Call of Leadership

The Call of Leadership

In this episode, the Upper Peninsula Paranormal Research Society (UPPRS) takes us on an official investigation to a local bar and restaurant in Sault St Marie. This gives me a chance to do something I’ve wanted to do for years.



Tim Ellis: Are you happy here, or would you like help to get to the other side?

Matthew: Wait, wait.

Brad Blair: You want to wait to cross over? Do you fear what’s on the other?

Matthew: No.

Nightmare Nightmare. 

Cliff Duvernois: Welcome guys and ghouls, ’tis the season for Halloween and I do love Halloween episodes. 

Today I’m heading to sue St. Marie for what I’m about to do. This is something that I’ve actually wanted to do for a number of years. Back in episode 39, I interviewed Tim and Brad. Two of the three founders of the Upper Peninsula Paranormal Research Society or UPPRS.

Now it has been a couple years since that interview, but I reached out to Brad and I said, Hey, I would love to go along with you on one of your investigation episodes. And true to their word, they made it happen. So tonight, Dear listener, I am taking you with us on an official ghost investigation to give you a taste of what it’s like to explore the other side.

I’ve captured as much audio as I possibly can and it will be up to you. Dear listener, if you heard the things that we heard or perhaps you heard nothing. But I can tell you that the end of this episode, no matter what we find or what we don’t find, I have a very special ghost story that absolutely creeped me out.

And if dolls freak you out, you will not wanna miss it. 

Welcome to the Call of Leadership: Passport Edition.

It was a cold night, the kind of cold that you can actually feel in your bones. My car pulls up just outside of the establishment that the UPPRS team has been called in to investigate. As I sit in the car and I look across the street at the front entrance, I wonder. If we’ll find anything. Brad and Tim have already told me that out of every 10 investigations, perhaps one yields some kind of evidence.

The other nine, absolutely nothing happens. So I wonder what we’ll find tonight. Now as many places in Sue Saint Marie, Brad and Tim, tell me, most places here started off as either a bar or a brothel, or perhaps both. This definitely was not the town for the faint of heart, and even though Sue Saint Marie has changed over the years, some places still held on to that rough and tumble clientele, the type that are just itching for a fight. Add a little bit more booze and perhaps something a little bit more deadly.

Brad and Tim tell me that tonight’s location was one of those places, a bar that held onto that rough and tubble crowd. Probably way too long, at least until a handful of years ago.

I get outta my car and I cross the street walking to the front door of the establishment.

I reach out and grab the handle. My mind thinking of what this place probably looked like and sounded like all those years ago. I glanced one more time. At the sign that hangs above the door, it says, Welcome to the Wicked Sister. 

My stomach growls as I walk in to smell the really good food. This is not at all what I expected. People fill the restaurant, they’re laughing, they’re enjoying their food. The cocktails look absolutely great, a far cry from what this establishment probably was in the decades earlier. Most of the people in here are probably completely unaware that perhaps someone from the other side is watching. At the back of the restaurant, sits the UPPRS team, just half the team, Brad, Tim, Lance, and Matthew.

Eventually, the owner does arrive. She is there to oversee the closing of the restaurant, but also make sure that we can still have unfettered access to the entire establishment to do a proper and thorough investigation. Now with the restaurant closed, the team goes into investigation mode. 

We will interview the owner to see what activity has been happening and who has reported it.

Kathy, Wicked Sister: So that freezer over there, um, is our like fry, freezer, fries, chicken tender or chicken wings, whatever that we need to pull.

and so somebody was unpacking uh, stuff and it’s not uncommon for us to put a hundred pounds of food in there on truck days to restock to get through to the next truck.

Cliff Duvernois: This is Kathy. She’s the owner of the Wicked Sister. 

Kathy, Wicked Sister: Here’s our catering stuff with our mason jars. The health department hates it when we keep glass over there so we don’t keep glass over there cuz it makes them crazy and I don’t want them to make me crazy.

Somebody was bent over the freezer carrying Multiple cases of food. Bent over, started unloading everything. One of those mason jars ended up behind them when they were done unpacking everything. 

Cliff Duvernois: She takes us from the basement now into the kitchen where the other activity has been reported.

Kathy, Wicked Sister: But we have shelves, um, into the kitchen and, um, that we used to, when we were going through Gordon’s 29 ounce jars of bourbon sauce.

Right. And that it fell, but it didn’t fall. Right. It wasn’t like a, you know, something bumped it and, and let loose, I mean, it like fell where there’s like, physics just doesn’t explain. It was like somebody hit it to like get it to Yeah.

Like, cuz it wasn’t just a, it tipped over or cuz the shelves don’t sit level, right? Yeah. So where it might have just like, eventually slid and then, you know, we would expect it to be maybe this far off, but, and it’ll, it, it didn’t land in the service station, it landed in the kitchen, which is probably three feet.

So then it was a pretty good push. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Okay. Yeah.

Cliff Duvernois: Now the team better understands the activity where it’s happening. They start setting up their equipment. The idea is to record everything that happens both from an audio standpoint as well as from a video standpoint. 

This is Lance. He’s the tech guy

among the cameras. The team has brought EVP recorders, evp, Electronic Voice phenomena. The microphones on these recorders are sensitive enough to pick up voices that we may not be able to hear with the human ear. 

Next is the Ovilus this is a small electronic device that has a built in vocabulary where the spirits somehow can manipulate and cause certain words to a peer on a screen.

The next piece of equipment that they have is a spirit box. I hate the spirit box more on this later. With the team ready, we start our investigation. Brad leads us down into the basement where we had the activity around the glass mason jars that was reported earlier. 

He begins the first EVP session.

Brad Blair: Anyone’s down here with us tonight. We would, uh, like to introduce ourselves. My name’s Brad. 

My name’s Cliff. 

I’m Lance 

and we just wanna thank you for letting us be here tonight. Uh, Kathy, who currently owns this establishment, asked us to come in. Apparently there have been a few things that have been odd, um, and she thought maybe there is somebody still with us here that has passed on but is still sticking around this area. So if that would be you, or if anyone is here that would like to communicate, could you give us your name please?

Are you connected to anybody that works here?

Were you a patron here in the past?

What was your favorite drink?

Kathy told us that on a couple occasions, items have been knocked off the shelves, both down here and upstairs. Could you knock something over down here for 

We’re going to be here for a while and we would like to communicate with you. There are several ways you could do that. You could touch one of us.

If you could make a noise, produce a sound near one of us.

There’s a little box upstairs at the end of the bar with a light on the top. If you could touch that antenna on top of that, that would let us know you were here as well.

Again, we mean no disrespect. We don’t mean to startle anyone or cause any confusion. We we’re here to give you a chance to tell your story.

Cliff Duvernois: At the end of the session, he does a quick review.

Brad Blair: Apparently there have been a few things that have been odd, um, and she thought maybe there is somebody still with us here that has passed on but is still sticking around this area.

So, if that would be you, or if anyone is here that would like to communicate, could you give us your name, please?

Are you connected to anybody that works?

Were you a patron here in the past?

Kathy told us that on a couple occasions, items have been knocked off the shelves, both down here and upstair. Could you knock something over down here for us? Right.

If you could make a noise, produce a sound near one of us.

So that’s basically just a simple introductory session. Sure. And, and we’ll do that anytime, just who we are, why we’re here. Mm-hmm. . The next time I do one, it’ll be more along the lines of personal questioning. You know, how, how old were you, kind of thing. And did you have any children?

Or mother’s name, different things like that to try and kind of stir things up a little bit. But okay. That’s usually starting out. That’s how anybody will go. The one theory that they might be wondering what the hell we’re doing here and why we’re so, it, it introduces us, states, what we’re doing, why we’re here.

Right. And we go from there. 

Cliff Duvernois: From there, we head upstairs. The team decides to try the spirit box. I hate the spirit box.

The spirit box is a device, and what it does is it cycles through every AM and FM frequency at a very fast rate. Theoretically, the cycle happens so fast that you should not hear any words coming through, and what you do is you turn the spirit box on, you ask a question, and in theory, spirits can reply through the radio frequencies.

Sometimes you will hear just a garbled mess. Other times you will actually hear words. Sometimes two, sometimes three.

We turned the spirit box on and this is what we recorded

We really want to give you every opportunity to communicate with,

I dunno, are you comfortable with us being here? Oh.

Could we get your first name? Hi. Nope, Mike. Mike, was that your name?

Cool. Cool. Sound come. Hey, mess. Mike, can you give us your last.

How many spirits are here? How many people are here with us? Me, a me? Yeah. You. Me. Is that a me?

Where were you born? Where city? What city?

Were you American or Canadian?

Yes. Just thank you.

I’m gonna shut this off now. Do you have anything you want to say before I do

this? Oh,

okay. We’re gonna be here with you for a while. Feel free to speak to us’.

Cliff Duvernois: with that session over. Brad decides it’s time to go back into the basement to try one more EVP session. Just like the previous time Lance comes down to shoot video as we are recording the EVP session. This time, he has brought the ovulus with him

Brad Blair: our friend Tim thinks he might have heard something coming through upstairs when we were speaking last. So if that was you, um, , could you just tell us one more time what your name is?

Was your name Mike?

That’s Tim and Matt upstairs.

Were you native to this area?

Did you possibly work at one of the storefronts on the street?

Where did you work?

Did you go to school around?

How did other people think of you in your opinion?

We’re gonna play this back now and give it a listen, and if we got some answers, we’ll hang out and, uh, speak some more. If not, we’re going to go upstairs. You’re welcome to join us there as well. We’ll be here for a while yet.

Here we are back in the basement.

Cliff Duvernois: As we finish the review. This time we caught something.

Lance: The whole time was just odd ball stuff, just words. It didn’t make any sense. That’s worth know the time. And it was back to back. Cause a lot of times it was just sitting here was I wouldn’t get nothing. And it came up friendly and drank. Friendly. Drink. Yep. And we’re in a bar. Yep. That’s worth noting.

Cliff Duvernois: At this point, we head back upstairs, back to the spirit box. Only this time the team wants to use it in a different way. This is called the Estees method. What happens is, is one member of the team is blindfolded. They plug headphones directly into the spirit box and then input these headphones over the blindfolded member’s ears.

They turn the volume up so the member cannot see or hear anyone else in the room. The only thing, the only stimulation that they get is through what the headphones and the spirit box.

During this session, the team will ask a question. If the blindfolded member hears anything from the spirit box, he will say the words out loud. From here we begin.

Tim Ellis: We’ve been trying to give you different ways to communicate with us, which we’re hoping you will. Again, this 

is with the utmost respect. Um, but our friend here, Matts at the head of the table, is willing to be your mouthpiece. Now, if you can give him answers to our questions and he can share them with us.

So, so far tonight we’ve gotten, we believe the name Mike or Mikey. Can you confirm if that is your name?

We wanna know if Mike was a happy drunk. 

Guilty. Guilty. 

what were you guilty of?

Did your drinking lead to your death?

Were you harmed in the back of this building?


who guilty?

Can you give us your age?

Have we overstay our welcome? Are you done trying to communicate?

We’re gonna be wrapping up here shortly, and as always, we want to thank you for allowing us to be here with you, and I hope you realize we respect. , but we are still 

trying to breakthrough. Breakthrough. We are still trying to, well make communication breakthrough with you.

If there’s any messages we can pass along to the owner and the workers to feel comfortable with you.

Pronto, pronto.

Matthew: You mentioned a breakthrough possible breakthrough.

Tim Ellis: I asked this earlier, Are you happy here, or would you like help to get to the other? side 

Matthew: Wait, wait.

Brad Blair: You want to wait to cross over? Do you fear what’s on the other?

Matthew: Are you waiting for a breakthrough? 

No. No.

Are you saying you’re not afraid to cross over to the other side 

Tim Ellis: Forgive.


Are you forgiving someone or forgiving yourself?

Matthew: winter.

Brad Blair: Do you fear winter?

Who is guilty?

Tim Ellis: Can you touch Matt?

If you can’t communicate, can you him you You go backwards. Your words, Someone touching my neck. 

Oh, oh, oh. Fuck. I’s just got your . 

Matthew: Thank you. Fuck . Can you try that again? Can you touch his hand?

It’s taking too much energy 

Tim Ellis: to talk. Can you continue to touch Matt as a way of letting us know you’re still here?

Oh, he was rubbing his neck. 

Matthew: Nightmare Nightmare.

Tim Ellis: Could we try the touching one more time?

Whether on his face, his neck, his hands,

Matthew: So if you read these words backwards, please put out so far. Yeah. Nightmare Winter. Oof. Forgive. No weight to Pronto. Possible breakthrough. Guilty. Well read this. That’s the reverse order of everything he said, which makes more sense that way. Read. Nightmare winter to give no weight. Pronto, No wait. Pronto breakthrough.

Guilty. Wow. No weight pronto. Mm-hmm. is big. Yep. Possible 

Tim Ellis: breakthrough. Guilty nightmare. Winter.

Brad Blair: How long he been under?

Don’t touch me.

He’s out. Uh, had enough 

taking yourself out. Good. 

Matthew: It died. Oh. Oh, good timing. Yeah, we were just gonna take you out. You literally 

Tim Ellis: just asking how long it’s 

Matthew: been. You want to hit some lights and go through this? . Yeah. So you felt like you were getting touched? 

Tim Ellis: I thought it felt like someone was like going, 

Matthew: you know, on my neck.

You just literally just asked, Can you touch Matt? Both times. 

Tim Ellis: Both times. And you seen someone touching me? Yes. Swear. Swear to God. Okay,

when you stopped and you said, Don’t touch me. Why did you say that?

 I felt like I was being, like, someone was just kind of ever so gently like, Cause I had this up right? And it felt like this was kind of like someone was poking a finger in here or something. It was literally on cue and um Oh, on cue. Yeah. Um, both times.

Both times. You said it, it was on you. Um, I did ask for a third time and it didn’t seem to happen, but then right at the end you said don’t, Was that after the other two? Yeah. Yeah. Fuck yes. It felt like someone was rubbing my arm right here and I was, I was waiting for him to do it again, and I thought I was gonna catch you like this.

Cliff Duvernois: It is at this point that the team decides to wrap up the investigation. It is 2:00 AM and clearly this is the one time out of 10 where they have actually captured data. Their mission now is to go back and review all of the evidence that was captured, analyze it, and report back to the owner, Kathy. But the question remains, is it possible that somebody was murdered behind this restaurant?

Are they still there? What’s a you, dear listener? What do you make of the evidence that was gathered on that cold October evening that I’ve shared with you tonight? What picture forms in your mind if you allow me to indulge, to play armchair detective and to share with you a theory. A theory that covers some of the evidence, A theory to be tested by facts.

In the not so distant past, perhaps in some cold winter, a man by the name of Mike was out on the town in Sue St. Marie. His friends in the area that knew him would probably describe him as friendly, and on this particular night, he wanted to celebrate some good fortune and go out and have a drink. And as he’s walking on the street, he sees a sign and opens the door.

Unfortunately, it’s the door to the wrong bar because as we all know, sometimes the friendliest person can also make for the easiest of targets for that night. Mike’s worst nightmare came true. His life tragically cut short while most would be ready to move on. He was not. He remained trying to draw attention to himself.

Playing tricks on the staff with Mason jars until the Hubers team investigated. This was his possible breakthrough, not to cross over to the other side, but to ask us to wait to give him a chance to share his story, and for those that took his life a chance to forgive. Now in the days to follow the investigation, Brad did discover a few facts.

It has been confirmed that indeed a murder took place in the alleyway right behind the wicked sister, and someone was convicted of that crime. Now, as of this record, We do not know who the murderer was, nor do we know the name of the victim, but it appears that one way or the other, something is attached to the wicked sister that night.

As I’m driving on my way home, I’m thinking about the events that I have just witnessed, and I find myself in a position where I’m asking more questions. Than the answers that I received, and I thought doing an investigation would satisfy my curiosity, but it has only been peaked. What else do we not know?

How much more can we possibly discover? How else can we pierce the thin veil that separates this world from the next? And now ladies and gentlemen, here’s the story that I promised you at the beginning of this episode. This is a story that Brad shared with me about a place in Sue St. Marie that they have investigated multiple times.

And as I said before, if dolls freak you out, you will definitely wanna listen to this.

Brad Blair: What one of the, The story that brought us in, I had a cousin that was the manager of the storefronts at the time, and she said, We’ve been wanting to get you guys in. She. She said, we kind of had a, a last straw moment. She said the, uh, Christmas room, they, they had this room that was just all Christmas decor year round and they had this family of Victorian caroler dolls.

They probably from two and a half feet to about four feet. Mm-hmm. , good, sizeable mother, father, and the two children. And they would come in in the morning and the little girl doll would be in different places of the store, not even in the same room. Oh my goodness. So they got freaked out enough that they started putting her in the basement at night, and they would cover her with a box and come back in the next morning, go down the basement, take her back, put her in with the family.

It was an expensive set. Right. And so the one morning came in, Disarm the alarm. Nobody had been in there. Went to go down the basement to get the little girl open the basement door and standing on the top step looking out was the little girl doll. Oh my god. .