As It Happens

A place in Hell is for sale in Michigan

The unofficial mayor of Hell, Michigan has put his portion of the town up for sale. As part of the deal, he's offering a wedding chapel, an ice cream parlour and the town's school — Damnation University.
A Michigan road sign points the way for motorists to Hell, Michigan. The town of Hell is located 100 kms west of Detroit. (Reuters/Rebecca Cook)

John Colone is the unofficial mayor of Hell, Michigan. (John Colone)

A Michigan man is selling his place in Hell.

Located about 100 kilometres west of Detroit, the town of Hell has a population of 72. John Colone, Hell's unofficial mayor, describes it as "Halloween 365 days of the year."

About 15 years ago, Colone started buying property in Hell. Now, at 70, he says it's time for him to retire. Last month, his asking price was $999,666. He recently dropped that to $900,000.

"We're Michigan's hysterical town. Everybody else is historical. We are hysterical," Colone tells As it Happens host Carol Off.

Visitors pose behind the Gates of Hell in Hell, Michigan. (Reuters/Rebecca Cook )

As part of the deal, you'll snag an ice cream parlour, a miniature golf course, a souvenir shop and restaurant. Hell is also home to Damnation University — or Damn U for short. 

There's even a wedding chapel.

"We've done about 17 weddings so far this year," says Colone. "A marriage that starts in Hell has nowhere to go but up. We guarantee every marriage. If it doesn't work, we'll do it again free for you and your next partner."

After Colone sells Hell, he says he'll continue to live in the town. But, his wife has a different plan.

"Ask me what she thought about me buying [Hell]? She's still pissed off. She filed a grudge for 15 years," says Colone. "She wants to live in the city far away from Hell. And, I'd love to just build on a couple acres and relax and goof around."

Charlie Passut, 2, sports a pair of horns while being carried by his father Charlie during the 666 party, on June 6, 2006, in Hell, Mich. (AP Photo/Detroit News, David Guralnick)


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