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How Ghost Stories and Legends Spread

by 13d via iPhone

So, where I grew up in Ohio...we have the Legend of the Melon Heads. Kids used to drive down a lonely road in the woods and see, hear, and feel all kind of weird things, like children with giant heads and glowing eyes etc... Definitely a creepy story and a creepy area... When I was 15, I found a website with local ghost stories and legends...and emailed the webmaster a string of crap that I made up about the Melon Heads. I claimed to be a “long time resident of the area...” and that I’d had personal experience. It was a heck of a story for a 15 year old, and he posted it on the website-along with my email address. For years afterwards, I would occasionally receive an email from someone asking about my “knowledge,” and I would happily recite my made up tale, add some true creepy history (which is way creepier than my made up story), and give them directions to do a driving tour. The website has been taken down and I no longer get emails. 17 years later, I’m browsing a bookstore and see an “Ohio Legends and Creepy Tales” type book. I open it up to the Melon Heads section...and...see my load of garbage reprinted as facts about the legend! “Local residents say that...” I’m not going to spoil it for you, though, and tell you what about the story I made up-but it’s a pretty detailed load of crap about the Melon Head’s origins. Edit: Also, if you look up Melon Heads Ohio, any website will have “facts” about the legend...”facts” that I made up while eating Cheetos as a 15 year old. Another edit: I should clarify that the story I saw in the book merely took details of my story, the author didn’t copy my words. These details are repeated a lot on different websites and are cited as one of the “versions” of the tale. Locally, every retelling of the Melon Heads Legend is different, with each retelling mixing and matching stories...I’ve seen people get in fights over it! And another point: I didn’t originate this legend, it existed long before my time. My dad and his buddies went Melon Head hunting back in the 60’s. I’m pretty thrilled...although I feel kind of guilty about lying, it’s awesome to see my story included in the pantheon of a local legend!


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