Update: TV Ghost Hunter Ryan Buell's Mom Says "He's Ill, But Not From Cancer"
Update (September 26, 2016):
Ryan Buell’s mother has seemingly confirmed many fans’ suspicions that he did not have pancreatic cancer, according to a comment obtained by Crimefeed. Shelly Bonavita Lundburg recently reached out through social media and asked people not to enable her son, and responded to a comment posted by one fan who asked about his cancer diagnosis by writing: “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!” Her response was deleted, but a fan was able to capture a screenshot, which they forwarded to Crimefeed.
The celebrity ghost hunter was moved to Centre County Correctional Facility in Pennsylvania, where as of September 26 he was incarcerated facing theft charges.
Celebrity ghost hunter Ryan Buell, 34 (above), is currently behind bars in Florence County, South Carolina. He faces two felony charges related to theft and stolen property. Now followers of the celebrity phantom-chaser have come forward to claim that this incident is just the latest in a series of Buell’s scams.
From 2007 to 2011, Buell starred as a supernatural researcher on the A&E reality show Paranormal State. The show chronicled Buell looking for specters, poltergeists, and other such spirits with his Paranormal Research Society (PRS).
After news of Buell’s arrest broke, fans of the show posted hundreds of social-media messages alleging Buell ripped them off. Many claim he took money for events, then either did not show up or canceled without issuing refunds. More shockingly, others question whether Buell ever actually had the pancreatic cancer he reportedly battled in 2012.
In 2013 Ryan discussed his treatment. “They wanted to do preventative treatment: build up my organs, especially my kidneys. My understanding is that most people die of other complications due to the cancer, like kidney failure,” he told People in 2013.
Buell added that he was “close to remission“, and ready to tour again. “They did remove the tumor laparoscopically, and there has been no spread,” he said. “I wasn’t diagnosed as having this at stage three or stage four.”
In 2014, Buell’s longtime friend and celebrity medium Chip Coffey was scheduled to be on the “Conversations with the Dead Tour” with Buell. Coffey wrote on Facebook that the news of Buell’s arrest was “shocking, but I was NOT surprised.”
Coffey claimed that after appearing on 31 episodes of Paranormal State, he left following “several ugly interactions” with Buell. Three years later, he said Buell apologized and approached him about being part of the six-city tour.
Coffey wrote: “Sadly, less than a week before the tour was scheduled to begin, I discovered that payments had not been made to the venues where we were slated to appear, nor had airline tickets, hotel accommodations, car rentals, etc. been booked … despite the fact that over $80,000.00 had been collected for ticket sales.”
Buell’s mother Shelley has even taken the extraordinary step of publicly pleading with fans to stop “enabling” Buell on Facebook, which was posted by Jason Hawes of Ghost Hunters, another paranormal reality show.
She wrote: “PLEASE stop enabling his situation by sending money, buying tickets to events that may never occur, buying merchandise/phone calls you may never get, paying money to watch him on Twitch, and giving him offers of shelter … I am pleading with you out of LOVE for my son and I’m frightened by what his situation has become.”
Several websites reported that she responded to a fan’s comment about her son’s condition by stating in a (now-deleted) comment that he was “sick” but that the illness was “not cancer.”
The embattled otherworldly investigator continues to oversee Paranormal Twitch, which he describes on Instagram as a “gaming channel dedicated to interacting with fans and enjoying all things horror/paranormal” – though several recent broadcasts appear to have been delayed or cancelled.
Buell has been open in the past about his Catholic faith and bisexuality. In November 2014, Buell announced that he was gay and due to marry his Paranormal State co-star Sergey Poberezhny. It is not clear if the couple are still together. In April 2016, Buell tweeted that he was “single and ready to be mingled!”
Poberezhny continues to work with the Paranormal Research Society. He recently posted an appeal on Facebook for donations to help with the costs of shipping for items that had not yet been delivered to fans.
Some followers have written messages of support, but other are lashing out. One wrote that she hopes Poberezhny “rots in jail” with Buell. Still other devotees wonder if Buell may actually possessed by demons.