Easter bunny
A man dressed as the Easter Bunny rides a Velib self-service public bicycle in ParisREUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Easter Sunday is one of the most significant days in the Christian calendar, marking the resurrection of Christ from the dead.

The holiday has its roots in Judaism and beyond, to the celebrations of spring in the ancient pagan religions that Christianity displaced. The first known evidence for Christian Easter dates from the second century. Oddly, the Easter bunny may be even older.

In the ancient pagan north, spring was celebrated with the festival of Eostre, a goddess whose symbol was a hare or rabbit.

In medieval times, it was also believed that hares and rabbits reproduced without sex, which linked them to the Virgin Mary. The rabbit or hare is a popular decorative motif on European medieval churches.

The original role of the more modern Easter bunny, thought to originate in 17th-century Germany, was to judge children, rather like today's Father Christmas. Good children received gifts, some of which took the form of chocolate treats.

Judging by the evidence below, since the invention of photography, the Easter bunny itself has been very bad indeed.

We proudly present the worst Easter bunnies the world has ever seen.

When Easter Bunnies Go Bad
It's the 1970s. There's a man in pink long johns wearing a pair of trousers on his head. A child is crying. The crying child is a recurring motif for the bad bunny connoisseur
When Easter Bunnies Go Bad
Come on children, give grandpa a kiss
When Easter Bunnies Go Bad
One of these people has no idea what is going on. The other is the Easter bunny
When Easter Bunnies Go Bad
Same bunny, different White House occupant. But does Obamacare cover you for myxomatosis?
When Easter Bunnies Go Bad
When a man in a rabbit costume shows you his carrot, it's a good idea to put some distance between you
When Easter Bunnies Go Bad
One childhood memory, a lifetime of therapy
When Easter Bunnies Go Bad
Easter bunny auditions for role in The Walking Dead. Child uncomprehending, but scared. Very scared
When Easter Bunnies Go Bad
This is 100 different shades of wrong
When Easter Bunnies Go Bad
There's something oddly Dali-esque about this bunny. Child impressively unconcerned
When Easter Bunnies Go Bad
Another snarling bunny, another damaged psyche
When Easter Bunnies Go Bad
When the Easter bunny is pursuing you around a school gymnasium armed with a large-toothed saw, it's fair to say your life took a wrong turn somewhere
When Easter Bunnies Go Bad
Nice family photo features bunny rejected by Hallowe'en movies for being too sinister
When Easter Bunnies Go Bad
Is it me, or does this look a lot like Steve Buscemi?
When Easter Bunnies Go Bad
You couldn't not have Donnie Darko in there, could you? Sweet dreams everyone