Cryptober day 2 – Come on Feel the Melon HeadsLeave a comment
October 3, 2020 by Bret Kramer (aka WinstonP)
In the woods of southwestern Connecticut, so they say, in certain lonely places, you can encounter a strange group of beings known as the Melon Heads!
The Melon Heads are somewhat of a borderline cryptid, technically being humans, but considering their folkloric nature and mix of pseudo-scientific and supernatural origins, they seem worthy of inclusion. So what do we know about the Melon Heads?
According to one version of the story – and nearly all “sightings” of these entities are your second-hand “friend-of-a-friend” type tales – back in Colonial times, there was a family accused of witchcraft. Driven from their home by an angry mob, the took to living in the woods where, over generations, they become inbred, feral, and deformed, resulting in a clan of macrocranial humans who, may or may not be cannibals.
An alternative version of the story claims that there was once an asylum that burned down, perhaps in the 1950s, which was destroyed in a fire, perhaps one started by the inmates who revolted due to abuse or to avoid being used in medical experiments. They escaped into the woods where they remained as a feral tribe of, you guessed it, cannibals. Who knew the people of Connecticut were so delicious?
All of the variant Melon Head stories are associated with some lonely stretch of forested country road that teens would often dare each other to visit, typically at night. One common feature is that many of these remote (for Connecticut) roads would be locally called “Dracula Drive”. Anyone taking this road might spot the Melon Heads skulking about, awaiting the unwary.
I do not see a lot of academic discussion of the Melon Heads – thought if you know of any, do send a link my way – but folklorists have linked them to similar looking or behaving phenomena, such as Grey Aliens, the Dover Demon, and even figures from Native American (in particular Mohegan) tradition called the Makiawisug, who were cthonic “little people”, who lived in subterranean chambers and, with the proper veneration, could prove very friendly.
Melon Heads, a a folkloric figure, are said to exist in several other places scattered across the American Midwest, in particular Michigan and northeast Ohio. These Midwestern Melon Heads have similar origin stories to their Connecticut counterparts – burned asylums and medical experimentation – as well as similar violent habits. I will note that part of northeast Ohio where the Melon Heads are said to dwell were once part of the Western Reserve, a tract of land formerly claimed by Connecticut that was settled in large part initially by people from Connecticut. Perhaps they brought this particular story with them? Considering the medical elements common in most of the Melon Head lore, I suspect they are relatively modern invention. Time for some research, perhaps?
If you want to read more about the Melon Heads, the New England Folklore blog has a two-part discussion of them, covering several other permutations of these big-headed horrors. Part 1; Part 2.
I wanted to mention that apparently a different sort of Melon Head was spotted a few years back in Virginia:
Tomorrow we will leave Dracula Drive and head north to the woods of Maine, where we might encounter a four-legged mythic monster…