This article is excellent and reveals a great truth – “we’re all frauds”.
Salem is loaded with psychics and clairvoyants. But curses are off limits. One local business crossed the line, but ended up pretty much getting away with it. What’s the difference, the psychics ask, between us and religion? It’s all belief.
One local witch says the problem is that there’s no such thing as a curse, and if you believe in them, that’s your curse. A local warlock says it doesn’t matter if you believe in curses or not — you can’t say with conviction that another person’s convictions are wrong.
And the Salem Police Department — well, they say none of that matters because the city ordinance clearly states that psychics can only forecast the future and read the past.
But the controversy does not stop there, for a police detective has dared to utter what is a loaded word in the local occult economy: fraud.
“If they’re a fraud, then we’re all frauds, and all religion is a fraud,” said Christian Day, a local warlock who owns two witch shops in Salem and is known for riding around town on a Segway in his full witch regalia. “They’re not regulating the priest who absolves you of your sins and tells you to put some money in the collection basket, or the old lady who sends all her money to Pat Robertson. They pick on us for one reason: They’re afraid of us. They’ve always been afraid of us.”
Fatima’s, a local psychic studio that has been in Salem for two decades, follows a Romani (gypsy) form of fortune-telling that believes in curses. They were known for charging clients for curse removal. Two customers made fraud complaints, possibly reinforced by the local anti-curse psychics. Confused yet?
You can read more about the Fatima case here.
But Christian Day, who appeared on Penn & Teller’s Bullshit, makes a good point. It’s just another belief. Salem is an example of 5-star paranormal tourism. They walk a tricky line between entertainment and history and outright fraud. I don’t envy them trying to balance the “good” psychics with the bad. The best bet for consumers? ALL belief in the supernatural is hooey. Only spend money on reality-based ideas.