Monday, 22 December 2014

Melonhead Mysteries
c. 2007 Rod Ice

All rights reserved


It was just after daybreak, in Thompson.

I had been on the computer for half an hour, while lazily enjoying my first cup of coffee. Donut crumbs were sprinkled across my desk. They hinted at a long-standing household tradition - sweet treats on Saturday morning.

This ritual had begun when our young daughter professed a need for something special to celebrate the weekend. Soccer Fairy struck a mother-child bargain that lasted through the seasons. We would share sugary snacks together on that appointed day of the week. I agreed, while hoping for occasional diversions to the Waffle House in Concord. The lure of country ham, eggs, and grits still held a powerful attraction that chocolate hoops could not overwhelm.

Liz, my wife, slumbered as I researched a persistent bit of Geauga folklore. Columns I'd written about the county's 1957 UFO incident had inspired many local comments. But the Corvette Guy himself offered an angle that was most appealing. Since I had completed the mission of investigating his alien encounter story, my friend wanted more. He called to ask a profound question: Since I had been so taken with the story of extraterrestrial visitation, then why not look into the legend of Doc Crow(e) and his Melonheads?

Mr. Corvette had started wheels turning inside of my brain.

The Melonheads were a local fixation for many of us in Chardon, during the 1980's. Stories circulated widely about sightings along Wisner Road. At the time, I frequented a free-flowing spring that was along this rural thorofare. It was in the area where strange creatures were said to have been sighted.

Liz woke as I was sorting through cyberspace entries about the legend.

"Working already?" she said with a groggy smile.

I nodded. "The Corvette guy called me at work. He had this great idea to follow my columns about the Huntsburg UFO...The Melonheads!"

"I know," she responded. "He got your number from me."

I paused at the computer. "Well anyway, look at these stories..."

Liz rubbed her eyes. "I need coffee before hearing about these Honeydew People. Will you read the stories to me, please?"

With drama in my voice, I began to repeat what had been discovered:


1.) "The Melon Heads are most strongly associated with Wisner Road, near Chardon. They are also often sighted on King Memorial Road, especially in or near the King Memorial Cemetery there. (When the road enters Geauga County it becomes Mentor Road, and the graveyard commonly called King Memorial is technically named Larned Cemetery.) Why they like it here, I have no idea. Maybe Dr. Crowe and his wife are buried there, and they come to visit the graves...hey, I just made that up, but it sounds pretty good. Anyway, to find the cemetery, take I-71 north to I-271, toward Erie. Get off on I-90 East. Take the Mentor/Kirtland exit onto SR 306 North. Turn right onto SR 84 for about five miles, then right on King Memorial. About half a mile down look for the Melon Heads' woods and then the cemetery."


1.) "On Chardon-Windsor Road on a section that was described as wooded, teenagers would stop on the road and if the moon was full, out of the forest would come small men with extremely large craniums who would amble toward their cars with a teeter-totter gait. Of course the teenagers would peel away frightened and tell their schoolmates about the men with the big heads. The rumor was that the men had come from a nearby insane asylum which had long since been burnt down."

2.) "I used to live by the woods on Wisner Road near the Lundgren barn. When I was ten years old I had a brief encounter with a Melonhead. It was an early autumn night around 10:00pm when I heard my dog bark and I ran outside to see what was going on. When I went outside to see what the commotion was all about I found my dog lying there bleeding. I looked towards the woods and saw what I believed to be a small figure with very pale skin and a large head. When the creature saw me it ran into the woods. I went out the next morning and followed the tracks but they stopped near a creek. I am now older and very skeptical about events like this..."


1.) "For as long as I can remember, I've heard tales of strange creatures that inhabit the woods in a few of the towns in this area. I've always been told to be careful when traveling down Chardon-Windsor Road in Chardon, Wisner Road, and near the area surrounding the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland. There are supposed to be deformed humans living in the woods with tiny bodies and large round heads. They're known as the Melon Heads, and it is said that they hate all human beings and will kill and eat any they encounter. The reason they are filled with such hate towards humans is because of one sick man, Dr. Crow. It is because of his twisted work that they are in the physical and mental condition that they are. Dr. Crow was commissioned by the government shortly after World War II to treat children who suffered from a rare condition known as hydrocephalism, which causes large pockets of water within the brain. Crow ran a small institution of sorts for these kids, and donated not only his services, but his own land, for the venture. The government sent him these kids, thinking he was doing a good deed and a great favor to society. Little did they know what evil acts were actually occurring in the woods of Northern Ohio."

Amazingly, there were even reports of the Melonhead legend being told in the state of Michigan:


1.) "I live deep in the Allegan Woods of Michigan, about 1 mile away from an abandoned insane asylum. The legend around here is that the melonheads used to reside in this building after it was no longer being used. They are said to be dark creatures that come out only at night, and do not usually interact with humans. They are very fast and can jump in a way that seems to defy gravity. Although I have never encountered any of these Melonheads, they still make for a great story!"

2.) "The story is true of the Melonheads but the version of everybody's stories are wrong. The Melonheads live in Bridgeman Michigan next to the Cook nuclear power plant. Shortly after the plant was built there was a radiation leak that deformed all these people and also gave them enlarged heads. The government gave these people their own community and they are not allowed to leave. They will chase you out and yes I have witnessed one and it is the scariest thing I have ever seen."

I finished as my wife returned with coffee and powdered donuts. Her mood brightened with each sip of Java.

"There is also a collection of fantastic material in 'Weird Ohio' by James A. Willis, Andrew Henderson, and Loren Coleman," I explained.

Liz sat on our bed. "Those tales give me the Watermelon Willies!" she smirked. "Don't tell me you saw one yourself...?"

I shrugged my shoulders. "No, I can't make that claim. But my brother, Bubba, went on a Melonhead expedition once."

She was intrigued. "Really? And he saw them?"

"Not exactly," I said. "He and a friend went to Wisner Road after dark. They intended to search for unusual creatures. But after hunting through the woods, they returned to the road, empty-handed. Then, they noticed a car parked in the grass. Only a single occupant appeared to be inside. In the moonlight, Bubba and his partner both caught the silhouette of a raised firearm through the driver's window. That ended the hunt. They scrambled for my brother's vehicle, and drove away."

My wife giggled. "So what's next? A column about Bigfoot?"

"Don't laugh!" I said. "Someone at work passed along a homemade book about beast sightings in Ashtabula County..."

Liz sighed. "Send a message to Agent X. I'm going to the kitchen for another cup of coffee!"




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