Melonheads and Haunted Houses
200 Years of Area Folk Lore
by Jon Hanover, Editorial Editor
Since it was founded in 1801, the Chesterland area has developed a rich mythological history, about which, unfortunately, many current residents are completely unaware.
There are many accounts as to the origin and nature of the melonheads. As the
story goes, in the most common version, Dr. Crow was commissioned by the government
to treat children with a rare disease called hydrocephalism, which causes large
pockets of water in the brain. The government set him up (complete with a laboratory)
in a secluded place deep in the woods of northern Chesterland.
Dr. Crow started trying to find a cure for the disease, but eventually his seclusion drove him insane. One night he injected more and more water into the brains of the children. The children, needless to say, suffered extreme mental, physical, and psychological damage. They stopped growing, and their heads ballooned nearly to the size of their bodies.
They became vicious and soon Dr. Crow could no longer control them. One night they attacked Dr. Crow in his laboratory, tore him to pieces, and ate his meat straight off the bone. One accidentally knocked over an alcohol burner in the process and set the house ablaze. Without a home, the children, now known as the melonheads, wander the woods of northern Chesterland looking for men, women and children to kill for food.
The legend of the melonheads has been passed down through generations of area residents and has become a centerpiece of Chesterland folklore. If you want to learn more about these creepy creatures, take a peak at http://creepycleveland.neopages.net/MelonHeads.html. You'll find other versions of the story and scores of personal testimony. Alternatively, you could take a ride down Wisner Road at night yourself and explore the surrounding woods - if you dare.
A man (we will him call William Nobody) once had a luxurious house built for
him and his wife in the woods of Chesterland on a small street that used to
connect Heath and Sperry between Wilson Mills and Mulberry. As the story goes,
they lived happily in their country abode until Mrs. Nobody went insane, some
say because of her isolation from society. William tried to live with his mad
newly wed, but after a while he couldn't stand her anymore. He moved out, leaving
Mrs. Nobody to die in the big, old house.
Some say she can still be found there today when the moon is full. Besides the occasional appearance of Mrs. Nobody, one will find in the house everything from old pots and pans, to half-empty bottles of brandy, porcelain dolls, paintings, bookshelves containing volumes including Of Mice and Men, A Mid Summer's Night Dream and The History of the Wold, a broken violin, and, finally, a fallen bird cage in the main room and a wedding-dress hanging in the hall on the second floor.
There is a hill in Kirtland that supposedly defies one of the most basic laws
of nature. If you drive to the hill and put your car in neutral, it is said
you will roll up the hill...not down it. To find Gravity Hill, take Chillicothe
Road north to Baldwin Road, go right down Baldwin for a few miles and turn left
on Hart Road. Continue down Hart until you come to Little Mountain Road. Turn
right on Little Mountain and go a mile or so until you come to a four way stop
(intersection with King Memorial Road.). Turn left: this is Gravity Hill.