What were the mysterious secrets of the Melonheads?

Artist sketch of a Melonhead, based on eyewitness accounts, from Weird U.S.

Were Melonheads subjects of long ago secret government experiments? 

Melonheads. They have been seen for years in Connecticut, Ohio, and Wisconsin.  Who knows, they may exist in many other places.  Folks may be reluctant to report that they even saw a Melonhead.  I had never heard of them, myself.  I read an interesting article about them recently on an Appalachian oddities page via social media.  It is a given that Appalachia has a goodly number of mysterious and eerie oddities—could real Melonheads be one of them?  How long has this been going on?  

 Melonheads are described as small human-like creatures with large bulbous heads.  They are secretive but if they have been known to run out of the darkened depths of wooded areas and attack venturing humans.  The severity of the attacks varies:  they are usually shy and simply run away, others have reported vicious, hungry creatures that lunge and snap with sharp, jagged teeth.  Several of the legends about them say they are actual humans that have been modified by scientific experiments or in-breeding.

In Ohio, most of the incidents have been in Lake County around Kirtland and  Chardon.   Legend has it that Melonheads are humans.  They are humans that were the subjects of long ago secret government experiments.  When the experiments went awry, every measure was used to not allow the horrendous results of those experiments to ever be known.  In an effort to suppress, a secret location in the Ohio woods was established—a place to ship the Melonheads and hide them forever.  

Some of the Melonheads were not content to stay contained and have actually slipped away from time to time.  Their curiosity overtook them.  One or two at a time would make a reconnaissance mission in the dark of night.  Upon glimpsing a few scary scenes of civilization they would scamper back to their little commune, believed to be near Wisner Road.

Another variation of the Melonhead tale has them in the care of a Dr. Crow (or Crowe) who acquired the use of some mental patients in a hospital where he worked to use for experimental purposes.  He even performed lobotomies on some of them.  The experiments caused the misshapen heads.  Other heads were deformed by trauma caused by his brain surgeries.  In the Dr. Crow variation, the good doctor was always able to round up any escapees and secret them away, again.

There is even another more bizarre version of the Melonhead Story.    It involves Dr. Crow’s wife.  Dr. Crow and his wife were, instead, living in a cabin in the woods.  They were entrusted with the care of several children who were born with hydrocephalus. 

The children got excellent care from the couple, but at some point, outsiders found out about the sickly children living there and gave them the cruel nickname of Melonheads.  At this point, Mrs. Crow became even more protective of the unfortunate children.  She did not want them hurt by the outside world.  When Mrs. Crow died unexpectedly, the children’s world came undone. 

It wasn’t long before they began running around in the cabin and overturned a kerosene lantern.  The cabin and all its contents went up in flames.  Even Dr. Crow did not escape.  The Melonheads seen along forest paths are the ghosts of the children with swollen heads that died in the fire.

Most people living in this region of Ohio know at least one person who has had a live encounter with a Melonhead.  Witnesses reported seeing animal corpses along the trails near Melonhead events.   If you dig around you can find the testimonials of witnesses in various articles about The Melonheads.   If you go over to different nearby counties in Ohio, there are the same tales, but the location of the commune is associated with different dirt roads.

In Michigan, the Melonhead sightings are in forested areas of Ottawa County and also near Felt Mansion.  The legend here states that the Melonheads suffered years of physical and mental abuse in an insane asylum.  They escaped and became feral.  Some of them moved into nearby caves.  A man who was a teenager when he first heard about The Melonheads remembers his often-terrified friends calling them wobbleheads.

In Connecticut, the legends are similar but sometimes take on a different twist.  Most of the Melonhead sightings have been in Southwest Connecticut.  One legend states that an insane asylum burned and only twenty inmates escaped.  These inmates had a hard time surviving, but they did.  They resorted to inbreeding and even cannibalism at times.  This is what caused them to mutate into what became known as Melonheads.  In some accounts, the asylum is a prison, instead. 

Another account involves witchcraft.  In colonial times, when presumed witches were rounded up, there was a witchcraft-practicing family that ran away to prevent being sentenced to death.  They had to go deep into the woods to escape and their future generations became Melonheads, due again, to inbreeding.

One of the unique things about the Connecticut legends is that there is always a Dracula Drive mentioned as the name of the road where Melonhead incidents occur.  There is no real Dracula Drive but it is thought to be Velvet Street, Saw Mill City Road, Edmonds Road, or Zion Hill Road, or other roads, depending on what county you are in.

Stars were born:  a few movies have even been made with Melonheads as the subject matter.  Whether or not you believe in the existence of Melonheads, maybe you will do some further reading about them.  They are eerily interesting, indeed.

Sara Marie Hogg is the author of the award-winning Quite Curious, a collection of tales about the bizarre and unexplained. Please click HERE to find the book on Amazon.

     

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