State’s Urban Legends: Ohio

Ohio is called the Buckeye State. They’ve had their fair share of famous residents – my personal favorite is Jack Nicklaus, but I’m kind of old school that way. A couple of football championships. Your standard fare for any of the 50 states.

But Ohio has some very fascinating urban legends. Starting with a town called Hell, populated by mutants. If you believe the legend…

The Mutants of Hell Town

Boston Mills, Ohio was your typical small town in the suburbs. Then one day it was completely deserted. Just that quickly.

One legend has it that the townsfolk just vanished one day, leaving a ghost town as the only proof they’d ever existed. Another says there’d been an accident nearby and the chemicals released due to the mishap changed the residents into mutants. The government moved in with a quarantine and a cover story.

The town was scheduled to be abandoned to make way for a Natioanal Park. Oh sure, believe the government cover story if you like. But aren’t the other two much more fun? By the way, visitors to the area have claimed to see strangely-deformed creatures roaming about.

Werewolf of Defiance

Ohio's werewolf was a one-summer sensation.

Defiance, Ohio was terrorized by a werewolf in 1972.

Back in the early 1970s a werewolf was on the prowl in Defiance, Ohio. He. or she. was always spotted at night – never in the daylight – and always near the railroad tracks. Some women reported the beast, huge, hairy and in rags, would rattle the doorknobs, trying to gain entry in the homes.

No one ever reported any injury of any kind related to an encounter with the creature. After one summer of terror, the beast apparently wandered off to find other hunting grounds and has not been seen since. Still, avoid the tracks at night if you stay over in Defiance, just to be safe.


In my hometown of Turlock, California, the high school football team was called “Melonheads” for a few years back in the 1920s. This was due to watermelons being the main crop in the area. The moniker was replaced later with Bulldogs.

But in Ohio, Melonheads are not something they cheer for. In fact, they try to ward them off. Legend says the Melonheads are genetically altered children. They have oversized heads, sharp teeth and a taste for killing babies, and occasionally adults too.

The legend seems to have gotten its start in Kirkland and has been laid at the feet of a shady doctor who used the kids as experimental subjects. And you wonder why your kids hate going to the doctor’s office?

About the author

Richard Paolinelli

  • David says:

    I remember the werewolf legend in Defiance, I just don’t remember it being a werewolf story,but a monster.
    We also had one in the 60’s in Monroe,Michigan. I remember my father going out looking with some of his friends. Was probably a great excuse to ride around with guns and beer.

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