Possibly the creepiest scary story in the state comes to us from the Kirtland area in Lake County: the legend of the Melon Heads, a bunch of people (usually kids) with abnormally large, melon-shaped heads. That's about where the agreement ends, however; the Melon Heads legend has about as many variations as any story I've run across (with the possible exception of Hell Town).

Origins of the Melonheads

Most of the stories agree on one point: there was a doctor involved in the sinister melon heads drama. Some stories say he cared for the hydrocephalic children, while others say he was an evil doctor who injected their heads with fluid to actually make them that way. Some even say he kidnapped local children to do this to. The doctor's name was Crowe.

Dr. Crowe

One version of the story which paints Dr. Crowe in a fairly humanitarian light has him taking care of the unfortunate children at his home. His wife, however, was so kind that when she died the Melon Heads went crazy with grief and burned down the house, killing the doctor and themselves in the process. Their ghosts are said to inhabit the area. Which reminds us all just how dangerous nice people are, and that they must be stopped.

One version makes Dr. Crowe a government scientist who was exposed to so much radiation that his kids were born with melon heads. The government buys him a house in secluded Lake County to keep him out of sight in his twilight years, but his kids sometimes go to the road and are spotted by locals.

Reports are evenly split on the supernatural aspects of the story. Some claim they're just weird-looking kids, while others claim they are ghosts.

Melonhead Sightings

No matter where they came from, most kids in the area know somebody whose sister's best friend knew a guy whose dentist saw the Melon Heads one time. It's apparently a popular thing for local high school kids to do to drive around the area late at night, looking for them.

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.

An interesting twist has the Melon Heads story being told in Western Michigan as a local legend, specifically in the Allegan Woods in Allegan County. Shows how folklore can migrate.

For Creepy Cleveland's take on the Melon Heads, go here.
Another excellent Melon Heads information page can be found here.