Cleveland, Ohio. In days gone by, a mad scientist known as Doctor Crow plucked several lowly orphans from the most downtrodden areas of society, the most vulnerable and the neediest. He performed many unusual and horrific experiments on the children, who developed huge, hairless heads and malformed bodies. The children, once lonely and scared, grew stronger and stronger, eventually overpowering Crow. They murdered him and they burnt down the abandoned orphanage where they were being held. They fled and disappeared into the woods around Wisner Road, where, to this very day, the children are still sighted, forever wandering the lands of Ohio…
Perhaps this tale of the Melon Heads was overinflated by internet gossip, but it is only the tip of the iceberg. Michigan has its own sightings of the Melon Heads, said to reside around Felt Mansion and Ottawa County. Some say the sightings are of children from the Junction Insane Asylum, suffering from a condition known as hydrocephalus. After suffering emotional and physical abuse, it’s said that they became feral mutants and escaped into the forest. Others say the asylum never even existed. But others persist. They say the children killed the doctor that abused them and cut the body into tiny pieces. In recent years, teenagers that had broken into the old and abandoned mansion said that they saw the ghosts of the children and shadows of the doctor’s murder…
And there have been sightings in Connecticut, too, in Fairfield County and New Haven County. Another asylum that burnt down, this time in 1960, killing all the staff and some of the patients. Several inmates were said to have escaped to the woods nearby and resorted to cannibalism to survive the harsh winters, somehow giving them their large heads. Others say that the Connecticut Melon Heads were descendants of a Colonial era family, banished after accusations of witchcraft, their large heads the result of inbreeding. They were even said to hunt humans.
All these tales have many things in common. The insane doctor. The asylum. Some unusual explanation. Whether it be witchcraft or something more substantiated such as hydrocephalus. All sighted along rural roads and in and around wooded areas. These legends have certainly become inflated over time. Their voracious appetite for human flesh. The inaccuracies in the stories. Plus, various other legends bleeding into one another, convoluting whatever truth, if any, lay within this mysterious tale.
So, is any of this true? It’s unlikely, but not impossible. Hydrocephalus is an unusual condition and explains many of the psychical characteristics the Melon Heads are said to exhibit. Indeed, the local colour is likely to have come about as a way of exaggerating actual sightings, perhaps to scare and confuse, as so often happens. I wouldn’t say it was impossible that there is some truth in this, but what that truth is, is likely forever lost to time.
So I’ll give the Melon Heads a 70 on my patented Cryptid-o-Meter, putting them 16th in the list of 29, with the Basilisk still bottom and the Beast of Gévauden still holding top spot.
The Melon Heads. A fascinating tale indeed.
Image (Click on It to Enlarge)
1) An artist’s drawing of a Melon Head
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