|Melon Head on Monster and Mysteries in America|
"Some of the strangest monsters of Ohio are the Melon Heads of Kirtland.
"Supposedly, the Melon Heads were originally children that a mad scientist named 'Dr. Crow' performed strange experiments on. This eventually transformed them into monsters with bulbous heads. It is said that the Melon Heads killed Dr. Crow and burnt down his facility, and now roam around Kirtland.
"Another version of the story says that the Melon Heads are the result of secret government testing. This testing caused the subject's heads to swell. They were all shipped to a secret location in the woods.
"The Melon Heads were mostly calm but sometimes wanted contact with the outside world, so every once and a while one or two would sneak out of their facility.
"The Melon Heads supposedly are cannibalistic and eat what they can catch (including humans.)
"Stories of Melon Heads also come from Michigan and Connecticut. Most seem to be third- or fourth-person or 'friend of a friend' stories. There are, however, some first person accounts.
"The first occurred on July 9, 1978, when two young men walking along some railroad tracks near Butler at about 11 p.m. spotted a humanoid figure which they said was seven feet tall and had a 'huge round head.' The thing also had 'glowing red eyes' and was making a growling noise. Unsurprisingly, the two fled the area quickly.
"Another sighting occurred on October 5, 2001, when four people saw a 'melon-headed figure' keeping pace with their car, which was moving at 45 miles per hour, while going down Chillicothe Road near Chardon.
"The witness, 'Tony,' said:
"'It looked about the same height as me (5 feet, 7 inches) and was wearing ripped-up brown pants held together by what looked like corn husk. It wore a white shirt with brown and red stains all over it. (I'm hoping the red stains weren't blood.) Its head was a very light brown tint with 2 holes in the sides that I think were ears. Its head was swelled up, and its eyes were very big. Just as we turned a curve, it jumped into the woods.'
"On the Melon Head page on the Weird U.S. website, there are several reports and descriptions of the beings.
"Rich Gleir says that close to Kirtland, there is an area of hiking trails. He claims that along these trails mutilated animals can be found. Is it possible the Melon Heads killed the animals?
"'Justin V.' says that the Melon Heads still roam around the area where they were tested on, and that they only come out at night. He says that during a full moon they are 'extremely vicious' and will 'attack any humans they see,' but have bad vision. He claims that wearing bright colors makes it more likely that the Melon Heads will spot you.
"'Jay' claims that Dr. Crow was real, but that the full moon has nothing to do with the Melon Heads' behavior. He also claims that he and his brother once saw one of them while driving along Mitchell's Mills. He saw 'a quick flash out of the corner of my eye,' and when he looked over, saw something by a tree. It was only a quick glimpse, but Jay was terrified by what he saw and screamed. His brother then looked out the window and apparently saw the same thing.
"Paul I. claims that, in the 1960s, some kids driving around one day saw a Melon Head and followed it into the woods.
"The kids followed the Melon Head all the way to an old farmhouse, where a middle-aged couple and several other Melon Heads sat on the porch.
"The man on the porch explained to the kids that he had been a nuclear scientist during World War II and that his exposure to radiation caused his kids to be born as Melon Heads. He said the government gave him money to keep quiet about it and buy the farmhouse where they could stay away from the rest of civilization. He told the kids to not tell anyone about them and to not come back.
"Paul claims that this story was told at a party in 1964 and that he and some others crammed into a few cars and went off to find where the Melon Heads lived. They were stopped by the police, and when they told them what they were doing, the police told them that the Melon Heads did not exist, and took them back to the police station where their parents picked them up.
"Paul concludes the account by saying: 'We all agreed that the police were so intense in trying to convince us that there were no Melon Heads that there had to be Melonheads. If not, why were the police so upset that we were looking for them?'
"I think it is possible that most Melon Head stories are just urban legends, but it is possible that at least some of them could be true. For now, they remain a mystery."
This post was excerpted from The Ohio Monster Guidebook, my upcoming book on Ohio cryptid sightings. More about the book will be posted in the future, so be sure to check back sometime!
My first book, Cryptid U.S., can be bought on Amazon.com. If you like it, leave a review!