SALEM — Police and a city board are looking into complaints that one of the city’s best known fortunetellers has been attempting to charge customers and, in one instance, may have been paid to remove evil curses.
Fatima’s Psychic Studio, at 6 Hawthorne Blvd., has been ordered to appear at an Oct. 28 meeting of the city’s Licensing Board to respond to a report by a special police investigator.
In a related case, a Salem detective is looking into allegations that a customer from New York state, who visited Fatima’s several times this summer, paid a fortuneteller $16,800 “to have a shield placed over him to protect him” and to “channel angels,” according to the report Detective Sgt. James Page filed with the board last night.
Page said there are no similar complaints against any other city fortunetellers or psychics.
Fatima’s, which has been in business more than 20 years, was issued a cease and desist order Oct. 10 after police, in the course of the investigation, discovered it had been operating without a license for about a year.
Harry Mitchell, owner of Fatima’s, appeared before the board last night but was not asked about specific allegations. He was told to return for the next meeting prepared to answer questions in the report.
“You should probably get a lawyer,” said Chairman Robert St. Pierre.
In his brief appearance, Mitchell told the board he has always been licensed but forgot to renew his license last year. In an interview after the meeting, he said the board usually mailed renewal notices but did not this past year.
When asked after the meeting by a reporter about the charges of removing evil curses for a fee, Mitchell denied any wrongdoing and said he was “in discussions” with one of the persons who brought a complaint.