Brownstown Bar Investigation; October 17, 2010

Case Background and Claims:2010_10_17_Marlows Bar

MCGH was contacted by the bar’s owners as him and his staff were reporting , cold spots, feelings of dread, unexplained footsteps and sounds, objects being moved and a raspy voice come through the speaker system. Also, people being pushed, objects being thrown and machinery malfunctions.  Marlow’s Bar, has over one hundred years of structural history. There have been numerous owners and the property has served as many different facilities including multiple bars, a brothel and was at one time the site of a mounted police station.
There is a cemetery within ¼ mile from this location and there are rumored reports of many deaths on the property, including a former waitress.

Daily activity is reported by various employees and patrons.


  • Investigators: John, Jason, Kellie, Mike and Tom.
  • Weather: Average temp around 48o – 51o; Clear skies w/ winds at about 2 mph. Barometric pressures at about 29.97 in.
  • Moon: New moon
  • Date: October 17, 2010

The team all gathered at Marlow’s at 2:00 a.m.: closing time. After all patrons and employees had left the premises, with the exception of Richard Barron, our guide for the night, it was time to get started. After splitting up into teams of two and grabbing all necessary devices and recording tools, the investigation had begun.

The time was 3:20 a.m. A ‘flashlight’ EVP session was conducted out on the tiki bar. This is done by loosening the battery cap of the flashlight so that a simple tap on the flashlight would turn the light on and off. Through a series of questions and yes and no responses given through the flashlight turning on and off it was concluded that there may possibly be a spirit of a female adolescent but no substantial details could be obtained.

The apartment area above the bar remained quiet and for the most part no paranormal activity was detected. There was one instance where both John and Rich had their hair as well as their clothes pulled. John sensed the spirit of a man (possibly a former owner of the property circa 1940s) that may have committed suicide and the spirit of a woman that may have worked there in the 1970 when the upstairs area was used as a brothel.

At multiple times during the night shadows figures were seen in the main bar area, most predominantly in the area between the tables and the dance floor, by the door to the tiki bar, and near the arcade games. Attempts were made by at least four investigators to recreate these shadows but were unable to do so.

During the investigation Kellie heard faint music coming from the dance floor area. It was too faint to make out any specific details but “sounded like a classic rock type song”. This was compared to the sounds coming from Telegraph Road was concluded that it had not come from passing traffic and was therefore unexplainable. We later learned that the music which was heard coming from the dance floor was the same style that was played years ago and is the same location in which the bands still set up today.

A device known as a ghost box was used periodically during this investigation. A ghost box is an AM/FM radio that has been modified to scan the band of radio waves. For the most part all that was heard was white noise. There was one instance where a word or short phrase was heard through the box however it was too fast and garbled for the investigators present to decipher. We were unable to review it closer on recorded audio due to contamination of nearby running machines.


Also reported in the main bar area was the spirit of a police officer who was a long standing patron of the bar. He was first detected during a flashlight EVP session although the responses given were too inconsistent to draw any concrete conclusions. Later in that same area John sensed the same spirit and using a dowsing crystal, was able to make contact with him. He sensed that the police officer was not confirmed to the location but was merely stopping by as he had done so often in life. He had passed away suddenly in a motorcycle accident and was feeling guiltily for leaving his family behind. After a short conversation during which time John reassured the officer that his death was not his fault and that there was nothing to feel guilty about, at the spirit’s request, John was able to successfully help him cross over.

The most notable occurrence of the night took place also in the main bar area. This was the sighting of a partial body apparition. It was viewed with the naked eye and unfortunately not picked up by any of the cameras on location. The apparition appeared for only a few seconds in front of the tiki bar door and was described in investigator Tom’s field report as “a white topped figure about 5’8 to 6’0 ft tall”.

It must also be noted that due the large amount of power needed to run the equipment for the bar there is a huge EMF reading throughout the property. This is creating what is known as a fear cage. In a fear cage scenario, the EMF can affect one’s body, causing feelings of anxiety and paranoia, as well as the feeling as being watched. These feelings, along with dread, sadness and heavy pressure were felt in the upstairs by at least three investigators. It must also be stated, however, that not only can high EMF cause these feelings but it can also attract spirits as it creates an atmosphere which makes it easier for them to communicate.

EVP Audio Evidence Obtained During Investigation:

 “It’s time” EVP Class     C:  Tom and Kellie are discussing something. A voice is heard saying “It’s time”. (current time was about 5:20 a.m.)

“No” EVP Class C :  Our investigator asks if the spirit knows why people are afraid of them. The response is a very faint, sad sounding “no”

  “Yeah, I don’t think so”  EVP Class C :  Following an inaudible comment, a voice is heard saying “yeah”. This is followed by Tom saying “Yeah, I don’t think so”


After careful review of all video, audio and photographic evidence it is the belief of the Motor City Ghost Hunter team that there is paranormal activity at this location.

Our best evidence once again is in the form of EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon). There were also a few unexplainable personal experiences which corroborate with the reports of the employees especially in the instance of the partial apparition near the tiki door.

Lastly, we’d like to thank Robert Marlow and his staff for their friendly hospitality and the amazing opportunity to investigate a location with such a long history. We had a great time and would love to return in the future to try and uncover more of the bar’s secrets.

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