Want to Rule Hell for a Day? The Town of Hell, Michigan, Will Make You Mayor for $100
If you want to visit Hell on Earth, just head to Michigan. Located 15 miles northwest of Ann Arbor, the town of Hell is a small, incorporated community that has embraced its sinister name. There are roughly 70 residents of Hell, and for a price, you can claim an even more impressive title. A donation of $100 is all it takes to become the mayor of Hell for a day.
"Elections are held when Hell freezes over, but people do have the opportunity to serve as mayor for a day," the community website reads. After making their donation, honorary rulers are invited to come to Hell to serve their full-day term. Upon their arrival, mayors receive a set of horns and a T-shirt, mug, card, badge, and certificate proclaiming their devilish duty. A property deed giving them ownership of one square inch of Hell and a bottle of official Hell dirt also come with the job.
Throughout their term, the mayor of Hell will be expected to complete various tasks, such as answering phone calls and making decisions. The day ends with the mayor receiving a notice of their impeachment.
Numerous stories surround the origins of Hell's name. According to the town's website, the settlement started as a general store and grist mill in the 19th century. Hell's founder, George Reeves, allegedly used whiskey to pay farmers for their grain, prompting the farmers' wives to say “he’s gone to Hell again" whenever their husbands went there to sell goods. Another legend claims that two German visitors came up with the name when they called the town "so schön hell"—which translates to “so beautifully bright."
No matter where the name came from, residents won't be changing it any time soon. In addition to the "mayor for the day" promotion, the town lives up to its name with such establishments as the Hell Hole diner, the Creamatory ice cream stand, and the Hell wedding chapel.
Anyone with $100 can make themselves mayor of Hell for a day, but the title can also be given as a surprise gift. Just make sure you check the availability of your desired term date ahead of time. As the town's site reads: "After all, there's a Hell of a lot of people that want to rule Hell so our days book up fast."