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The Damned of Detroit want to buy Hell

Steve Carmody

Hell is for sale, and a Detroit-based artists group called Damned wants to buy it.

"When Hell came up for sale on Friday the 13th, it seemed an interesting switch to focus maybe on creating a natural, larger, world class performance art center," said Anthony DVS, the head producer of Damned who prefers to go by his pseudonym.

DVS said the name, Hell, is a draw and reflects the group's artistic themes.  "It falls on that whole namesake aspect of heaven and hell and damnation and salvation." 

The group has launched an on-line crowd funding campaign on Kickstarter to raise the $1.3 million it needs to purchase a five acre portion of Hell and build an enclosed visual and performance arts center. The deadline is March 22. So far the campaign has raised about $47 thousand dollars.

DVS said with the Kickstarter campaign, they are allowing "fate to decide for us on whether this is something we do or not."

The property includes Screams Ice Cream and Diner, a wedding chapel and a souvenir shop. The asking price is $999,666.  DVS said Damned hopes to continue these enterprises.

John Colone, who owns the property,  and Anthony DVS have not yet met.  DVS has made many visits over the years to visit Hell's attractions; he still has a photo of himself there at age 5, poking his head through a devil's cutout.

Virginia Gordan, Michigan Radio Newsroom