After Hours Tattoo
131 Grand Avenue
Mars, PA 16046
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.
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 come 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 come 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.