An Interview with April Lee: Psychic Reader, Ghost Hunter, and Tour Guide
by: Chandra harrison
About eight months ago, I took an adventure to Tampa, Fl. The people in Tampa are a collection of folks that are fun and enthusiastic. Tall buildings and fast cars mingled with beautiful structures that sprang forth from the days of old. Wanting to know more of the history and of course the paranormal, I researched tours. To really get a feel of a place a ghost tour will give one the best of the best in history. With that said I signed up for Ghost Tours of Tampa, FL and met an enthusiastic guide named April Lee. I had a wonderful time using my personal recorder and watching as April educated the young members of the group how to use a milometer device to detect changes of energy fields. Afterwards I sat down with April at the local Taco Bus and discussed her personal experiences and advice on the paranormal. I feel very privileged to have met with April. She also encouraged me to travel to Ybor City. Two days later, I did and was amazed at the opened minded staff as they allowed me to walk in and explore the hotel. If anyone is a fan of the Travel Channel’s Dead Files they have been twice to the Don Vicente Inn. Took some pictures but nothing ‘showed’ itself that day. Of course, anyone can book a room here but there is a waiting list. I had to check it out. I truly believe haunted vacations are the best!
This is the interview with April along with a few pictures. Hope you enjoy and perhaps if anyone takes a trip to Tampa will look up www.ghosttour.net/tampa.html or take a visit to Mystikal Scents.
Chandra Harrison: How long have you known that you had this ability?
April Lee: I have known it for as long as I can remember, but I didn’t begin to develop it and try to hone it until a few years ago - actually because I was kind of afraid to. I was afraid what I might be able to find out, and sometimes being able to do what psychics or mediums can come into contact with information you don’t want. So you just kind of accept it and then leave it at, “I know something about you but I’m not going to hold it against you. I’ll try to get to know you anyway.” That sort of thing, or sometimes it helps you to become more attuned to your friends. Like they’ll say “fine,” and you’ll go, “Uh ha, something’s up. What do you want to talk about?” What I try to do basically is use my power for good and not evil. (chuckles)
Chandra Harrison: Have you ever had experiences during a tour?
April Lee: Absolutely. Sometimes I’ve been touched. The Tampa Theater, that we visited, is actually built on a paranormal vortex. I’ve had encounters with something like laying a hand on me or touching me while I’m in the vestibule or whenever I’ve gone in there to see a show, and I’ve performed there a couple of times when doing a children’s show. So I’ve gotten to go into the cellar where they have the dressing rooms, and believe you and me the energy down there practically crackles.
Chandra Harrison: Have you ever taken anything home from a site?
April Lee: Yes. It sometimes happens. If it does happen the best way to get rid of it is to take a shower. Spiritual energy cannot stay intact with running water. It breaks them up and it sends them right down the drain. If you can’t take a shower you can light dried white sage leaves – it’s basically Native incense. Sage cleanses the aura and takes away anything that is negative. Also another thing I sometimes, if I remember to do it, is I will block myself. I will just put out there that there is a bouncy bubble around me, 100 percent of the time, and whatever tries to come into and penetrate my bubble is going to bounce right off, because it’s made of rubber, so I do that to protect myself because they like me. They know that I can sense them so they will try and attach themselves to me. I just don’t welcome it.
I’m actually a very active part of the pagan and Wiccan community in Tampa, Florida. They’re absolutely wonderful. The type of people who come into the shop where I work we don’t care what religion you are, whether you’re a Buddhist, a Christian, or a Catholic. It’s like come on in and sit down and hang out with us. And what I love so much about Wiccans is that they don’t convert. They give information, if you ask for it. It’s nice with people who don’t try to convert their religion on you. They’re really laid back and they accept you for who you are and that’s a wonderful and rare thing.
Chandra Harrison: Were you drawn to this job?
April Lee: I was absolutely, 100 percent always drawn to this world. Growing up in a Christian household it was the forbidden fruit that I always wanted to explore because it was so interesting and off limits to me. So then I went to college and got out on my own and moved to Tampa and I thought, “Well, there’s nothing stopping me from exploring this now, so I’m going to do it and see what happens.” It’s opened up so many doors for me. It’s brought in career opportunities. It’s made me happy. Truth be told, it’s been really good just for a person’s self-esteem because you are working with so many positive, loving and accepting people.
Chandra Harrison: I have a friend back in Tennessee who had seen a different kind of shadow entity, one with a white mask, and it smiled at her and others. It stood outside her second story apartment. I told her whatever you do don’t acknowledge it, that it would be best to look away, and don’t ever invite it in. I don’t think it ever came back. I certainly hope not.
April Lee: No, it’s one of those things where they have to be invited in. It’s similar to vampire lore. A vampire can’t come into your house unless you invite it in.
Now there’s something that tends to happen more in rural areas and it’s called Hag attacks. It’s basically what psychological vampires do where they can do astral projection. They will go into a meditative trance and send their spiritual self out into the ether and attack somebody and drain their energy.
Chandra Harrison: I know this one guy who said he was studying to be a necromancer. He would go out into a cemetery, draw his own blood with needles, and squirt them on tombstones.
April Lee: You’re playing with some sinister stuff when you do that. You don’t know what you’re playing with. You don’t mess with gravestones, the dead, demons, oujia boards, or mirrors, because you’re basically taking a knife into a gunfight. You are ill equipped and you don’t know what you’re dealing with
Chandra Harrison: I know a case in Tennessee, where a person is getting physically attacked, and it’s in her house. It’s a shadow-type person with a white mask. The same kind of scenario.
April Lee: With shadow people it’s a little different because there’s nothing malevolent about them. They’re just kind of there. There can be different forms, but mostly you see them and then you look away and they’re gone. If you notice them it’s simply, “Well, I’m interested in you. I think I’ll just watch you for a little bit. Well, I’m going to go away now.” It’s completely harmless. It’s a little creepy because they always catch you by surprise. But it’s nothing like, “I’m going to get you. I’m going to drain your energy. I’m going to kill you.”
I’ve got another story I can share with you. I went awhile ago to talk to some of the employees at the Tampa Theater to ask what experiences they may have had. One story they told me about, like back in 1980, was where this guy was first to show up at work that day, sets the coffee maker to going, turns on the lights – regular stuff. He does into the theater space, starts flipping on lights, and before he can turn them all on he sees in the center seating bank, front row, corner seat, a small figure in a dark suit, wearing a fedora, and the little guy turns around, in his seat, and gives him a big smile. He wants to get a better look at this guy, because the building is supposed to be empty, so he goes to turn the last lights on and he looks back
Chandra Harrison: And the guy is gone.
April Lee: That was the spirit they called Little Fink. He just shows up sometimes. He just likes being noticed. Like “Hey I’m just kicking back.” In the late 1990’s, my fiancé and I went down to the Germany Library, a big, big library here, and we went into the archive section and looked up some more stuff about the Tampa Theater. And in 1996 there was a big article about this janitor who used to work there (he retired a few years later). This janitor knew the building from top to bottom and one time he had lost this switchblade with an ivory handle. It was something that had belonged to his great grandfather. It was very special to him. He thought that it might have been accidentally knocked into a bag of trash and that it might have been carried out. He searched the building top to bottom. Other employees helped him to look. He was desperate. He was going to give it to his son. Somebody said, “Did you try asking Fink to find it?” He said, “Well, it didn’t occur to me to ask.” So he goes up to the stage in the theater space And he just says out loud, “Fink, you’ve got to help me. I want my switchblade back.” He turns around, and in the same center corner seat, on the armrest, was his switchblade!
Chandra Harrison: It’s great that you all can go back and find this archived information and a really good thing too that you can talk to the people and get their stories and add it into your ghost tours.