Dragon’s Landing employees, paranormal investigator Jessica Krutell and reporter Alyssa Ochss, holding the notebook, stand and wait for paranormal activity during an investigation at Dragon’s Landing.

Dragon’s Landing employees, paranormal investigator Jessica Krutell and reporter Alyssa Ochss, holding the notebook, stand and wait for paranormal activity during an investigation at Dragon’s Landing.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

On assignment at Dragon’s Landing with Mystic Mitten Paranormal

By: Alyssa Ochss | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published October 12, 2023




ST. CLAIR SHORES — I’ve always believed in the paranormal. Living in a state like Michigan where the lakes are treacherous and ships go missing in the night, it’s hard not to. Ghost stories were passed around by volunteers at lighthouses, sprinkled in with the long history of the guiding lights.

Some of them chilled me to the bone and some of them stick with me today.

Going into this investigation, I was nervous and a little bit scared. Questions skated around in my mind about what we would actually see and hear that night. What if something comes through that we don’t want to meet? What if something personal comes through speaking to me?

It’s also interesting going into an investigation as a person who doesn’t have any connection to the location and who doesn’t have the knowledge a paranormal investigator would have. I wasn’t someone who experienced paranormal activity daily nor did I have the expertise to tell someone why they were experiencing these phenomena. I was just an observer.

The air in Dragon’s Landing brew pub was hot as I walked in the back door of the kitchen and into the main dining room area. Employees as well as the owner greeted me, welcoming me to the place where they work every day.

Jessica Krutell, founder and lead investigator of Mystic Mitten Paranormal, and Mystic Mitten Paranormal investigator and technician Michael Miller arrived shortly afterward. The investigation and the interviews officially started when she placed her recorder in the center of a chair in the middle of our circle.

The owner, Spencer Channel, told a little bit about the history of the building and how it used to be an old social club. A lot of people died here, he said.

Maybe the folks that used to enjoy the building back when it was a social club still enjoy it to this day?

The employees shared their experiences, with some overall similar experiences between those that were there and others that seemed specific to a couple of people. One of the shared experiences was seeing a tall, dark, shadowy figure somewhere near the back storage rooms.

When I first got a look at the storage room, it felt a little eerie, but I didn’t know whether it was because my nerves were kicking in or if it really was as creepy as it sounded.

The most shocking thing was when a bartender and manager, Gary Elson, said he and another employee heard Elson’s name called in the restaurant. He dubbed the spirit that he thinks follows him from job to job “Frank.”

I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be in a mostly empty building and hear my name called by someone who was not there. What would I do? Words would come out of my mouth not suitable for publication, that’s for sure.

I have had haunted experiences before and all I did was give the area I saw something in a blank stare and stand there frozen to my spot; a deer in the headlights, if you will. I would definitely die first in a horror film.

Cortez Sealie, a cook, said he’s been dealing with the paranormal throughout his whole life. He said he can see the spirits and hear the disembodied voices. He also said he knew there was the presence of a little girl and a woman in the building.

Multiple employees said they’ve never tried to call out the spirits or have conversations with them for fear of opening “Pandora’s Box.” That’s what we were going to do that night.

The first part of the investigation was held at the bar using a device called a KII meter. This device detects electromagnetic fields, according to an email by Krutell. It lights up whenever it detects a change in fields. The recorder was still going and Krutell asked multiple questions as we went.

Long periods of silence passed after each question to allow any spirits to speak if they wanted to. With every passing moment, I was getting more comfortable in the space we were in. I stopped breathing so hard, and I felt more relaxed than I did when we started.

We moved into the main dining room, being careful not to trip over any of the wiring set up for the cameras. Krutell moved the KII meter and another device, a REM pod, closer to us. A REM pod, Krutell said in an email, was invented for paranormal investigations. The device emits an energy field and will alert if anything enters that space. It also detects temperature changes.

Again, Krutell asked questions and we waited patiently for responses. Then Krutell brought out a device called a spirit box. This device sweeps rapidly through multiple different radio stations, Krutell said in an email, and it’s believed spirits can control these devices to put together audible responses.

Words came through the spirit box, including some names like “Dylan.” But the one we held onto and the one that seemed to garner the most responses from the spirits was “Emily.” I didn’t know if Emily was a person who partook in the social club or from somewhere else. Was the little girl spoken about earlier Emily?

Krutell then asked Emily to speak to us through the recorder and to touch the areas around the KII meter and REM pod. Something did happen to the KII meter where it lit up, but I had my head turned when it happened, and I couldn’t quite find the device in the darkness. The gasps from the rest of those with me alerted me to what was going on and I finally found where the device was.

The green light on the device was slowly blinking and Krutell asked the spirit to activate the red light on it with little to no response.

One of the funnier responses we thought we heard from the spirit box was “pound it.” Was there something residual at the restaurant of previous patrons and guests drinking merrily with each other? It was interesting and felt like we were getting a small glimpse of a conversation from decades ago.

Before we left the area, Krutell told the spirits multiple times that we were leaving. They seemed to encourage us to move to another area by saying “go for it” through the spirit box.

We then moved to the back storage rooms. It was as creepy as some of the employees said, especially in the dark. A red light in one of the rooms gave it an eerie vibe and the pitch blackness made things such as a blinking soap dispenser seem creepier.

Krutell set the REM pod down in the back room where Elson and Sealie stood in the far back in the darkness. The rest of us stood in the conjoining hallway in front of another one of the storage rooms. There was one thing I was certain of: It was hot in that back area.

Multiple times, the REM pod went off, indicating temperature fluctuations. Krutell used a thermometer to read the temperatures in real time. The people in that small hallway could see as it went from 82 degrees Fahrenheit to 79 degrees and back up again. It was amazing and kind of thrilling to see the evidence right before my eyes.

Some of the employees standing around me as well as myself felt small cold spots around us and rushes of cold air pass by as if someone was walking in and out of the area. A couple employees sat in a chair in the far back room, saying it felt heavier while sitting in that chair. In this area, I remembered that the building might have been an old German club, so I suggested we speak to the spirits in German.

After a while, we left the area to go back to the front by the bar.

So far, I thought the investigation was going well and my nerves had completely left my body. I was enjoying seeing all the evidence we were documenting. In the bar area, one of the employees poured a beer to see if that would encourage the spirits to speak to us or move something.

The last investigation device Krutell pulled out were dowsing rods. In her email, she said these items have a deep-rooted history where people would use a Y shaped tree branch to search for water.

Modern day dowsing rods are made of copper and often have free-floating handles so they can’t be controlled unconsciously by the user, the email said. The person holding them also has to stay as still as possible and really concentrate. Krutell said in the email these are best used for yes and no questions.

Three different people used the dowsing rods and each time the rods moved in response to questions or commands issued by the user or Krutell.

At the end of the investigation, we filed into the dining room to talk about our findings.

I went home tired and very hungry, but also excited for more. It left me wondering when I can do this again.