Plan a trip to Hell [Michigan]

Plan a trip to Hell [Michigan]

It all started in 1838 as George Reeves’ sawmill, gristmill, distillery and tavern.  Eventually, somehow, it turned into Hell. Hell, Michigan is currently a small, unincorporated community just 15 miles northwest of Ann Arbor.  There are many legends for how the town got its name.  When Reeves would pay local farmers for their produce with whiskey, more than one wife would comment that her husband had “gone to hell.”  Alternatively, a German traveler is said to have commented “So schön hell!” – “so beautifully bright!” – but the locals who overheard didn’t understand German.  Whatever the cause, it has officially been Hell, Michigan, since Oct. 13th, 1841.

This Halloween, instead of staying in your neighborhood trick-or-treating or having your own spooky parties, plan a trip to Hell for a change.   Don’t wait too long to plan your trip, or else Hell may freeze over.  Ann Arbor is close to Hell, so you can go straight from Hell to a nice hotel for the night.  Hell boasts plenty of its own attractions:  the Creamatory of Screams Ice Cream (who wants some coffin toppings on their gravedigger sundae?), you can be Mayor of Hell for a day, or “lock your love” with a padlock for eternity and throw away the key into Hell creek.  Or, if you’ve been trying to plan a destination wedding, consider getting married in Hell.  After all, as they say in Hell, “a marriage made in Hell has nowhere to go but up!”

The nearby area is also excitingly hellish.  “Hell Survivors” is a paintball field that boasts of having developed many of the official safety rules for paintball.  Playing so close to Hell, those safety rules must be pretty effective.  I’ve heard it’s a slippery slope once you get that close.  Also nearby this fall, Nightmare Cruisers Hearse Club has multiple events.  On Oct. 30th, in Ann Arbor, the Brandywine Cemetery will come to life with gargoyles, ghosts, and other creepy characters.  The Nightmare Cruisers Hearse Club will make an appearance with, of course, their collection of hearses.

I just have one favor to ask, if you become Mayor of Hell for a day… What Hell really needs is an ice rink.  I suggest an ice rink that has nine circles of terrifying creatures through which you must pass before you can get to the ice in the very center of Hell.  Then, like the poet Dante, you can say that you have gone down to the ice in the center of Hell and come back out again.

This Halloween, take advantage of the chance to visit Hell, play some hellish paintball, and see the hearses.  Your local Frosch agent will be happy to help you go to Hell – Hell, Michigan, that is!

By Mary Therese Malone