Mary's Place Bar


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Mary's Place Newsletter
October 31, 2014

Enjoy karaoke at Mary's Place tonight for Halloween and tomorrow night for the Day of the Dead! Come and show off your costume, participate and win prizes! If you don't have a costume come any way and have fun while taking advantage of the cheapest drinks on the planet!

Mysterious Haunted Mary's Story - accounts as told by Jack Kooistra

The events I am about to recount are absolutely true. I admit that in the past I've been known to stretch the truth to be humorous in order to promote an event but certain facts have come to light and I can no longer hide the truth from you. The Mysterious Haunted Mary's story are true accounts that really took place.

Several years ago the owner of Mary's Place made a big investment in the bar by upgrading the electrical system surrounding the stage. The Mary's live scene was growing very quickly and it became imperative that the stage was adequately equipped with the ability to accommodate larger acts with sufficient power. The days of microphones taped to the top of broomsticks had long passed. The lack of proper power meant you never knew when a circuit breaker might pop leaving the band silenced and in the dark.

In order to solve the problem, Mary's enlisted the services of a union electrician. The electrician came in and installed several brand new outlets outlining the back of the stage with several independent circuits. The only problem was after the work was done a nasty ground loop was present creating an obnoxious buzzing noise. The buzzing noise wasn't really noticeable when a band was loud, but in between songs, or if a band would play a down tempo song or chose to use lower dynamics the buzzing sound took center stage, detracting from the listening enjoyment of discerning Mary’s patrons. The tricky problem with the ground loop was it would randomly appear. Usually it would make itself known on a huge night when the bar was packed and at a time when I needed it to be gone the most.

Knowing a great deal of money had been spent on installing the outlets, I felt it was the responsibility of the electrician to remedy the problem. I decided to give him a call. I was really going to lay in to this guy for not getting the job done right. I explained the problem and to my surprise the electrician wasn't defensive at all and offered to fix the problem at his own expense. I clearly remember him saying, “My reputation as an electrician means everything to me.”

Like a true professional the electrician came in to Mary's and meticulously went over all of his work and installed the very best outlets available, using the highest quality wiring and shielding. As a matter of fact, if you look at the outlets surrounding the stage at Mary's you will notice they are orange in color. These kind of outlets are found in hospitals where the outlets provide power to save lives. The electrician took care of all of this free of charge.

Shockingly, during the next big show at Mary's, that nasty noise again reared its ugly head. After all the electrician had done the problem was still there. I did call him one more time and he seemed upset and in an almost pleading voice, he told me he had done all he could do – there wasn’t anything else he could try. At this point I decided it was just going to be something we had to work around. I tried some cheap power conditioners to do the job but that didn't work, and the power conditioner that could solve the problem was out of the budget.

Some months went by and the ground loop would randomly appear. I came into work one night and the owner tells me our union electrician had committed suicide a couple of weeks ago. The only information we got was that he was discovered hanging dead by his own son. That's when it hit me that I hadn't heard the ground loop in a couple of weeks. To this day, the Mary's ground loop has never been heard since.

I won’t speculate that the electrician was so concerned about Mary's ground loop that he would take his own life, but is it possible a man would take so much pride in his work that he would come back from the afterlife to solve a past work related issue? Spirits are frequently reported as being able to manipulate small amounts of electricity. Is this story evidence of paranormal activity at Mary's? Are ghosts and spirits of the past, Shadow People, Little Grays, and ET's all interacting with Rockford's oldest bar? I don’t want to sound alarmist or paranoid, but I will say that anything is possible at Mary's.

Perhaps, we are never alone at Mary's. Generations that have come and gone have found comfort at Rockford's oldest bar. Loved ones of the past retracing old foot steps may circle back to Mary's to reminisce and watch over things. If you are quiet enough and listen closely enough, you might even hear the ethereal clink of two phantom glasses raised to wish you a Happy Halloween!

Find out exactly what's happening at Mary's Place by going to our home page at

Cheap Drinks and Good Times!

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