The Melon Heads - A lost colony of freaky people?

The Melon Heads is a legend that comes out of Holland,Michigan. It tells of a brood of hydrocephalic (water on the brain) children living in the woods of the Saugatuck area. Their medical condition causes them to have huge, swollen heads. The story tells of a hospital in the area that was treating these children long ago. Perhaps all that testing on the poor kids was hard on his personal budget so the hospital had to close, and the children having nowhere to go, were released into the wilds of Holland (scary…).

People for decades have told this tale. Namely teenagers growing up in that area during the 1960’s and 70’s and parents looking to scare their children into good behavior. There are a few different theories as to where these creatures came from and no doubt it's from the depths of the human imagination. Sometimes people pass on this legend while playing games on their friends or when newcomers move to town. Along with the origins of this legend, we're also interested in how this legend continues to change and spread to this day.

The origins of legends are always going to be iffy at best, but it's how they live on that makes them what they are. If you have a Melon Heads tale to share, old or new, click on the "write" link to your right and send us your story!

To read the full story, get your hands on a copy of "Ghosts & Legends of Michigan's West Coast today!"



Reader Submission

I have lived in Laketown township for about twelve years now and agree with everything that was said in your book, “Ghost & Legends of Michigan’s West Coast.” I have friends that have seen the melon heads in the woods a few I believe them? Yes and no. (They say if you flicker your car headlights you’re more prone to see something, but I’m too afraid to try :) I have heard insane ghost stories from the Felt mansion though; people seeing kids play at the top of the stairs and then jump off the balcony. There was also a story about teens that were going to vandalize the Felt mansion before the restoration began in 2000. It was in the middle of the night and a man in a horse drawn carriage pulled up and asked them if they needed a ride. They freaked out and ran away.

Reader Submission

Last year, me and some of my friends at Hope College decided we wanted to go to the Allegan County Woods in Hamilton in search of the Melonheads. On our first night there, we went back on a path for about a mile and came to an opening where there seemed to be a foundation of a building still there, but the building was gone. On the walk back to the opening, there was a sign hanging over the path but it was too faded to make out any of the wording. On the first night we did not experience anything too out of the ordinary that we didn't think we couldn’t explain by animals or other sorts. We went back the next night and it was raining mixed with some lightning. Me and two other guys were leading the group down the path and about a half a mile into our walk, there was a lightning flash and all three of us saw the same exact figure of a human about 4 and a half feet tall with an abnormally large head standing in the middle of the clearing that we had gone to the night before. We three kind of slowed down for a minute and the next thing we knew, we heard a huge crash in the woods to the left of us. We immediately turned and ran back to the cars.

Internet Rumors About the Melon Heads

One thing about legends and the Internet is how mixed up things start to become. I've been seeing certain postings and articles about Dr. Crow (part of the Ohio Melon Heads story) being connected with the Felt Mansion. The legendary Dr. Crow (some spell it Crowe) is in no way connected to the Felt Mansion in Saugatuck, Michigan. Dr. Crow is part of the northern Ohio legends and as far as anyone can tell, is also a made-up figure.

Check out the website for accounts of Melon Heads in Ohio.

The Melon Heads strike again! This version was shared by a Michigan resident.

This legend has made it's way up to my neck of the woods too. A little different though. In southwest Michigan the Melon Heads are said to be located behind the Cook Nuclear plant in Bridgman.
It has two different stories of how they got to be there. The first is that there was an insane asylum in the woods before the power plant was built and there was a fire that burnt the asylum to the ground and the melon heads escaped and have been living in the wild ever since.

The other story says that there was a group of people that lived behind the plant in the woods. After exposure to the radiation, they began to have water swelling of the brain, and out of embarrassment and shame they stayed in the woods to be left alone by the public to live their lives. The nuclear plant and all surrounding property has been closed off to the public since the 9/11 attacks, but you used to be able to drive back into the woods and explore. It was a big past time for teenagers to scare the bejesus out of themselves and their dates. I have been told that the whole area back there is like a maze, and unless you know the area well, it is very easy to get lost in. I suppose that just adds to the scare factor. So I would say that the Melon Heads from my area are just urban legend. But it always makes for interesting conversation, especially when talking with those who have been there and claim to have seen one.

Reader Submission

The melon heads were a family whose house was in the way of the Cook nuclear plant in Bridgman, Michigan. They were kicked out but stayed in the woods around the plant and felt they should shut it down. Before 9/11 or Chernobyl, nuclear plants were as secure as a Dunkin Donuts, so the family made it to the core…they weren’t ready for what happened. Some say water on the brain, some say mutation. I do know there is a subdivision in the woods near the plant that only has a one way road through it that is called Melon Head.



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