Oakland Bathhouse “The Schvitz”, 13 Oct 2018

Date: 13 October 2018

Oakland Bath House

Temperature Outside 50’s Inside 80’s

Moon Phase: Waxing Crescent

Investigators:  Judy, Kelly, Brenda, Ronda, Rodney and Sarah

Equipment:  Digital Recorders, SP-7 Spirit Box, K-II Meters, Video, Dowsing Rods, Paralus, Executioners Box, Flashlights, EMF 360 Pyramid


The building is a commercial building measuring approximately 5,663 square feet per Realtytrac.com. There have been numerous owners of the site.


The Schvitz was started in the 1918 as a Jewish Cultural Center.  By 1930 it was used as a Jewish bathhouse for members of the Jewish Russian mob called the Purple Gang. The Purple Gang was headed by the Burnstein Brothers (Abe, Joe, Ray, and “Izzy” Isadore).  The Burnstein brothers were from Chrzanow, Poland and sons of Benjamin and Dorothy Burnstein

The building itself was managed by Charles Metzler.  Charles later handed the business down to his nephew, who was a Junior Purple member, named “Uncle Harry” Metzler  Harry ran the site until 1977

The building has three levels and most of the baths are located in the basement area.  The second floor was the area which held little rooms for the men to pick a lady and have his pleasure.  Later on in the 1970’s, they started having Swingers come on certain nights. This is no longer the case. 

This same area also houses a boxing ring.  Boxing was a popular sport with the members of the Purple Gang to bet on. The second floor did have a fire and remnants of the fire can still be seen.  There once was a third floor and was said to have had a dance floor there.

Currently the new owners are trying to restore the building to its original beauty and history.



Client’s Description of First Incident:

Other Unexplained Occurrences: Yes, sometimes the hidden cupboard in the dining room will be open. Strange noises in the boiler room. A presence (its friendly) in the laundry room.

Do Residents Feel Threatened: “No”

Have Prior Attempts Been Made To Deal With Issue?: “No”

Explanation of Prior Attempts: No, it’s a calm presence.

Desired Outcome: To acknowledge that there is a presence and to tell that we a restoring the Schvitz and don’t want the presence to leave.


The team was given an tour of the facility by a staff member.  She took us to the various sites of the building and when the team went to the second floor, Brenda began feeling that trauma and excessive fear.  At one point she felt so weak that she had to lean up against the wall. The energy in the room was intense, some members of the team felt the following: anxiety, depression, anger, and fear.

Rodney started with doing a sweep of the building to check all levels and Temps while on the main floor, we went near the bathroom area and in that area there was an intense feeling of anxiety.  We may have debunked this by discovering the electrical box is directly under the bathroom area on the floor below.

During the tour, Brenda took some photos and captured what looks like someone in the entry of the tunnel coming out.  Another time, her camera went off on its own and looks like the photo captured a shadow of one person holding another down.  Ronda captured a picture of a possible orb on in the pool area

Shadow holding another down

You can see a head and arms coming from the entry of a tunnel used during Prohibit that leads to a house on Philadelphia Street

Our team broke into two groups with Brenda, Sarah, Ronda, and Rodney going to the second floor to begin their investigation and Kelly and Judy started on the first floor. Brenda, Sarah and Ronda began investigating on the second floor in the large room to the left of stairway entrance.  Brenda began having a coughing spell and that’s when we discovered there was a fire there. Brenda had a ping pong ball in her hand and it was knocked out of her hand by something. It was then placed in the middle of the floor to see if the floor was level. The ball rolled across the floor then stopped.  To replicate this, Brenda put marbles on the floor in the same spot but they did not move like the ping pong ball did.

She set up a maglight flashlight in the middle with her digital recorder and began an EVP session.  While sitting there, she had the feeling of someone putting their hands on her arms. Sarah used the thermal gun and was able to notate different temperatures on either side of Brenda.  Ronda began to roll her video on her cell phone and while Brenda was talking, captured an anomaly going around Brenda. It did not appear to be dust due to the speed and the travel of the anomaly.

Sarah then pulled out her SP-7.  While it was running we heard, “there was a Fire” and “Bernstein.”

On this level, there is a shrine present of Buddhist origin.  Staff stated it was placed there by a person who does yoga on that floor.  During the session, we determined through the SP-7 Session that the entities are not happy with the shrine being at the site.  When asked the questions, they would give us “no” responses.

We then decided to explore to see if there were any portal openings in the room by using our dowsing rods.  We went to an area that appeared to be a break box and the rod began spinning quickly. We are unable to determine if it was due to the power box or if there was an actual portal at this time.

Brenda then went over to the other room where Rodney was conducting his investigation.  While in the room, Brenda captured some video of the boxing bag moving by itself. There was no points of entry where a current of air could come in and the building is pretty solid where walking would not create a vibration effect.  Sarah was walking down the stairs when she spoke to a man (spirit) who had worked there. He had been a laborer and had been allowed to partake in extracurricular activity after he completed a hard days work. He was allowed to use the pool and steam room. He stated he worked for Mr. Harry.

On the main floor, Kelly and Judy sat in the massage room/sitting area and set up a spirit box, K-II, and a recorder.  Ping Pong balls were placed on the trunk in front of the couch. One of the employees came in and tried to contact Toots, who had worked at the location for many years.  We were able to get responses on the spirit box and at one point Kelly and the employee noted one of the balls moved. We attempted to reset it and try to get it to move in the same fashion.  It did not. The K-II did respond moving to orange and red during part of the session. Testing the room prior to the session did not provide any such responses.

The groups changed locations with Judy and Kelly moving to the laundry room and Brenda, Sarah, and Ronda moved to the main level.  The three then went down to the main level where a man named Eugene “Toots” Johnson worked for many years. It is said he was the one who dug out the area for the pool.  He later lived on the second floor for many years. 

Eugene “Toots”Johnson

In this area, Ronda began using the Executioners Box to communicate with what entities were down there.

Brenda was then called into the ladies locker room where the Mikveh is located at.  This area was used for females to cleanse themselves before marriage or after their menstrual cycle.  There appeared to be a young girl named Natalie that had drowned in there when she was cleansing herself.  She was sensed by the Medium in the group but at this time, Brenda has not been able to find a death certificate for her.  There was another woman that later wanted to be crossed over in the same area in which Ronda assisted with that process.

As we continued a patron stopped to ask us some questions and while he was asking, we determined a friend of his, who had passed on, was trying to communicate with him (this occurred when he asked about dowsing rods).  With our assistance, he was able to assist his friend, who practiced Buddhism, to cross over to the other side. He became quite emotional after it was completed.

One of the staff members at the site, also received a message from Bob.  She was also very interested in communicating with Toots.

Kelly and Judy were in the Laundry room in the basement for a short time and experienced some spikes on the K-II, but it was too loud at the time to try to get EVPs or any other recordings.   They moved up to the second floor and into the boxing room. They used a maglight, recorder and ovilus.

Sitting on the bench in the corner, they noticed one of the punching bags moving.  Judy went over to the row of bags and stopped it, then pushed one of the other bags, to test how much energy was needed to move the bag.  By the time she moved across the room, the bag she had stopped was moving again.

As Kelly and Judy were talking the maglight went on and the name “John” came up on the ovilus. We communicated with “John” via the maglight and ovilus for a total of 45 minutes.  We discovered he liked the improvements that had been going on in the building and he enjoyed the kids coming to train in the boxing room. Eventually Kelly and Judy moved to the other room on the second floor.   “John” followed and continued to communicate via the maglight signals. While in the room, the ovilus said the name “Ann”. “John” indicated she was in his family. During the time in the second room a couple of employees and one of the owners were able to observe the activity.    


Video Captured During Paranormal Investigation

Anomaly floats past Brenda

SP-7 Session

Boxing Bag moving

Flashlight Session with “John”

EVPs Captured during Paranormal Investigation

Brenda captured the sound of someone spitting

Brenda captured the voice of someone saying “Liar”

Brenda captured Coins or chains rattling

Brenda captured a voice saying “Get Out”


Ronda captured “Noah, “us”, “Iain”, “bath”, “Burt”, “Steven”, “Lucas”, “Joseph”, “Mike”, and “Ryan”

Sarah captured: Jaymend, James, Jack, White, Joe,Shapiro, Gialone

Kelly and Judy captured: Massage Room:  Changing, Government, Shelter, Sir, Goose, Honor, Ben, Century.

 Laundry Room:  Situation, Bob, June, Monkey, Cast, Nation, Buy, Doctor.  

Pool Area:  Cover, Name, Lee, Gently.  Boxing room/Upper-level: Among, Face, Ride, Vote,

Former, Give, Five, Prepare, Cap, Bit, John, Is, Cow, Forty, Ear, Please, Remember, Grabbed, Dance, Ann


We would like to thank the Oakland Bath house for inviting us to do the investigation at the site.  The site is beautiful inside and well preserved history. We believe there is activity occurring at the site.  The activity may become stronger as they restore the building more.

Source Citations:  Detroit Infamous Purple Gang, pg 90

FAG – (Abraham) https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/86517389/abraham-burnstein

(Isadore) https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/48573468/isadore-burnstein

(Ray) https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/86517398/raymond-burnstein

(Charles Meltzer) https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/141578291

(Harry B Meltzer) https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/56838644

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