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After Hours - A Hidden History Tattooed on the Town

After Hours Tattoo Shop

Mars, PA

Situated near the former major attraction of the Mars Railroad Station, the After Hours Tattoo Company sits along one of the more modernized routes into and out of Mars, PA. The tattoo shop is relatively new yet extremely popular and profitable. The owner and numerous artists have found a solid and reputable home in Mars and were seemingly welcomed with open arms. This friendly and genuinely good group of people has also brought in additional business with the well renowned event based out of Mars, PA of the Mars Rumble. This highly anticipated event combines everything from local businesses to food to music and everywhere in between.

After Hours Tattoo Company Mars, PA

The Past

Not much is known about the location of the tattoo shop itself but being that it is located in downtown Mars, PA, there can be some lines connected and drawn to the shop by digging into the small town and the nearby train station in particular. 

The original borough, dating all the way back to its inception in 1873, was begun by one modest home and the construction of a gristmill next to Breakneck Creek by Samuel Parks. With the minimal population and lack of reliable transportation to nearby towns, Samuel Parks developed his own post office inside his homestead with a major amount of help from his colleague Samuel Marshall. Officially, the inaugural name of this post office was Overbrook.


However, in 1877 as the train station was built and the three major railroad lines passed through this Overbrook area, the building and thriving community had to be altered as the Overbrook train station was already in usage. By 1882, Overbrook was officially changed to Mars even though this new name’s true origins were unknown. Rumors have told two more predominant tales, the first is that of Samuel Parks’ wife’s intense interest in astronomy and stories of ancient travelers stemming from the planet Mars. The other is the shortened version of Samuel Marshall’s name. Regardless of the true reasoning, which may never truly be known, the borough was named Mars in 1895.

Not long after the official inception of the borough, a meeting railway line gained its permission to expand the train station and its right of way cutting through the township came in 1904. This new main line was renamed the Pittsburgh, Butler, and Mars Railway in 1917 and it lasted as a fully operational and popular railway line until 1931.

Over time, the town has gained its own reputation and added specific landmarks based on its name and unique history. The town was given as a namesake to an official United States naval ship, the USS Mars, in 1963 as a part of the US Pacific Fleet. It lasted in operation until 1998 when the ship was decommissioned. The maritime bell was donated to the Mars Memorial Park and is a main point inside the locale. Additionally, and more ironically, there is now a large scale saucer UFO in that same park that is almost on-the-nose display and décor in remembrance of the town Mars.


The After Hours Tattoo Shop has been in operation for ten years and the business has diversified by adding the Social Club Barbershop right down the street. Both of these business ventures have seemingly brought in new people to the area giving the town a fresh and artistic appearance.


After Hours Tattoo Company Mars, PA

Aside from the written history and oddities added to it, the town has also experienced some strange tragedies throughout its town boundaries. One of the more well-known tales of the town is the hobo who was jumping trains and paused, for an unknown reason, at the Mars Railroad Station about 65 years ago. This occurred on a freezing frosty night and the transient was found dead the next morning and as the local coroner exhumed the body, he pronounced him dead by freezing to death. 

Another known story revolves around a stray cat who made itself at home early in the Mars Railroad Station. This cat originally found it’s home in the owner’s office and it found a permanent spot in the station and essentially doubled as its unofficial mascot. The cat simply disappeared one day and was never seen again, at least not until the station had been razed and the original foundation was excavated where a dead cat was found buried and partially mummified.

Very recently, and much closer to the tattoo shop, there was a fatal overdose where a man lost his life by messing with too much of a drug intake too quickly.


Paranormal Experiences

The area itself seems to hold quite a few paranormal stories, those of which have either been experienced by numerous people or simply passed down through generations. The two tragedies linked to the area lead to macabre, unsettling situations centering around the train station but seemingly expands into the town itself.

Relating to the hobo who perished near the train tracks, a strange and pitch black shadowy figure has been seen wandering the tracks and even through existing trains as if they are not even there. This tends to be the most common and active on the coldest nights of the year but during these times, this figure is also not necessarily confined to this station and train track area but has also been spotted wandering aimlessly around the town with no constraints.


After Hours Tattoo Company Mars, PA

The other noted unnatural oddity in the area is that of the uncrowned mascot of the train station. Ever since the construction crew unearthed the remains of the mummified cat on the original foundation, there have been countless acts of paranormal anomalies surrounding the station and borough incorporating the odd signs of a nearby cat. Sounds of purring and more disturbing sounds of hissing have been heard here as well as paw prints that appear to belong to a cat. These experiences seem to date all the way back to the construction of the new station. Some members of the historical society have even spotted a small cat wandering around the property and these events occur so often that they have even nicknamed the ghostly cat “Chessie” after the old railroad system. It has been said that Chessie has been noted appearing where the old station was once situated and runs across the existing tracks to the new station in hopes of finding his old home lost long ago.

There have not been any specific tragedies or stories relating to the After Hours Tattoo Company. However, both the owner and artists have told of strange occurrences like lights and power flickering on/off, including the equipment malfunctioning on occasion. Phantom footsteps and doors opening and closing on their own have been reported on top of simple personal feelings of being watched or just that someone else is nearby; not being employees or customers. A local psychic has also experienced an older gentleman wondering about the store. By recording these energies, they showed her the passing of this man out front of the store itself. Oddly enough, after reading a preliminary draft of this very write up, the owners also excitedly proclaimed that they too have heard a cat inside the shop on numerous occasions.

Initial Investigation


This was a unique start to an investigation as we joined the podcast “Bald and Bonkers” before we managed to even set up any equipment. 

Bald and Bonkers Logo

Throughout this conversation, we experienced electronic issues and some oddities taking place which can be corroborated through the podcast’s hosts Chris and Dakota, their viewers who chimed in via the chat room, and John, the owner of the tattoo shop. We had two K2 meters set up, one in front of us, and one behind us. The one directly in front of us spiked at its highest recording multiple times and the one behind us physically fell over as if being pushed. We heard some knocking noises coming from the window sill like someone was trying to get our attention, anticipating why we were there in the first place. Most intriguing, the front door burst open at one point as well, right in front of all of our eyes. We double-checked to make sure it was closed completely, which it was. This event never occurred any other time to us during our time in the shop. If the knocking is combined with the door swinging open, maybe it was someone knocking from the outside then bursting through the door. As our podcast concluded, we gathered some further guidance pointing where to investigate heavily – namely the basement.

We got a quick tour after this of each room and their stories, along with John’s personal stories and feelings. As we went through the rooms, we set up some stationary cameras and noted spots we wanted to focus on during our evening. But truthfully, we all (John included) wanted to get moving with the investigation as strange activities had already begun. During the night, John did join us (most of the time), beginning the investigation around 8:00 PM lasting until about midnight. We set three stationary cameras around the properties (One in the barbershop basement, one in the hallway, and one in John’s room) and, even though it wasn’t a very big location, we did utilize the majority of our tools and devices. This long list includes three recorders, two K2 meters, one SB7 Spirit Box, one FLIR thermal imaging camera, one Phasma Box, one SLS camera, one IR light, one Ovilus, four hotel bells, one Rempod, and three flashlights. We did not use our light-up cat balls, pendulum, laser grid pen, or handheld cameras. At the same time, we did not go live as we wanted to rush in with everything going on around us.


The evidence combined with our personal experiences from our time spent inside both the old brick facade tattoo shop and stone basement of the barbershop led us to believe and conclude that there is a decisive amount of paranormal anomalies. Allowing us to state that there are numerous energies seemingly having the ability to cross planes and enter through different buildings on their own accord. We managed to capture numerous moments of verbal communication via both the Phasma Box and Spirit Box, seemingly a few answers to yes/no questions thanks to our flashlights, and light oddities through the stationary cameras. Intriguingly, during our time investigating the main waiting area and hallway, we captured what appeared to be multiple figures through the SLS camera.

After Hours Tattoo Company Mars, PA Investigation

We managed to piece together some evidence and experiences to figure out that there seems to be a young girl hiding in the barbershop basement, possibly making her way outside behind the strip of buildings. She seems to be welcoming, but also confused. We are unsure if she does not realize she has passed away or if she just doesn’t know where to go from here. We do believe that she was killed back in the town’s dark days where certain ethnicities were tortured and hanged throughout the area. We did not manage to capture a name but with a “Hello,” flashlight activity, and thermal images of a shorter, timid figure which we believe she hid in the darkness. She also seemed to try to get our attention outback by moving in the darkness, activating motion lights, and tossing rocks. Could this have been the location where she was killed? 

Circling back to our basement data, we also feel as though there was darkness down there as we captured shuffling and footsteps which almost sounded as though we were being forced back away from them. We also clearly heard someone whistling which may have been this darkness mocking us and even taking human form to show us that it could do as it wanted. In this area, we did capture the name ‘George’ and even though we’re not sure whom this relates to we are aware that they are at least intelligent at this point. This darkness seemed to follow us throughout our investigation so it seemingly has free reign around the entire area as it sees fit. We noticed a few moments where shadows lurked in corners, turning Rempods and our motion-activated light on and off. We had even caught a figure inside the tattoo shop appearing in the SLS camera as a tall, lingering humanoid. One particular moment that captured our attention was as it stood still in the SLS camera, interacting with John, making him feel warm in this spot all while turning the flashlight on below him. This disappears on the SLS camera while the flashlight is turned off just as our stationary camera captured a light anomaly streak into the room in the hall. Inside the shop, we also recorded, on numerous accounts, pleas of telling us to leave and others completely different giving us a welcome. As if relating to the legend of Chessie, we recorded what appeared to be a clear and concise ‘Meow’ as if a cat was present. As we left recorders and cameras inside as we ventured elsewhere, we captured a slew of activity from clicks and bangs as if things were being moved around to footsteps and even a doorknob turning and the door creaking open.


After Hours Tattoo Company Mars, PA Investigation

After completing our analysis and a full review of the evidence we gathered from our paranormal investigation in the After Hours Tattoo Shop and the basement of the Social Club Barber Shop, we have attached our collection of recordings, videos, still photographs, and thermal images which led us to our conclusion of paranormal activity being captured in both locations. We include our entire evening’s transcripts and any pieces of evidence that we feel hold significant value to both ourselves and the businesses. Throughout this analysis, we include a quick synopsis of each occasion so you can get a feel for our personal experience and the energy we felt in that particular moment. We hope to hear some of your thoughts as you listen to the recordings, watch the video, and read through each explanation we supplied throughout our evening.

This investigation was a unique opportunity to let the spirits of those long since passed speak for themselves without bias caused by historical accounts. We did not have the ability to dive deep into the history of the location since it has been swept under the rug of time. Hopefully the evidence we have collected helps to bring the true history of the area to light. We were honored to be asked to bring our experience and knowledge of the paranormal to the After Hours Tattoo Shop and Social Club Barber Shop.

Follow Up Investigation

We returned to this location only about two months removed from our first investigation which provided us with plenty of paranormal evidence but led to even more questions in which we hoped to get answered. This time, we recruited the help of Dakota from Bald and Bonkers, who is sensitive, and helped point us in the right direction while on their podcast before our last investigation.


Even though the activity has slowed down in these past few weeks, that didn’t stop us from giving it another go here at both locations; the After Hours Tattoo Studio and the Social Club Barbershop. As we began unloading, we got Dakota on a video chat and almost immediately sensed there was some activity back in Eryn’s Room. As we didn’t want to waste any time or miss active paranormal anomalies, we quickly grabbed our equipment: two recorders, two K2 meters, one FLIR thermal image camera, one SLS camera, one IR light, one Ovilus, three light-up balls, four bells, and one pendulum. We avoided the Spirit Box and Phasma Box this time around and attempted to rely more on Dakota and Dan’s sensitivities. We began roughly around 9:15 PM and lasted until things died down (pun intended) around 12:30 AM.

We took the tablet, which Dakota had called in on, into the room on the right of the hall. We set up a stationary trail camera here and did seem to capture some oddities through it during the night. We also gathered some strange whispers and coughing sounds through our recorder while Dakota made out some minor communication. These experiences echoed a similar design throughout both locations. Our SLS camera captured some intriguing figures in a few different spots throughout the tattoo shop and our FLIR thermal camera showed us a strange anomaly in the Basement of the barbershop. Our flash photography also produced some interesting results in that area which coincided with feelings both Dakota and Dan were experiencing then. Our verbal communication didn’t seem to be very strong but Dakota was getting a few additional phrases on his end as well as a name he gathered from the Basement.

After Hours Tattoo Company Mars, PA Investigation

The majority of the evidence we captured along with the encounters we experienced during the evening inside both active locations of the tattoo shop and the barbershop. We collected minimal verbal communication through recorders mainly in the form of whispers and through Dakota’s sensitivities, yes/no answers to our questions with the pendulum, photographs showing strange anomalies, video captures through the trail camera, and FLIR thermal images and videos.

With the completion of our second investigation and with a combination of our own experiences, plus the numerous evidence we gathered throughout both the After Hours Tattoo Studio and Social Club Barbershop, we hold the firm belief that this little known location truly holds a combination of both intelligent and residual spirits, as well as possibly acting as a portal for those passing through the other side. As we used our prior knowledge and experiences from our time in both buildings, we can confirm that there is a tall entity that seems to control the communication, given and received from spirits from the Other side as well as tends to lurk in both buildings almost acting as an overseer, protector, or possibly even captor. This tall, intrusive, and curious figure has appeared in both of our investigations here, mainly in the tattoo shop. The timid spirit of a young girl has also been sensed in both locations, she seems to want to speak and communicate but is not being allowed to. This was experienced twice now during both of our investigations, at both locations. This time, we did manage to pick up additional names, thanks in large part to Dakota, with Rachel possibly as the young girl and David but his significance is rather unknown as we captured George during our first investigation and this name did not appear to us this time. The tall figure seems to be darker, possibly with a more evil intention, albeit human in its’ past life whereas the young girl and her friends or family seem to give off more positive energy although they seem frightened of the tall figure and, even though they want to speak, they are not allowed or scared to do so. Plenty of residual energy seems to be leftover in both areas, but more so in the tattoo shop for whatever reason which is unknown to us with footsteps, sounds of small objects being thrown, and even the popping of champagne bottles.

After Hours Tattoo Company Mars, PA Investigation

With a thorough review and complete analysis of our evidence recorded through our paranormal investigation of the After Hours Studio and Social Club Barbershop, we collected an intriguing amount of recordings, videos, and photographs that we feel hold significance from our second paranormal investigation. Upon a thorough review and analysis of the evidence we captured during our paranormal investigation of both the After Hours Tattoo Studio and the Social Club Barbershop, we have been able to decisively surmise that both storefronts, located only one building apart from one another, plays host to an intriguing amount of energy, including both intelligent and residual. With an intriguing combination of evidence from still photographs, thermal images, verbal recordings, and videos, we determine that once again, we managed to capture a significant amount of otherworldly experiences.

Without much written about the tragedies of the past, we can only surmise what occurred here based on passed down stories and shared tales from generation to generation. The entire town of Mars seems to have a veil of mystery and shroud of darkness which no doubt incorporates these two brick-clad buildings situated along the main drag of the small town. Some say this area had some issues with race, major disputes between them which ultimately led to death and despair. 

After Hours Tattoo Company Mars, PA Investigation

With the new clientele and businesses that have brought in an eclectic, some may say eccentric, groups of people together, no matter what race, religion, or creed they may have in their personal lives. Between this new energy brought into the area, particularly these two buildings, combined with any old tragedy and negativity, majorly unwritten or recorded, it can be no surprise that this area would pull in leftover energy in the form of intelligent spirits or have residual energies imprinted in the floorboards much like that of a handprint.


It appears as though some of the spirits have an emotional pull to this place due to their tragic passing and they seem to remain in that same fearful state; hiding in corners, peering in and out of doorways, walking around when no one else is around, and even trying to get people’s attention such as throwing rocks and other small items. Some of these spirits seemingly wanted to communicate with us but were being held back either physically or by former fear tactics which carried over with them to the other side. They have provided us with a few names, however, like Rachel and David. In the last investigation, we captured plenty of activity and recorded the additional name of George. It’s possible that after our last investigation that the tall figure got angry with the young and scared spirits and did not allow them to communicate nearly as much this second time around. We did gather a slew of evidence mainly in the form of sounds and whispers through our recorder, visual evidence in the form of FLIR thermal images and videos in the basement, an SLS camera pathing a tall figure throughout the building, and still photographs in the basement.

During our time spent in Eryn’s Room, we captured some very intriguing SLS footage of a figure standing behind Dan, moving toward the tablet as if interested, sitting next to it, then finally disappearing as if entering the tablet, perhaps in hopes of contacting Dakota. This figure was also seen creating a dark shadow in the corner of the room with the naked eye. The name Rachel was also communicated to us through Dakota as if formally introducing the young girl to us.

After Hours Tattoo Company Mars, PA Investigation

As we heard footsteps and some odd knocking noises from the Entry, we made our way out here with our devices and Dakota, still connected on the tablet. A few of us felt a cold spot, seemingly moving around the area and we once again utilized the SLS camera to map a tall figure standing near the door and then a secondary figure on the couch. The K2 meter also spiked multiple times as we mapped this second figure. Almost simultaneously, a strange rolling sound was heard near the doorway followed by a pair of whispers and a knocking. This drew us back to Eryn’s Room and John’s Room at the end of the hall but ultimately resulted in no more evidence.

Since we still had Dakota on the video call, we wanted to venture down to the Basement of the Social Club Barbershop to see if he could pick anything up from there, similar to what we captured last time. Even though the activity wasn’t as immediate, we did begin to hear voices and feel cold spots throughout the area. Just as we captured an interesting FLIR thermal video of something cold almost distorting the video and walking past Dan almost at the same moment that Dakota felt a presence nearby him. As things seemed to cool down, Dan sat on the secondary steps, just as Dakota felt another entity nearby. We did not notice it at the time but upon a review, our photographs captured a pair of eyes just after another blur appeared beside and in front of Dan. We attempted some pendulum communication and also captured the name “David” on the Ovilus as we proceeded. Following this, and Dakota signing off for the night, we heard clear footsteps above us as if pacing. 


As we returned to the tattoo shop to begin packing up, we had set a recorder to capture everything as we were in the other building, and to our surprise, it once again recorded footsteps, the doorknob shaking, clicks, and even the sound of a champagne bottle popping. All of this occurred as the shop was locked up and no one else was present in the building.

After Hours Tattoo Company Mars, PA Investigation

We can conclude that our first paranormal investigation was not able to be debunked and, that in fact, the spirits who seem to be trapped or intensely drawn here remain and have not moved on, or are unaware that they can. Some of the residual experiences have been similarly experienced during both investigations, just seemingly indifferent and new locations, and different variations. With our conjoined experiences from both investigations, including our guests including Dakota from Bald and Bonkers and, the owner of the shop John, we have full confidence to place the claim that both locations of the After Hours Tattoo Studio and the Social Club Barbershop draw in powerful and intense amounts of energy.

During our evening we experienced a combination of intelligence and residual spirits. From reviewing our material and evidence recorded through the evening, we feel comfortable stating that the majority of these spirits seem to be harmless and welcoming, albeit more scared and in hiding throughout both buildings, particularly the tattoo shop, in both the rear rooms and the entry area, and the barbershop, down in the basement. The spirit (or spirits) seems to be attached to the area, perhaps to some type of life-altering (or ending) event that occurred to them here. Their profile and identities are based on both investigations and sensitives and there appear to be multiple spirits hiding in both buildings, curious about anyone and everyone who visits the buildings and wants to reach out. They are unfortunately unable or think that they are not able to or will be punished by someone or something watching over them. They like to peer out and watch from afar in the tattoo shop and even seem more confident here when others are around, and the young girl, we believe is named Rachel, and protective male, we believe is either George or David, likes to speak out and try to get people’s attention. They seem to be able to show themselves in the basement of the barbershop as we’ve seen them via the FLIR thermal image camera. During these more tame communications and timeframes, during both investigations, we believe we encountered the town’s resident feline of Chessie inside the tattoo shop. On the opposite end of the energy spectrum, there is also the negative and dark, perhaps even controlling spiritual element. This energy tends to utilize the mirrors in the tattoo shop to move throughout areas. It also has peered out as if watching over the more timid spirits, controlling whom they speak to and appear to from afar utilizing scare tactics. Perhaps this is the same man that abused and murdered these people during their life in this town and still has a dark control of them to this day. It appears as an extremely tall figure and has shown itself to us through the SLS camera throughout the tattoo shop and in the FLIR thermal camera in the basement as a dark spot that watches from a distance, particularly under the steps. We also managed to capture this in still photographs in a distorted form followed by a pair of eyes staring out from that same corner.

We still believe that the fact that the warm-hearted and open-minded owners, employees, and residents of the After Hours Tattoo Studio and Social Club Barbershop have helped allow these benign and mistreated spirits to feel more comfortable to stay in these buildings and interact at their whim while keeping back the dark, negative energy that seemingly wants to overtake them and control them.

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