If I had to describe myself with one word it would be artist - a visual artist and an artist with words. My artwork is included in Ohio Online Visual Arts Registry. I'm working with various galleries in the Midwest to promote my oil paintings and abstract light photography.

 

Inspirations for Home Design

 

Hell, Michigan

Screams in Hell – Michigan          

© Becky Linhardt 2010

 Halloween is BIG in the small town of Hell, Michigan – and celebrated year round.  People from all over the United States and from overseas visit the uniquely named town, the only known town named Hell in the United States.  Some want to be able to say “I have been to Hell and back.”   For proof, some claim a bright orange Exit Visa offered at Screams Ice Cream – one that entitles the bearer to safe passage through Hell, Michigan. 

 The small town about 16 miles northwest of Ann Arbor, Michigan was settled in 1838 by George Reeves who built a mill and general store on the banks of a stream now called Hell Creek.  And, as a by-product of milling the grain, he made some moonshine.  Local lore is that when the government workers came to ask Reeves what name he wanted for his town he replied that they could call it Hell for all he cared – and they did in 1841.

 The mill is no longer there but there is a dam on Hell Creek and the Dam Site Inn, a bar that usually has many motorcycles parked in front – it is a destination for riding groups such as the American Legion Riders Milford Post.  Each year in late spring, bikers arrive for an official “Blessing of the Bikes” for safe travel.  However, most days you will find sedans, mini-vans, and sports cars parked at the newest country store and at Screams Ice Cream & Halloween.  Screams has added a miniature Golf Course.  That now makes 4 businesses for downtown Hell.

 October is one of the busiest months in Hell though the Halloween theme is promoted year round by Screams.  The shop offers Hershey’s ice cream and you can build your own sundae with re-titled condiments displayed in a coffin: Bat Droppings (mini-chocolate chips), Bone Chips (chopped peanuts), bug legs (candy jimmies), green Beetlejuice (crème de mint) and more.  The gross out factor seems to be enjoyed by all and the store is stocked with Halloween merchandise such as masks, novelty hats, signs and of course, lots of Hell, Michigan T-shirts.

 “Since many people seem to think that golf is a hellish game we decided to add miniature golf – with a Halloween theme,” said owner John Colone. “Golf balls are painted to look like eyeballs or pumpkins.  Winter Golf is a possibility though it may be cold.  This is Hell, Michigan after all.” 

 To make thing even more hellish, they have developed something they are calling “Hellbilly Golf” to be played on the miniature golf course.  “We will have the golfers use homemade hickory sticks and the golf balls will be walnuts painted white.  It is so awkward to play that it fair for everyone and the course is 100% handicap-accessible,” said Colone.

 What might seem a bit out of place is the Wedding Chapel on the property at Screams.  The small, somewhat gothic chapel can be rented and is busy on weekends.  June 6, 2006 was a very busy day I am told.  When I stopped for ice cream with friends in July we encountered a wedding party in Halloween costume – bride, groom, and guests – emerging from the chapel.  You never know what to expect in Hell, Michigan.

Screams Ice Cream

445 Patterson Lake Road, Hell, MI 48169

734-878-2233 or www.hell2u.com

 Accommodations and area information through Ann Arbor Convention and Visitors Bureau: 734-995-7281 or www.visitannarbor.com 

AND Livingston County: 800-686-8474  or www.lccvb.org for accommodation info and 810-227-5086 or www.brightcoc.org;

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        As a travel writer it is my responsibility to select the best places, events, and experiences to present to you. Most travel has been on my own though some has occurred on sponsored press trips. Travel listings here will be more informal than my published articles.

 

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