A Salem psychic studio accused of accepting more than $16,000 to protect a man from an evil curse has been denied a chance to renew their license.
At their meeting at the City Hall Annex Tuesday night, the Salem Licensing Board declined to renew the Store Fortunetelling License and two sub-licenses for Fatima's Psychic Studio on Hawthorne Boulevard after it was determined that there is an active police investigation into the studio.
As we reported last week, at 4:49 p.m. on Oct. 10, the owner of the psychic studio was issued a cease and desist order for operating without a license. The studio's fortune-telling license expired in March of 2012, according to Det. Sgt. James A. Page.
- On July 18, Sgt. Conrad Prosniewski took a report from a Farmington, N.H., woman who said she was told by a psychic at Fatima's that she was cursed and needed to pay $100 to have it removed.
- On Sept. 16, officer Dennis Luti took a report from a Pepperell, Mass., woman who told police a psychic at Fatima's told her she was "full of evil and for $500 she could rid her of it."
- On Oct. 1, Salem detective Dennis Gaudet was assigned an investigation into a complaint from a Henrietta, N.Y., man who told police the reader convinced him that he needed to have a shield placed over him to protect him and "channel angels" were needed as well. Over the next few weeks he reportedly paid a psychic at Fatima's $16,800.
- On Oct. 3, a customer reported being told that a psychic would remove a curse from him for $50.
- On Oct. 7, Salem detective Brian St. Pierre was assigned to investigate an incident during which a customer was told he could have a curse removed for $500. The man said he declined the offer and received a phone call several days later from a psychic at Fatima's asking again if he wanted to have the curse removed.
The City of Salem Code of Ordinances, Part III, Article II, Division 2, Section 14-27, defines fortunetelling as "the telling of fortunes, forecasting of futures or reading the past..."
The ordinance does not include removing of curses or evil from a person.
Appearing before the board Tuesday night was studio owner Harry Mitchell, who said he had already settled the dispute with the customer who was charged $16,800 and said he would return the money.
Page said the investigation into complaints about psychics "offering to remove evil" is ongoing.
The charges against the psychic studio will be discussed before the board at their next meeting on Oct. 28.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.