Whenever I think of Melon Heads my mind pictures the Garbage Pail Kids. These are one of the least covered cryptids out there.
There are a few states out there that can lay a claim to these warm and fuzzy cryptids. Michigan, Ohio and Connecticut.
This version of their origins is from the great state of Connecticut. Here is the history of them according to the lore on Wikicheatia…
“The melon heads are descendants of a Colonial-era family from Shelton-Trumbull who were banished after accusations of witchcraft were made against them causing them to retreat to the woods. This variation attributes the appearance of the melon heads to inbreeding. Melon Heads allegedly prey upon humans who wander into their territory.”
I chose that tale because you know I love the history of the colonists. I can almost see this situation happenings. Many early settlements banished people and families from their settlements, it was the worst punishment because you would most likely starve or freeze to death. It’s the unthinkable taboo, but to survive they may have had to make some desperate choices.
Inbreeding could also happen amongst the banished with just a few others maybe that have also been banished. As far as cannibalism goes, they already have proof that the Jamestown Settlement had practiced cannibalism in their desperate hours before they all disappeared. Maybe when they disappeared they become melon heads too.
Moving on to the melon head tales of Ohio. From Wikipedia…
The melon heads are primarily associated with the Cleveland suburb of Kitkland. According to local lore, the melon heads were originally orphans under the watch of a mysterious figure known as Dr. Crow (sometimes spelled Crowe, Krohe or Kroh or known as Dr. Melonhead. Crow is said to have performed unusual experiments on the children, who developed large, hairless heads and malformed bodies. Some accounts claim that the children were already suffering from hydrocephalus, and that Crow injected even more fluid into their brains.
Eventually, the legend continues, the children killed Crow, burned the orphanage, and retreated to the surrounding forests and supposedly feed on babies.
And lastly the lore from Michigan. Again from Wikipedia…
The melon heads of Michigan are said to reside around Felt Mansion, although they have also been reportedly seen in southern forested areas of Ottawa County. According to one story, they were originally children with hydrocephalus who lived at the Junction Insane Asylum near Felt Mansion. The story explains that, after enduring physical and emotional abuse, they became feral and were released into the forests surrounding the asylum. The Allegan County historical Society asserts that the asylum never existed, although it was at one point a prison; however, the story has been part of the local folklore for several decades.
We know most lore has some kernel of truth in there, and all these tales have a similar theme. People abandoned, banished or runaways from society who fled to the forest. If you came upon these people in the forest you would be alarmed. If they were tortured in an asylum or infirm in some way maybe even with birth defects their appearance may be unsettling to say the least.
Did they become cannibals to survive a harsh winter? They most likely would. We have never known the harshness these people suffered through. Do I believe these melon beads are a cryptid? I’m going to say no. To many stories can be easily explained like above but when I’m visiting these states and wandering their forests I’ll keep my open…just in case.
Articles of note..
Pictures from Google Common