1. Things to Do

The soulless eyes of Murder Bunny haunt me

A detail from the photo of baby Ellen with the original #murderbunny. [Freiberg family photo]
A detail from the photo of baby Ellen with the original #murderbunny. [Freiberg family photo]
Published Mar. 28, 2018

I don't like clowns. Everyone knows it: colleagues, friends, my toddler — the teachers at his preschool recently sent home clown art with a little "haha" note.

While I have no clue where the phobia stems from, my mother just sent me a clue.

It may well be the Easter bunny's fault.

A photo from 1979 shows baby Ellen sitting dubiously upon the lap of a bunny with soulless eyes. Baby Ellen does not cry. Baby Ellen is a fool.

Back in 2018, I post the terrifying image on Facebook with the hashtag #murderbunny. My dad texts to say he saved me from the bunny's lap, it's all okay.


Apparently unfazed by #murderbunny and the obvious malice in those eyes, they took me back to the same bun in 1982. This time though, my little face is fixed in obvious displeasure.

"As long as we're on the subject, age 3 Ellen bit the bunny immediately after this was snapped," mom reports.

Good job, 3-year-old me! I believe her, as I've seen that same face on my 3-year-old son right before he lashes out. Don't tell my husband, though. I like to keep up the illusion that all questionable behavior comes from his side.

The white face, the outlined eyes, the rabid toddler attack. It all comes back to the clowns.

For what it's worth, I've taken my own child to sit with a mall Easter bunny every year. The fact that costume technology has advanced to "cute" instead of "horror film" definitely helps.

And in other fun facts, my #murderbunny photos were both taken at Monroeville Mall, the suburban Pittsburgh shopping mall where George A. Romero filmed zombie classic Dawn of the Dead. Coincidence? I think not.

Now it's your turn. Share your scary bunny photos. Upload them to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with #murderbunny.

EASTER EVENTS: Tampa Bay is hopping with lots of egg hunts, services and parties


  1. Localtopia is St. Pete's largest “Community Celebration of All Things Local,” showcasing over 200 independent businesses and community organizations.
  2. The St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market, beautiful landmarks like the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and public art all made it on the list of reader's reasons why they love Tampa Bay.
  3. Lisa Langford opened her artisan boutique, Lis's Pieces, in March of 2019 on Grand Boulevard in downtown New Port Richey. She recently expanded, remodeling an upper floor to use for crafting workshops. Future plans include using the space for small weddings and other intimate occasions, Langford said.
  4. Shannan Panganiban, 26, and her husband Heath Panganiban, 28, with their three boys, from left, Owen, 9 months old, ,Ryland, 5 (in center), and Landon, 3, in their backyard with their kayak racks at their home on Tuesday in St. Petersburg. Shannon and Heath started Yak Tribe, a national kayak fishing community, and now they have started a free kayak rental program with the pilot location being out of their backyard.
  5. Patron vie for beads while attending in the 103nd Gasparilla Invasion and Parade of the Pirates presented by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla on Saturday, January 25, 2020, in downtown Tampa.
  6. Charlotte Flair is one of the WWE’s most decorated female competitors and daughter of wrestling legend “Nature Boy” Ric Flair.
  7. Kathryn Sharkey, 9, of Masarkytown, proves to have a swift hand in casting at the Family Fishing Festival held Jan, 18 at Withlacoochee River  Park in Dade City. Looking on, is her dad, Devon Sharkey (right).
  8. In this July 30, 2019, file photo, a Super Mario figure is displayed at a showroom in Tokyo. After months of being tight-lipped, Comcast executives on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, said the fourth park at Universal Orlando would be based on characters from Nintendo.
  9. Clockwise from left: Cheesy Sriracha Funnel Cake Bites, Piña Colada Candy Apple, Candy Corn and Cheeseburger-On-A-Stick
  10. Draped against the St. Petersburg skyline on Tuesday evening on January 14, 2020, the Bella Vita is visible as it docks in Port St. Pete. The yacht is nearly 250 feet long and costs about $650,000 to charter for a week in the winter, according to broker Moran Yacht and Ship. It can accommodate 12 passengers between its six staterooms and six decks, and a staff of 22.
  11. An Australian shepherd named Waylon gets some pampering from Kathryn Ross-Nash at the Florida Gulf Coast Classic Cluster of Dog Shows held Jan. 9-13 and Jan. 15-19 at Florida Classic Park in Brooksville.  Ross-Nash of Bradenton is an owner/breeder/handler of Australian shepherds and has been showing dogs for 30 years. "I love the show. Love the set-up, and I'm close to home," she said.
  12. Ava Calvin, 5, participates in a unity dance during the First Night of Kwanzaa in St. Petersburg ceremony on Thursday evening.