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Hell, Michigan is the Perfect Halloween Spot

Updated on October 29, 2018
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty reviews thousands of textbooks, novels, articles, music works, and films, but will one day write a book herself.

A Unique and Friendly Conclave

Hell is a small resort within a larger resort area, unincorporated, and largely owned by an unofficial mayor near Pinckney, Michigan. It is a welcoming community tucked away among new traffic circles, smooth highways, and large homes.

Located south of State Route 36 in the Pinckney Recreation Area, the community serves residents and visitors as a vacation getaway for camping and kayaking, but draws many newcomers on holidays like Halloween with special events.

Thanks to friends I met through online writing in Detroit and Civil Air Patrol in Bay City, Michigan I was led to visit this hideaway and take other friends to enjoy it.

Source

Hell's Mission Statement

To be the Year Round Halloween Theme Area in the United States.

People You Will Enjoy Meeting

This community is host to thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts throughout the year and some call the restaurants on the main strip of town "biker bars." However, I don't see a difference between these two places and many other Restaurants around Michigan - even advertised "family restaurants" that happen to serve alcoholic beverages. Patrons and staff have always been welcoming and friendly when I have brought friends to visit.

Two motorcycle groups in particular are etched in my memory from visiting the Hell community. Present on the same day, one comprised riders who were collecting funds for a children's charity and another one was made up of riders from a number of churches. The second group was on a ride across Michigan that was sponsored by the donations for contributors to fund special needs youth.

The men and women in both these groups dressed in black leather and jeans, and were very friendly and gracious to other visitors who approached them to see what they were about.

I've also met a few riders from Bikers Against Bullies, Michigan Bikers Helping Veterans, and some small groups of friends just out for "a ride through Hell." They were all fun to meet, especially since one of my visiting friends was a USAF veteran.

All October weekends are special Hell-O-Holloweekends with special events, music, costumes, and more.

Bridge to Nowhere in Hell. This is one of the many sites to see in this community.
Bridge to Nowhere in Hell. This is one of the many sites to see in this community. | Source

Postcards From Hell

My favorite place in this community is the small post office inside the general store on the main strip of town. I surprised a sick friend with a scorched postcard from that post office, burnt slightly on all four sides. The postmaster even scorched the card so I could see it done.

When my friend received the card, she laughed herself silly and even felt better that day. Her husband laughed and their neighbors liked the car as well.

Living in Hell - Or Nearby

Store personnel deliver anything you want from their stock, to your campsite or any nearby motel. Many of the T-shirt designs in stock have been made by a Scream's employee I met who was on TV's Survivor (Micronesia): Eric Reichenbach, who attended Eastern Michigan University and became a graphic designer and comic illustrator for publications like People.

Eric has lived for years in nearby Pinckney, but other people live in Hell all year long. In addition, Hell, Michigan comic book series was written by Dan Jolley and Clint Hilinski; and resident and blues-rock guitar man Michael Katon (Boogieman from Hell) was recently awarded a place in the Michigan Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Are you sure you want to do this?

— Matre 'D
The center of activity on the main strip, including cafes and ice cream.
The center of activity on the main strip, including cafes and ice cream. | Source

A Spooky Eatery

My first day in Hell, I walked into a crowded and dimly-lit cafe looking for lunch.

From behind me, I was greeted by the Matre'D's with, "Are you sure you want to do this?"

A bit startled, I turned, but he was already speaking with another customer. He was was part of this popular tourist attraction during the Halloween season. I was distracted by overwhelming aromas emanating from some heavenly kitchen in the far back corner.

The gift shop beckoned with it's latest French gowns straight from a Goth fashion catwalk. The collection included a black room filled with ebony handkerchief skirts, catsuits, capes, clarinets - everything black.

Aromas from the heavenly kitchen caught me again and I wandered toward the back, where I found a grey room filled with the Headstone Representatives' Convention, followed by a totally orange corner chamber taken up with a conference of coffin-purse salesmen.

This was better than a European tour.

Screaming at the Main Store

Inside Scream's at the country store, you find many items not available since Spencer's Gifts went out of business.

One particularly amusing item is a bottle of soil from Hell with an explanatory poster that explains the chemical content of Hell's Half Acre - of course it contains sulfur!

A smartly packaged bottle of dehydrated water is also available, although it looks empty. If you like magic tricks, there are several spinning racks of tricks that you can take home.

Remember those little sponge figures that you put in water and they expand? At the store, you can choose any from a dinosaur to Wonder Woman or a new husband (whom you can take down to the tiny Wedding Chapel next door).

Hell holds an annual hearse festival called Hearse Fest. It was cancelled in 2018, but members of a hearse club had it anyway to celebrate a wedding at the wedding chapel.

Community Businesses

  • Hell Canoe and Kayak Rental: at Scream's Ice Cream/Country Store
  • Screams Ice Cream and Hell in a Hand Basket Country Store & Spirits: 4025 Patterson Lake Road
  • Souvenir Shop sits next door to Dam Site Inn (and Hell Saloon): 4045 and 4095 Patterson Lake Road. Jim Mills and John Soelz purchased the Inn in 2009.
  • Hell Creek Ranch and Campground: 10866 Cedar Lake Road. Motorcycles and Horses are welcomed.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
At Scream's Ice Cream, small children and little people have used this door next to the big blue one, which is a tradition that is used to ward off demons.  Look for Screams Creamatory, Holy Cow Dairy! Dam Site InnDam at the Dam Site InnThe Hubcap Shack
At Scream's Ice Cream, small children and little people have used this door next to the big blue one, which is a tradition that is used to ward off demons.
At Scream's Ice Cream, small children and little people have used this door next to the big blue one, which is a tradition that is used to ward off demons. | Source
Look for Screams Creamatory, Holy Cow Dairy!
Look for Screams Creamatory, Holy Cow Dairy! | Source
Dam Site Inn
Dam Site Inn | Source
Dam at the Dam Site Inn
Dam at the Dam Site Inn | Source
The Hubcap Shack
The Hubcap Shack | Source

Additional Attractions

  • Pinckney Recreation Area: 8555 Silver Hill Rd, Pinckney MI
  • TMZ Farm Buffalo Ranch Tours: 2324 Patterson Lake Road, Pinckney MI -- Just one mile away from Hell.

I don't ever remember to celebrate Halloween except when I visit the small community of Hell among high quality campgrounds, lakes, and rivers in a beautiful part of Michigan. There is nothing but wholesome fun here and nothing to fear.

A
Hell in a Hand Basket Country Store:
4025 Patterson Lake Rd, Pinckney, MI 48169, USA

get directions

B
Dam Site Inn/Hell Saloon:
4095 Patterson Lake Rd, Pinckney, MI 48169, USA

get directions

Distance Table From Hell to Other Points

Place Name
Miles Distant
Detroit MI/Windsor ON
60 SE
Detroit Metro Airport
45 SE
Garden City
40 SE
Ann Arbor
15 NW
Pinckney
5 N
Lansing, State Capital
46 NW
Tri-City: Saginaw, Bay City, Midland MI
80 to 90 N
Soaring Eagle Resort (owned by Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Nation), Mt. Pleasant MI
112 NW
Toledo, Ohio
76 SE

Sources

  • Chavez, C. Former Eastern Michigan runner Erik Reichenbach takes us through his ‘Survivor’ experience. Citrus Mag; March 30, 2017.. http://citiusmag.com/erik-reichenbach-survivor-experience-eastern-michigan-runner/ Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  • Hernandez, N. After year on market, still no buyer for Hell, Michigan; Detroit Free Press, March 11, 2016. www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2016/03/11/price-hell-michigan/81634638/ Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  • Inglish, P. Visits to Hell, Michigan in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2017.
  • King, R.J. North Star Reach Camp in Pinckney for Children With Health Issues Set to Open in July; dbusiness; June 17, 2016. www.dbusiness.com/daily-news/Annual-2016/North-Star-Reach-Camp-in-Pinckney-for-Children-With-Health-Issues-Set-to-Open/ Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  • Michigan Rock and Roll Legends. MRRL Hall of Fame: Michael Katon.

© 2009 Patty Inglish MS

Comments and Additions

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    • LazarDRod profile image

      LazarDRod 

      9 years ago

      When I went to the black pearl skatepark in the cayman islands, I found out that there's a place on the north side of the largest island called 'hell'. I should have gotten a post card.

    • wyanjen profile image

      Jen King 

      9 years ago from Wyandotte Michigan

      I love Michigan at Halloween time. Dozens of haunted houses & haunted hayrides in my area.

      Michigan: America's High Five!

      Jen (from Wyandotte)

    • majehe09 profile image

      majehe09 

      9 years ago

      Never knew there was a Hell,Michigan what a trip. Nice hub.

    • sukhera143 profile image

      sukhera143 

      9 years ago from Home

      Its all fun.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      9 years ago from France

      Sounds like the place to be for Halloween!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      It's all fun and nobody gets hurt, so these and harvest festivals put on by communities and churches are great activities

    • Margaret Morris profile image

      Margaret Morris 

      9 years ago

      Very interesting hub, and a great title. Your area sounds like a good place to be during Halloween.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      @Janetta - yes, a T-shirt, ice cream, and no eternal damnation. Ain't it cool? For a day or week or so anyway. One must have a sense of humor!

      @dohn101 - Man, if I can find a vid of that, I'll add it to the page. What fun!

    • profile image

      Janetta 

      9 years ago

      So, in other words, you could tell someone to go to Hell and not only could they go, but they could bring you back a t shirt. And ice cream. :D

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 

      9 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      I guess if you told all of to "Go to Hell" it would actually be a genuine suggestion in our best interest rather than an outright attack, right Patty? I really would like to go there now, to be honest! One of my favorite bands, the Red Hot Chili Peppers actually wrote a song called, "Especially in Michigan," which was inspired by Hell, Michigan. I like all of the venues in which to peruse, Patty! Thank you.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      @BT - How fortunate for you to have a bunker just outside this fine city. I'm sure you'll have a great display in the yard at your bunker this October 31. You and The Old Firm can perhaps have dueling halloween displays - he already has the lighting for it with the electric eels.

      @Herald - yes, really - I like the bison farm nearby.

      @RedSonja94 - I have friend swest of the river there. I really like the city.

      @Vizey - our church has done a haunted house of a different kind, even more scary!

      @BrianS - Humorous concept isn't it? Thanks for visiting.

    • BrianS profile image

      Brian Stephens 

      9 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

      Halloween in Hell, that has to be a great option and not that many people who can claim to have been to Hell for Halloween. Really like the idea of it, nice hub.

    • Vizey profile image

      Vizey 

      9 years ago

      well dear I am enjoyed your hub but never dare to go to these haunted house.

    • RedSonja94 profile image

      RedSonja94 

      9 years ago from Michigan

      I love this hub. I live in Bay City Michigan and love the information you gave about our local events.

    • Herald Daily profile image

      Herald Daily 

      9 years ago from A Beach Online

      You mean there really is a Hell, Michigan?

      There are a lot of Hallowe'en festivities in Michigan! I've only ever seen haunted house events here. It sounds like a fun place, at least at Hallowe'en.

      I didn't know that Houdini died in Detroit, either. I learned a lot from you hub, thanks.

    • B.T. Evilpants profile image

      B.T. Evilpants 

      9 years ago from Hell, MI

      I love it! I was at Screams ice cream not too long ago. It's also a year round Halloween store, you know. Lots of goodies for my bunker, there!

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