America seems to have a strange love-hate affair with the devil. In the country that brought the world both TV evangelism and the horror movie, hell-fire and damnation is always hovering just behind the happy consumer-culture exterior. In this list, we are sharing our ten favorite satanic signs to remind you that something (or someplace) dark and mysterious maybe just around the next turn in the road…
10. Devils Lake, North Dakota
What lurks beneath the waters of this natural lake in the ancestral homeland of the Lakota? Legend says that spirits reside in the shallow waters (the Lakota name is Spirit Lake), but so far, anglers have only brought up some pretty good-sized carp. The spooky story comes in when you find out that this lake is in continual flood, devouring surrounding farmlands, swallowing small towns, and making residents wonder if there really are water demons in Devil’s Lake.
9. Hades Church Rd, Pennsylvania
Follow this peaceful road through Pennsylvania’s bucolic countryside and you’ll reach Hades Church of the Brethren, and the Hades Church cemetery, home to 179 dearly departed. Although their final resting place may be Hades on earth, we’re hoping that their souls are now happy in heaven. So you know, Hades = hell, which is NOT a normal church name. We’re wondering if there’s a hidden story behind this sign…
8. Hell Hole, California
There are some other towns in California that may deserve this name… but the real Hell Hole, CA is actually a remote paradise in the El Dorado National Forest. The area received its satanic name during the Squaw Valley gold rush, so we can only assume the Rubicon river’s sparkling water did not make up for its lack of sparkling ore.
7. Seven Devils, North Carolina
In the magical time known as the ‘Sixties,’ seven men rode into the Blue Ridge Mountains, legendary homeland of an old man with seven sons, each ‘as mean as the devil.’ With Grandfather Mountain beneath their horse’s hooves, they gazed in wonder at the seven tall peaks surrounding them and knew their destiny. Their mission! To build a resort; a Bacchian playground where guests could be wild, mischievous, and “experience the temptation of Seven Devils!” And so the town of Seven Devils, NC was spawned.
6. Beelzebub Rd, Connecticut
The original ‘Lord of the Flies,’ Beelzebub is one of the unholy Trinity that presides over Hell. No word if the pesky demon himself ever visited Connecticut, but although this looks like a peaceful suburb, word is that residents complain of plagues of large horseflies that randomly descend on their neighborhood, and a church on the street did burn to the ground in an unexplained fire. Spooooooky!
5. Devil Dog Rd, Arizona
So, “if the friend of the Devil is a friend of mine…” and “man’s best friend is his dog,” then is the Devil’s dog his best friend? Or our best friend? And if the Devil has a dog, how come God doesn’t? But then the Egyptians had a god that was a cat… So are dogs’ demons, and cats’ gods? Wow. That’s some deep stuff, dudes. Time for a Scooby snack!
4. Route 666, New Mexico/Colorado/Utah
“We’re on the highway to hell!” Yeeeeeaaah! Wooooaaah! ROAD TRIP!!! Crossing New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah, Route 666 is 200 miles of unexplained phenomena and hauntings, including skin walkers materializing in animal form on the highway causing fatal accidents, a black sedan supposedly driven by Satan, and hell hounds that shred tires with razor-sharp teeth. Weird fact: when the highway was renamed Route 461 in an attempt to remove its evil reputation, the statistics for accidents and deaths inexplicably went down.
3. Dirty Devil River, Utah
A dirty devil isn’t spooky, or scary in our minds. In fact, it’s kind of an endearment, right? “Oh you dirty little devil does your mother know you re out?” conjures a wicked kid sheepishly caught red-handed up to some hanky-panky. Dirty devils aren’t really bad… In fact, we’re pretty sure this river got its name from an unknown kid up to mischief in the Wild, Wild, West.
2. Satan’s Kingdom Rd, Connecticut
Within the description of the town of New Hartford, the New England Gazetteer of 1839 says: “In the eastern part of this town there is a rough and mountainous district, formerly designated Satan’s Kingdom, and the few inhabitants who lived here were in a measure shut out from the rest of mankind.” These days it’s a state recreational area. Shows how the world turns – one day Satan’s Kingdom, next a fun place to spend your leisure time.
1. Hell, Michigan
“Go to Hell, Michigan!” proclaims this town’s official website. Why? “…so the next time someone tells you to ‘Go To Hell’, you can tell them you’ve already been there and had a Hell of a good time!” A local settler’s home-distilled whiskey gave the town its name, and it’s been capitalizing on it ever since. Go to Hell, get married in Hell, attend Damnation U., and even buy a piece of Hell for just $6.66… There’s a heck of a lot of things to do in Hell. But of all the hellacious activities in Hell, we think Putt-Putt golf may just be the most terrifying!