Salem, Massachusetts has learned plenty over the last few centuries. The city used to burn witches. Now it regulates them.
The City Council unanimously passed an ordinance last night to license palm readers and fortunetellers who have been in Salem for at least a year, pass a criminal background check, and submit a résumé showing at least five years of experience.
The witches have a posse, and—dramatic twist!—it's in league with the state.
[A] group calling itself the Witches' Public Awareness League, made up of several locals who have for years offered psychic readings for a fee, said the proposal isn't enough to stop interlopers who show up during the busy Halloween season and steal their business.
The league wants to limit the number of palm readers allowed at psychic fairs popular around Halloween. It also seeks to require that each purveyor of psychic services pay a fee of $25 per day during fairs.
Laurie Stathopoulos, a card reader for more than two decades, said that many depend on Halloween profits to get through the year.
"To put 40 psychics in the same street is outrageous," Stathopoulos said before the meeting. "We hold people's lives in the palm of our hand sometimes."
Little-known but true: hexes now come in the form of traumatic one-liners.
(Thanks to reader Dan Pawson.)