Ryan Buell, the main host of A&E’s “ghost hunter” show Paranormal State, has been arrested and is currently in prison for theft.
Buell, 34, is facing three charges related to theft and stolen property. All charges are for alleged crimes committed in Centre County, Pennsylvania, but he was arrested on Sept. 18 in South Carolina, his home state.
Over the past few years, Buell has announced and scheduled multiple tours and appearances only to cancel them without offering refunds to fans. It’s unclear what Buell did with the proceeds from these events.
One of the tours Buell started was 2014’s Conversations With the Dead (CWTD), with tickets sold in both the U.S. and Canada. However, the shows were postponed and then cancelled. Many fans never got their money back, and the only way some were able to get refunds was by disputing the charge with their credit card company.
Chip Coffey, a longtime friend of Buell’s and sometime guest-star on Paranormal State, was scheduled to be on the CWTD tour as well. He said Buell and his team managed the tour details but nothing was ever booked, despite selling tickets to fans.
“I know that the last accounting I had, with regards to ticket sales for the CWTD Tour, it was in excess of $80,000,” Coffey said.
Buell also claimed he had pancreatic cancer — which was one of his excuses for the last-minute no-shows — and even told People magazine he was “close” to being in remission.
His mother, Shelly Bonavita Lundberg, wrote a very concerned plea on Facebook on Tuesday to his fans, confirming that “he is ill, but not with cancer.”
“PLEASE stop enabling his situation by sending money, buying tickets to events that may never occur, buying merchandise/phone calls you may never get and giving him offers of shelter,” Lundberg writes. “I am pleading with you out of LOVE for my son and I’m frightened by what his situation has become.”
Fans commenting on the post are divided, with some defending Buell, while others lash out angrily because they never received a refund for purchased tickets. Some even attack Lundberg, claiming she is doing her son a “disservice.”
One fan asks Lundberg for sympathy because of his alleged cancer diagnosis, but she replies in the comments: “He’s ill, but not from cancer. His family knows the REAL story. You all need to stop believing his lies and stop enabling him… PLEASE.”
Buell is currently being held at the Florence County Detention Center in South Carolina.