Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Bridge to the Film and Chapel

Jeff and I got together on Saturday for some local exploring. I'd previously heard of the urban legend about the Bunny Man Bridge in Clifton but had never been there. It was quite a novelty to drive only a short distance to our destination, compared to the hours and hours which I'm usually accustomed to traveling.
The bridge was down a quiet country lane and looked as though it had quite recently been painted, but somebody had seemingly objected and some areas had been scraped to reveal colorful strokes of graffiti paint underneath.
There's different versions of the Bunny Man Bridge but I liked this one the best, the 'facts' supplied and earnestness could almost make it believable after a few renditions around a camp fire. The bridge has appeared in a TV program, Scariest Places on Earth, and there's plenty of different accounts on the internet, along with various quirky images. I loved the one above.
It was hard to get into the spirit of things though with a freshly painted tunnel and bright sunlight beating down. We took photos from all angles and I did eventually manage to capture a 'ghostly image' while Jeff was shooting towards the other end!
Apparently there is a little truth in the tale as in the 70's, supposedly, a guy was seen running around the neighborhood in a rabbit suit, and also a bunny suited chap was threatening folks who trespassed on his property as he wielded a hatchet, reports that have been colorfully and imaginatively embellished since. We were harassed by a grumpy female as we took photos, implying that we were illegally parked, and she looked remarkably like an older, crosser version of the girl in the image above. So who knows? But I don't think I'll be back on any dark nights to see if the tale harbors any truth, I was kind of glad it was a cheerful sunshiny day.
We went on to revisit an old building locally that we'd nosed around 6 years ago. Nothing has happened to the property despite being sold but we did discover that the place had been completely ransacked over the past few years since we'd been here. The old trailers out back had gone but now the house was wide open, its interior totally ravaged, boxes of paperwork and machinery thrown and hurled everywhere, furnishings broken yet somehow the windows had been left untouched so the building was still dry inside.
A film processing company, operating since 1955, had once been here, specializing in all kinds of security cameras and film types. I'd even read that they had been the instigators of the ID card but there's little evidence of the company now on the internet.
We didn't stay long, the place had been so trashed, and this kind of disrespect bothers me. I fail to comprehend the necessity for such wasteful expenditure of energy with this senseless destruction.
So we trundled along graveled country lanes, looking for anything quirky that warranted a photo or two, then came across an old church which had been on my 'places to visit' list.
Bull Run Chapel in Haymarket was built around 1914 by the 8th Regimental Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, who strove to memorialize the 8th Virginia Regiment soldiers of the Civil War. They used this building as a monthly meeting place.
Despite being covered with creepers that appeared bent on trying to pull the wooden structure to the ground, the building is still sturdy and it's a shame the current owners are doing nothing to preserve it. Trees had grown close to the walls, looking like a barricade around the old place, and it really was quite possible to drive straight past without noticing it if you didn't know it was there.
I did manage to find this description of the building along with a survey letter stating that the poison ivy was doing a great job of protecting the structure and that it could certainly be restored but that was back in 1999, and obviously was information that wasn't acted on.
The woodwork inside was beautiful, pine slats in a herringbone pattern covered the walls and ceiling, the workmanship to be revered still in this day and age where details such as these are too costly or time consuming to consider. The broken windows still held a few panes of ruby and gold glass, the afternoon sun casting rich colors across the floor, now strewn with old cushions and sadly, an old piano that had been flipped onto its back.
Apparently the place is haunted, there have been stories of voices heard at night and white orbs floating on the grounds. We didn't bump into or hear anything sinister as we took our photos and I was a little disappointed not to see any turkey vultures occupying the place as I'd read about online.
As the sun dipped towards the horizon we headed back to Centreville, said our farewells, and then I drove the short drive home, with plenty of time to water garden plants, feed the cats and finally finish the evening on the patio with a glass of red, listening to the tree frogs and cicadas heralding the approaching twilight. Bliss.

No comments: