From ghostly women in white dresses to werewolves on rural roads, if you look hard enough, you can find some pretty disturbing urban legends hidden away in the dark corners of every small town in America. One of the strangest legends, though, has to do with cannibalistic "Melon Heads" that roam the dark forests of the Midwest, creatures that some say even seen to this very day.
The legend of the menacing Melon Heads is believed to have originated in the woods of Saugatuck, Michigan. The tale tells of a group of a family that gave birth to a brood of deformed children, kids with massively oversized heads. As this particular story goes, the children were shipped off to the old Junction Insane Asylum, where a terrifying madman performed twisted experiments on them, injecting their brains with strange fluids and torturing them for his sick amusement. Eventually, with word spreading that the doors of the asylum would soon be shuttered, the kids hatched a plan to end their abuse once and for all. On a rainy night, they attacked the mad scientist, escaping the hospital with his body, and fleeing into the woods. By this point, they had lost their sense of humanity, and they feasted on the doctors flesh, scattering his bones around a deserted mansion tucked away in the forest.
This tale, however dubious, is the same yarn that was spun to teenagers in the late 60s, and the story has remained largely the same since then. In some versions, the feral children were simply released into the woods when the old hospital closed. In others, they merely killed the doctor, opting not to eat them. However, there is one frightening piece of the tale that has never changed: the disfigured children are still occasionally seen roaming through the woods by drivers of the area's lonely back roads. They came to be known as the "Melon Heads".
Today, local teenagers still encounter the Melon Heads along Wisner Road near the old Felt Mansion in Holland, Michigan. It's this very mansion where the disfigured children were said to dispose of the bones of the evil doctor after escaping the hospital. The Allegan County Historical Society is keen to mention that the asylum never existed, although at one point, there did exist a prison. Laketown Township Manager Al Meshkin told the Holland Sentinel that he had heard the tales as a teenager, noting that his friends referred to the beings as "wobbleheads".
Regardless of what you call them, the Melon Heads are a staple of Michigan's creepiest urban legends, and if you go driving the dirt roads of Holland after dark, you just might glimpse one yourself.