Ghost writer accused of portraying psychiatrist, doctor

By John O'Brien | Aug 3, 2006

MARTINSBURG - A Hedgesville woman is claiming the Eastern Panhandle's foremost authority on ghosts tricked her into thinking she was a psychiatrist and doctor.

Lisa Schweiger filed a lawsuit July 26 in Berkeley Circuit Court against Susan Crites, who is a published author and owner of the West Virginia Society of Ghost Hunters.

Schweiger says that when she became active with the ghost hunters, Crites approached her about psychiatric counseling for her and her family.

And when Schweiger complained of pain while urinating, she says Crites told her she was a doctor and that her problems were psychosomatic.

Eventually, Schweiger says her condition deteriorated until she was forced to have a "football-sized tumor in her left ovary" that turned out to be cancerous removed.

She is seeking $350,000. Dawn Oakes and Deborah Ludwig of Hedgesville are also listed as defendants. Schweiger says they are fellow owners of the Society of Ghost Hunters.

"Towards the end of January 2006, friends and members of the defendant West Virginia Society of Ghost Hunters began having doubts about the authenticity of Defendant Crites' credentials," the complaint says. "Plaintiff, with the help of friends, discovered that Defendant Crites was not a licensed psychiatrist, therapist, counselor or medical practitioner in the State of West Virginia."

Schweiger claims Crites charged $25 per hour and told her that her condition could be cured with intense theropy -- in-depth sessions everyday for two weeks.

She says she paid more than $9,000 in therapy sessions.

Schweiger is representing herself.

Judge David Sanders has been assigned the case.

Berkeley Circuit Court case number 06-C-536

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