Country legends date back to the times of Beowulf and Grendel. Urban legends date back to the latter 19th century and their stories are often known worldwide. The pastoral terror of the 'Melonheads' is one such urban legend. It is not only told here in N.E. Ohio but also in parts of Connecticut, Southern Michigan, Kentucky, and Oregon.
The 'Melonheads' is a well known tale that originates on the Kirtland and Chardon borders. Folks passing through or living near the bridges on Wisner or King Memorial have heard or reported sightings of these malformed humans with unnaturally formed heads. Urban legend has Dr. Crow(e) or Kroh's wife looking after them. In time she passes. These children with enlarged hydrocephalic heads run amok. They become animalistic and feral. Dr. Crow loads them into his car and abandons them along the Chagrin River. Motorists and hikers near Wisner and King Memorial Roads have reported encounters with these strange figures over time. It has been said that if you wear dark clothes you can escape them due to their poor vision.
A local Chardon man named Ryan Orvis tells of the the 1950-60's story of a young child with hydrocephalus syndrome. It is said that his appearance frightened the local youngsters. A neighbor and TB researcher Dr. Crowe / Kroh lived on the street. He befriended that child and they were often seen traversing the Wisner Road area at dusk.
From the wayward spirits to the haunted structures, Lake County has its ghost stories and urban legends. Steeped in partial truths and local lore, these tales have become part of the fabric of our county history. Wandering ghosts, a haunted lighthouse, a mysterious girl in blue, stolen cadavers from a local medical college - while I have never personally witnessed any of these tales - others will tell you differently.