed up as the Easter Bunny for us when we were younger. I knew this question was ridiculous as my parents explained that they would never go through so much trouble. After I said it, my younger sister said that she remembered when the Easter Bunny came into our room. I thought that maybe she was messing with me, but then she said the most terrifying thing to me, “he smelled like an actual rabbit.”
I had never told anyone about seeing the Easter Bunny, but especially not that smell that continues to haunt me. It was so specific and I knew that she wasn’t lying. All of a sudden that foggy childhood dream became the most terrifying event in my life. My sister and I both remember a man in a rabbit costume coming into our room and standing beside our bed looking at us.
You might think this is the end, but unfortunately not. The next day at school, I did what any young teenage girl would do; I told my lunch table about this. Sitting across from me was a friend that had lived across the street from me. She just kind of gave me this look and told me that one Easter when she was younger she remembered looking out the window and seeing the Easter Bunny. That was the end of the conversation for me, and the end of thinking about that event for another five years.
I posted this story on an Ask Reddit thread about terrifying things that have happened, a lot of people responded to it, and I decided to confirm the story with my sister and neighbor. I was very specific in asking my neighbor to give me in detail what she saw because when she told me the first time I was too frightened to ask for more. She said that she saw a man in a bunny costume literally hopping in her driveway, but it was too dark to see anything else. I asked if she could tell what color it was and she told me it was white. I had never told her what color it was, and this confirmed that she saw the same thing.
I then asked my sister to tell me what she remembers seeing. She told me that she that she woke up in the middle of the night and heard something in the living room, so she got up and looked through the crack in our bedroom door and saw it. Scared, she ran back into bed and pulled the covers over her head, understandably so. She remarked again about how strong the smell was, even through the covers. Again, I had pushed her to tell me what color she remembered it being, and again, it was white.
As far as I can put together, this is how I think it happened. Let me remind you, we were in suburbia. It was a very safe neighborhood and many nights my parents neglected to lock the front door. Someone came into the house, our dog at the time was so old that she was blind and deaf so she didn’t notice, my sister heard it and woke up, making enough noise that the bunny man decided to investigate, he came into our room which then woke me up and just stared at us. My assumption is that he was probably deciding what to do. We both went back to sleep and he left, leaving behind a single Easter egg. He might have tried to get into another house, but most people are smart enough to lock their doors. My neighbor had a fully functioning dog with all necessary senses, so maybe the dog saw it and alerted her young owner just in time to see him hopping across her driveway.
No matter the chain of events that happened that night, there is too much evidence now to conclude that it was a dream. What I am not sure of is what became of the man in the bunny costume and if he will ever visit again.