Background on Informant:
My informant is a current student who has shared with me his experiences of childhood folklore and traditions that he grew up with. In a series of interviews he has shared with me his knowledge.
“Growing up in Connecticut, you hear legends and myths constantly especially when you’re young as the spread of information runs rampant among kids. The one I vividly remember is the legend of the Melon Heads.
These melon heads are said to be these small humans with giant bulbous heads who hide out and attack people in the woods. Living in Southern Connecticut, where they are said to reside, always made me feel uneasy.
I’d honestly rather take a ghost or witch than a melon head. But they are said to eat small animals and the flesh of teenagers (I know right how convenient).
The story supposedly goes that there was this hospital or asylum (depends on who tells you the story), but it had a lot of criminally insane patients. Well in the 1960s, it burned down, resulting in the death of all of the workers and most of the patients, but a bunch escaped into the woods. In order to survive they resorted to cannibalism and inbreeding, which is the ‘melon head’ aspect of it due to deformities from the inbreeding.
Every so often you hear the many stories of people seeing them. Like apparently in the 1980s, a group of girls from (I forget which high school) decided to drive around and look for melon heads, so they left their car and went into the woods. Then the engine of their car started and they ‘saw’ the melon heads drive off with the car. But there’s so many stories all over Southern Connecticut with people claiming to see and hear them.
I’m not saying I believe they exist, but I’m also not saying they don’t. I don’t want to gamble with that. But it is interesting how you can’t escape Connecticut without hearing about the melon heads at least once in your life.”
As a believer of a many things, I can certainly say I too was left uneasy after hearing about the legend of the melon heads. I grew up hearing about them too but I was always too afraid to fully get to know the story but now I do. It’s fascinating to think how this story stays alive because of how elementary kids and high schoolers continue to tell it over and over again, even when it dates back to the 1960’s. It’s one of the few legends of Connecticut that has stayed alive and has thrived. I also love how there are so many different versions of the same story going around as it has evolved over the decades. Overall, I enjoyed learning more about this folklore of Connecticut, and observed that these stories go out as far as Ohio and Michigan, but next time I go for a drive I will definitely be on the lookout for any melon heads out there.