Alius Santus | UK Ghost Hunting Company Exposed?
One thing that should never happen when you are researching the paranormal for your own truth-seeking is the need to warn your followers and friends about an alleged fraud.
This was exactly what Haunted Scotland had to do on the 9th of November 2017, when evidence began to be posted on social media with regards to event company Alius Santus.
It’s a field which is notoriously hard to operate in at times with not only various attacks from the more pseudo-sceptical organisations in the world, but even tougher when those causing problems are part of the paranormal field itself.
It was brought to my attention through the wonderful Haunted Magazine community, whose owners like any good investigative journalist, began digging into claims of bounced cheques and non-booked events being sold on the Alius Santus website. Which incidentally is now closed temporarily.
Alius Santus had given the owners of the Skirrid Inn – a venue for a hosted event – a cheque for an event that had taken place. However, when the venue attempted to cash the cheque, it bounced, and the Natwest bank is informing the Skirrid Inn that the account hadn’t been used for over 14 months.
This has opened Pandora’s box and caused an absolute backlash within the paranormal community.
You see, it’s terribly challenging to book locations for paranormal research and even more difficult for those who put on events to cover costs incurred for these venues UK WIDE.
Venues may not get paid, left in a disgusting mess through lack of care or perhaps non-insured teams – or those just after a fright night with little regard for the venue – causing such places to close down to paranormal sessions.
I’ve heard of locations stopping such nights in Scotland due to a whole host of problems from lack of care through to using items in museums to drink coffee out of, utterly disgusting.
These are mostly historical locations that demand great respect.
Many concerned members of the public who have booked on to events through Alius Santus have started to call their 2018 locations to see if events were still being held. Much to their surprise, a majority of such have said there are no events booked, yet tickets are being offered.
Alius Santus had begun to post what they deemed as proof of bookings when the information started to spread like wildfire throughout social media.
One such posting was proof of Mary Kings Close in Edinburgh, with the initial booking form posted on their Facebook Page.
I called out the group personally on said post, because I know they have paid a deposit only, which really just costs two ticket sales to cover, with a substantial amount to still pay two weeks before the event takes place.
The venue has been booked, but by no means is the cost covered yet, so caution is advised. This usually would not be a problem, but due to surfacing reports of bounced cheques and no refunds given by this company, I have to urge extreme caution till the situations are remedied by the owners of Alius Santus.
Alius Santus have been given the opportunity to post up evidence of payment to the abovementioned venue, but are claiming they can not due to police advice to not post on Facebook. Without said evidence and until any alleged police investigation has taken place, Haunted Scotland would advise no one books tickets.
The faster this company acts to resolve the issues with the venue and members of the public who are out of pocket to the tune of thousands – with venues claiming no booking in place – the faster everyone can have their minds put to rest and continuation of their busness can resume no doubt.
The whole situation leaves a bad taste in the field, as said previously, it is notoriously hard to operate in this field at times. If we lose the trust of the public, whether followers, friends or subscribers, we heap a ton of pressure on our research and hobby.
Haunted Scotland does not do public events. However, Fife Paranormal Research Society will be doing these to raise funds for equipment, locations and research purposes as soon as their new legal status comes into force for 2018.
So together – most likely along with David & Karen Barrett – we will be offering free investigation places to all customers of Alius Santus who are left out of pocket due to this situation.
We will also be placing pressure on Alius Santus to be open and transparent to the public and to offer goodwill refunds to everyone affected by this.
Offering 60-day credit notes – that allegedly are in the terms and conditions and may even expire – is not proper event practice. The law states that full refunds must be given if the ticket purchaser can not make the rescheduled events.
If no such refund is offered, I would suggest those affected contact their local trading standards for assistance in this matter.
The only positive outcome I can see from this situation is that here in the UK paranormal community, everyone has rallied around the members of the public affected. Free event places, investigations and assistance have been offered.
If Alius Santus has a statement they wish to add here, they are free to email, and we will include it.
Members of the public, do due diligence before booking events, ask to see proof of insurance, bookings with the venue and get some reviews from other guests or investigators.
This kind of thing is rare, but like any area or genre, there are some who are not in line with the ethics set down by the majority of good honest teams and companies.
We wish you all well.