Hocus-Pocus

by Timothy Lutts

As Halloween Fever grips the Witch City, and I prepare to don my big furry Chewbacca costume for the 15th year, I can’t resist spreading the news about a local psychic studio that’s become a little more “entrepreneurial” than the authorities like.

Fatima_s Psychic Studio Fatima’s Psychic Studio is the business; it’s been operating for more than 20 years, under a city ordinance that defines fortunetelling as “the telling of fortunes, forecasting of futures or reading the past.”

But lately, some of the employees of the business have been offering to remove curses—for a price. And the price varies, apparently depending on how much the “psychic” figures she can get from the customer—$50, $100, even $500.

The biggest loser was a man from West Henrietta, N.Y who says he paid $16,800 to have a “shield placed over him to protect him” and to “channel angels,” according to a report filed with the city’s Licensing Board.

The problem, you see, isn’t that the curse remained; the victims were mum on that.

The problem is that curse removal isn’t covered by Fatima’s license!

And it gets better.

Two weeks after the police department opened a complaint against Fatima’s Psychic Studio, the Salem Licensing Board met to consider renewing the firm’s license, and the meeting opened by the police withdrawing the complaint.

Why?

Because Fatima’s had been unlicensed since March 2012! And without a license, the behavior of the “curse-lifters” wasn’t subject to the city ordinance.

So the board renewed Fatima’s license, for a one-year probationary period.

And it gets better!

Online commentary about the story included the following:

“P.T. Barnum said there’s a sucker born every minute.”

“You can’t outlaw stupidity.”

“Any real psychic would have foreseen these problems beforehand and taken steps to avoid them, no?”

“It is unfair to target Fatima’s just because they clearly have a better sales pitch. You can sell everything from ghosts to magnetic jewelry and crystals in this town and if people want to buy it, good for you!”

And my favorite:

“Fatima has been doing this for many, many years. I have personally spoken to Harold to stop his girls from taking money in this way. He said they do not do that. The very next day someone dropped into my shop crying. She was so frightened that she had holes in her aura. I took her picture in my Aura room. Proved there were no holes, just a beautiful blue nice and clear. I did not charge her because healing is the most important part of a reading. I do hope the police put a stop to this and let the city know that all psychics are not like them. WITH THE LOVE OF ANGELS Rev. Barbara Angelica of the Angels

You can’t make this stuff up!

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