In September 2017, we attended the 16th Annual Hell’s Hearse Fest in Hell, Mich. Now, in 2020, we’re missing car shows of all types. Yes, even this one. Take a look back with us at one of the weirdest car shows we’ve ever enjoyed. Original text follows:
If you see dozens of hearses in one place, you might think something horrible has happened. Depending on your point of view, a congregation of hearses in Hell, Mich. on a Saturday in September is not really all that bad. If you’re into both cars and the macabre, the 16th annual Hell’s Hearse Fest is actually a fantastic place to be.
It’s our own morbid curiosity that brought us here, but the rest of the fest-goers are clearly comfortable outright celebrating funerary rides. Each vehicle here has been in service at some point, either as a hearse, a combination car (which like Ecto 1 in the original “Ghostbusters” were designed to fulfill both hearse and ambulance duties) or as a flower car. They run the gamut from clean to crappy, and while many are kept close to their original condition, others are heavily modified. Many arrive complete with caskets, and are gussied up with a number of spooky props.
Hell’s Hearse Fest even involves trophies. Awards categories include “Scariest Hearse,” “Best Casket Cart” and “How the Hell did it make it here?” Good stuff.
The Hearse Fest is about more than just creepy cars, though, and attendees truly get into the spirit of the event. People dress up, many peddling wares at booths or even out of the back of their hearse. Vendors grill burgers in caskets converted to barbeques. There were even two weddings taking place at the tiny chapel on site. It’s definitely an interesting festival, as you’ll see in the gallery above. If you knew of some of the photos we’ve omitted, you’d thanks us for keeping them to ourselves. Enjoy!