April Slaughter is the author of two books and numerous articles on ghosts, hauntings, psychical research and the unexplained. As an active paranormal researcher for nearly 20 years, she has delved into almost every facet of the unknown, from spirits and psychic phenomena to UFO’s, Cryptozoology and more. She is one of America’s leading researchers of Instrumental Transcommunication (ITC), which she wrote about in her latest book titled “Reaching Beyond the Veil: Unlocking the Mystery of Modern Spirit Communication.” Recently, Evel Ogilville reached out to her for an interview and we are honored she accepted. For more information, please visit her official website: www.aprilslaughter.com
Evel: April, what can you tell us about yourself?
Slaughter: I’m weird, what can I say? I am, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I am a single mom to identical twin daughters, a button-pusher, a truth seeker, a book devourer and a skull painter. I am an author, a poet, a journalist, music lover, and an unnatural redhead. Oh, and I happen to talk to dead people on occasion. I told you. Weird.
Evel: What drew you into the paranormal field?
Slaughter: I never went looking for the paranormal; it came looking for me. I began to see and experience a wide range of phenomena at the age of eight, when my family moved into a home that was quite active. It was, and still is, one of my favorite haunts. Initially having been afraid, I decided that if I was going to fear something, I should probably learn everything I could about it to lessen any perceived danger. I began to devour books, talked to and studied under leading researchers in the field, and found that my calling was to do what I could to assist, in an honest and thorough way. My ultimate goal is to help people push past the stigmas that surround the paranormal, so that they can experience the same level of connection to the other side that I have spent years developing for myself.
Evel: Why do you think people from all walks of life are consumed with the paranormal?
Slaughter: It is difficult to speak for others, but I truly believe that a majority of people want to know that death is not a permanent separation from those they’ve loved and lost. Seeing death as the ultimate end boggles the mind, and breaks the heart. I believe people become interested in seeking answers in paranormal phenomena to foster their sense of hope that there truly is life after life. Of course, there are the thrill seekers who are in pursuit of a good fright, but I believe they too have a deeper desire to ‘know’ they are not alone.
Evel: What keeps you motivated in your personal research?
Slaughter: Honestly, my motivation is derived from the hostility and ignorance I often encounter when people criticize me for my beliefs and/or endeavors. It’s not that I want to prove anything to them, per se. I think proof in this field is highly subjective. What is evidence of the afterlife to one is nothing more than a product of an overactive imagination to another. I like challenging people to open their minds, however, and the more work I do, the closer I come to helping them do just that.
Evel: The paranormal field seems to be inundated with experts. How would you define the differences, and I do mean this with respect, between a paranormal researcher versus investigator versus a hobbyist?
Slaughter: There are those that will argue with me (and even many I deeply respect) but, in my humble opinion, there are no experts. There are people who are well-versed in the paranormal, who dedicate their time and energy to uncovering and sharing the truth. They collect data, analyze it and share it with their peers. This is work to them, and not just a hobby. The researchers – those who live and breathe the work on a daily basis and strive to educate others – belong to the paranormal field. The hobbyists belong to the paranormal community, which is far more vast. They are two distinct groups of people, who can often benefit from the experiences of the other, but that seem to operate under much different standards.
Evel: In your book Reaching Beyond The Veil, you speak in depth about Instrumental Transcommunication (ITC). In this time of new ghost boxes and paranormal apps coming out on what seems to be a weekly basis, what advice could you give to an investigator that is trying to discern where to start with ITC?
Slaughter: ITC is my main research focus, so I am often asked about the various devices and tools made available to use. It is a difficult question to answer, for two reasons; the sheer number of options grows, as you said, at a rapid rate. Keeping up is nearly impossible (at least, financially speaking.) Also, it has been my experience that a device that will work well for me might not work well for other investigators at all. The best advice I could give anyone pursuing a connection to the other side via ITC is trial and error. Do not let yourself become overwhelmed by devices and/or tools. If you are drawn to a particular piece, test it… repeatedly. Focus on one method of communication at a time, have patience, and over time you may be able to make contact with those on the other side of the veil. Invest your time, your desire, and your positivity. Those things make a huge difference. Trust me. There isn’t one single magical device. It all depends on your energy, ‘their’ energy, and fine-tuning our methods to connect them.
Evel: In Reaching Beyond The Veil you also speak of Induced After-Death Therapy (IADC), which I found fascinating. How would you describe IADC to someone who’s never heard of it?
Slaughter: IADC is a technique used in psychotherapy to help patients face, process, and recover from severe grief and trauma. Those who have undergone the procedure report seeing and conversing with the spirits of their deceased loved ones, which results in a drastic reduction and/or complete elimination of their associated grief. This technique was discovered and perfected by Dr. Allan Botkin during his many years of work with Vietnam veterans in Chicago, Illinois. I underwent the procedure, and it was a life-altering experience for me. I was able to see, touch, and speak to several people who had passed. It was quite incredible. However, it must be said that it is not something I think your average paranormal investigator should attempt. It isn’t a tool in our arsenal to help us prove life after death. It was discovered and developed to help people heal. Thrill seekers need not apply.
Evel: Investigators seek answers about the afterlife from the afterlife. As we know, answers are difficult to attain. Do you believe spirits that are earth-bound (the ones we like to call ghosts and seem to encounter the most often) are low-level entities and communication with them is difficult because they’re confused? If so, what’s the best approach or advice you have to communicate with higher level beings?
Slaughter: This is another difficult question to answer with any degree of certainty. Ghosts and spirits exist, and they interact with us in a myriad of ways. Confusion could be a factor in the difficulty the living encounter when trying to communicate with the dead, but I certainly do not believe ghosts are ‘low level entities.’ I believe the other side can be a tricky landscape to navigate, especially for the newly dead. In my communications, I’ve been told that learning on the other side is much like learning on this one. It is never instant, and sometimes it is met with resistance. My deceased grandfather, for example, found it quite easy to communicate with me. He and I spoke audibly for nearly 11 minutes via ITC. However, in all of the years I have been working with spirit communication, I have not held a conversation before or since that was that lengthy or that provided the same level of detail. Also, I have a difficulty believing anyone is ‘earth-bound,’ at least beyond their choosing. If a spirit is encountered often, people will assume it is haunting a location. However, it is my belief that locations (objects, and even people) are often visited by the spirits of the dead, not necessarily haunted by them. At least not in every case, or even a majority.
Evel: The first time I reached out to you I expressed my gratitude for the manner you reconcile paranormal research and religion. What would you say to somebody that is struggling with in that area or is facing persecution for their paranormal interest?
Slaughter: Know and trust yourself. Be true to your beliefs, but know that you are not the first or even the last person to struggle with your desire to know and experience more than your religion has provided you. I’ve learned that many religious people mean well, and speak out against the paranormal mostly out of concern, but when that concern breeds judgment due to lack of knowledge and experience, my advice would be to remain respectful, but to continue on in your pursuit for answers despite the opinions of others. God wants us to ask questions. I believe He’d be terribly disappointed in us if all we ever accepted were the words and doctrine someone else fed us. Again, this is just my opinion.
Evel: I personally feel that investigating the paranormal is a step in my personal spiritual journey to find peace and hope in this life. Many paranormal groups claim to be science-based and want to capture and document evidence to simply disprove or prove a haunting. In a field without any truly scientifically defined parameters, or paranormal parlor tricks that cannot be replicated in a lab, do you think it would be beneficial for individuals to be more open to spirituality in their investigative approach?
Slaughter: Absolutely. You are pursuing SPIRITS, right? How do you do that without a certain level of spirituality? I love science, and I think it is incredibly useful, but it is not the end-all-be-all answer to explaining the paranormal, and it’s never going to be. One of my favorite quotes is one found in Bram Stoker’s DRACULA that I think fits this subject perfectly.
“Do you not think that there are things which you cannot understand, and yet which are; that some people see things that others cannot? But there are things old and new which must not be contemplate by men´s eyes, because they know — or think they know — some things which other men have told them. Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain.”
Evel: After all your experience in the paranormal, how has your motivation and definition of a successful investigation evolved?
Slaughter: A successful investigation used to be one where I came home with a great deal of ‘evidence’ to share with others. Over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that a truly successful investigation is one I leave feeling as though I personally learned something. Sitting in the dark with a bunch of fancy equipment hoping to capture a glimpse of what I know exists is all well and good, but at the end of the day, all that matters is that I grew in some way. Instead of always being concerned with convincing others we can interact with the dead, perhaps I inspired a spirit or two to keep believing in interacting with the living. The dead are not here to entertain us, though I know some of them truly enjoy giving us a fright or making us laugh. They’re just people, and they deserve the attention and respect all of us want, on both sides of the veil.
Evel: What’s next for April Slaughter?
Slaughter: I am currently working on a couple of book projects. GHOSTHUNTING UTAH published by Clerisy Press as part of the America’s Haunted Road Trip series is expected to release in the fall of 2016. Disconnected From Death: The Evolution of Funerary Practices and the Unmasking of Death in America with co-author Troy Taylor is forthcoming as well.
Evel: What is the best way for folks to keep up with your work?
Slaughter: I’m active on many of the social media networks including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but you can always keep up with what’s going on in the strange world of Slaughter by visiting my official website, www.aprilslaughter.com
Lightning Round One Word (or so) Answers
Evel: Favorite tool to use during an investigation?
Evel: The one haunted location that truly gave me the heebie-jeebies was:
Slaughter: Yorktown Memorial Hospital in Yorktown, TX.
Evel: If a Sasquatch and an alien landed in your backyard, and only one of them agreed to be in a selfie with you, your choice, who would you pick?
Evel: Without knowing the question, give us your best one word answer:
Evel: Perfect answer!
Thank you for your time, April. We look forward to your upcoming projects.