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Hell, Michigan: 9 Hell-Raising Things to Do

Have you ever been to Hell and back? If so, then you know there are plenty of things to do in Hell – Michigan, that is.

The residents here have done a fantastic job of capitalizing on this unique town name, and you won’t want to miss out on any of it.

There’s plenty of hell-raising experiences to look forward to, so why not spend a night in Hell?

Let’s go!

Scene from Hell . . .Michigan!

The History of Hell, Michigan

Hell sits about 15 miles northwest of Ann Arbor in southeast Michigan within Putnam Township. There are no defined boundaries, and Hell isn’t officially recognized as a town, but that hasn’t stopped the local community. 

Hell is what happens when a sawmill, grist mill, tavern, and distillery get together along what was known as Hell Creek. George Reeves owned all four businesses in the mid-1830s. Several theories posit where the name Hell came from.

One says that when a German couple first arrived in the area in the 1800s, they exclaimed to each other, “So schön hell!” Overhead by others, the name stuck. Ironically, the German saying has nothing to do with hell. It simply means, “So beautifully bright!” 

Another theory says that local wives said their husbands had “gone to Hell again” when they went to the local tavern. Supposedly, when Reeves was asked about what to call the community he helped create, his answer was quite brusque: “I don’t care. You can name it Hell for all I care.”

Or maybe it was simply that the area was almost like living in Hell due to horrendous amounts of mosquitos and boggy wetlands. Whatever the reason, while the town didn’t become official, the name has stuck.

Devil pitchfork in fire.
Take a trip into the inferno by going to Hell…Michigan.

Do People Live in Hell?

Not many people live in Hell, only about 70. But those who do have created a community of businesses and tourist attractions that keep more than 100,000 visitors coming to Hell every year. Surrounded by 400 acres of outdoor recreation, not only can you pay a visit to Hell, but Mother Nature is right in its backyard.

Pro Tip: If Hell, Michigan is not quite the fiery pit of doom you expected, you can always try to enter the real deal via the Seven Gates of Hell in Pennsylvania.

9 Hell-Raising Things to Do in Hell, Michigan

While Hell may be small, it’s larger than life when it comes to all the things to do. How about some ice cream, or a wedding, or a little piece of your very own Hell? Let’s look at how you can spend your day in Hell.

#1 Scream for Ice Cream at Screams Ice Cream from Hell

Address: 4045 Patterson Lake Rd.

About: Call it Screams Ice Cream or the Crematory, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is this ice cream shop could be the death of you. If you can eat an entire Gravedigger Sundae and live, you’ll receive a signed death certificate.

And if you’re not up for that challenge, no worries. They have plenty of heavenly ice cream flavors as well, along with waffle cones, toppings, and milkshakes. 

#2 Engage in Gluttony at Hell Hole Diner

Address: 4025 Patterson Lake Rd.

About: Engage in some gluttony at the Hell Hole Diner. Here you’ll find homemade buns and chips that match perfectly with handcrafted burgers, sandwiches, and pasties.

There are also specialty pizzas, healthy salads, wraps, and so much more. Enjoy a beer, a drink, and some scrumptious food while you plan for all the things to do in Hell, Michigan.

#3 Get Hitched in Hell at the Wedding Chapel

Address: 4045 Patterson Lake Rd. (behind Screams Souvenir Shop)

About: Start at Screams Souvenir Shop for hell-themed wedding favors and invitations.  Head on over to City Hall to get your official marriage license.

And then walk through the blue doors meant to ward off evil spirits at Hell’s very own wedding chapel. The quaint chapel holds about a dozen guests, and the grounds outside can accommodate more than 100 people.

Skeleton bride and groom.
Would you rather go to hell than get married? If commitment doesn’t give you the spooks, walk down the aisle in Hell, Michigan.

#4 Become an Eternal Member of the Hell Landowner’s Society

Address: 4045 Patterson Lake Rd. (Screams Souvenir Shop)

About: Go to Hell takes on an entirely different meaning when you actually own a piece of it.  Not only can you get unique souvenirs from Screams Souvenir Shop, but you can also purchase one square inch of Hell.

By doing so, you become a member of the Hell Landowner’s Society. 

#5 Be Mayor of Hell, Michigan, for a Day (if You Dare)

Address: 4045 Patterson Lake Rd. (Screams Souvenir Shop)

About: Along with purchasing a piece of Hell at Screams Souvenir Shop, you can also become the mayor for a day. You’ll promptly get impeached, regardless of the quality of your work.

This unique thing to do in Hell, Michigan, costs around $100. But you’ll get to take home a bottle of official dirt from Hell, your very own Hell mayoral coffee cup, a T-shirt, and more.

#6 Eternalize Your Love at the Locks of Love Bridge

Address: 4045 Patterson Lake Rd. (near Screams Souvenir Shop)

About: If you’re not quite ready to get married in Hell, you can eternalize your love in another way at the Locks of Love Bridge. Grab your partner, pick out a personalized, vintage-style padlock at Screams Souvenir Shop, and lock away your love forever.

Then, toss the key into Hell Creek. 

#7 Send a Singed Postcard from Hell’s Post Office

Address: 4025 Patterson Lake Rd. (in the back of Hell Hole Diner)

About: After enjoying a sinful meal at Hell Hole Diner, wander into the back to find Hell’s Post Office. Every piece of mail is marked as going through Hell. All you need to do is purchase the postage or a souvenir postcard.

They will stamp it with, “Been through Hell.”

Letter being burned
If you send a letter from Hell, the post office will singe it for you.

#8 Cool Off in a Canoe or Kayak

Address: 4045 Patterson Lake Rd. (Screams Souvenir Shop)

About: There are many things to do in Hell, Michigan, but there are also many things to do just outside of Hell. With seven lakes and Pinckney State Recreation Area nearby, one of the most popular activities is playing in the water. 

Screams Souvenir Shop makes water play easy with its on-site kayak and canoe rentals.

They can take your group directly from the shop or meet you at the Bruin Lake boat launch. Head off on your own tour or join the team from Screams for a lake tour you’ll never forget.

#9 Bring Home a Hellish Souvenir from Screams Souvenir Shop

Address: 4045 Patterson Lake Rd.

About: If you don’t bring back a souvenir, nobody will ever believe you went to Hell and back. Screams Souvenir Shop from Hell & Helloween is the place to pick up mementos.

You’ll find coffee mugs, glassware, T-shirts, and more. But you’ll also find items like water sport rentals, land ownership, Hellish wedding invitations, ice cream, and mayoral certificates. 

A wickedly-themed mini-golf course awaits on-site for family fun in Hell. Damnation University is also nearby, offering hundreds of hysterically themed university degrees and memorabilia. Now that you’re the mayor of Hell and own land in Hell, you should also have a degree from Hell.

Pro Tip: The Devil might be scary, but we think these Most Dangerous Creatures in Lake Michigan are even scarier!

Is a Visit to Hell, Michigan, Screaming Your Name?

There’s plenty of things to do in Hell, Michigan, and there’s no other place quite like it.

This town has embraced its name and all that comes with that. Check it out for a fun and frightful time. Would you ever visit Hell?

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